Home-made crispy roast pork belly (Siu Yok/Shao Rou/脆皮燒肉) may sound daunting, but it is actually quite easy, thanks to the oven doing the bulk of the work. Most of the preparation time is a no-work zone – chilling the marinated meat in the fridge, or slow-roasting it in the oven. Home-made crispy roast pork is superior to store-bought ones because of the super crispy and crackling skin. It is so crispy that you can hear the nosiy, firecracker music as you are slicing the meat and eating it. Feel free to increase the quantity of meat in this recipe (adjust the marinade ingredients accordingly) so long as they occupy one layer in the oven during roasting. If you have leftover roast pork, you can use them in your stir-fries and fried rice.
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Use kitchen tweezers to pull out stray hair on the pork belly skin, if any. Use a knife to scrap the skin for a few minutes to remove impurities. Rinse pork belly stab and pat dry with paper towels.
Holding a small knife in a stabbing action, make short diagonal slits with the tip of the knife on the surface of the skin (but not cutting into the meat) at random. Tip: You can ask the market butcher to do this for you.
Combine salt, 5-spice powder and white pepper in a small bowl.
Rub the marinade all over the meat portion only. If any marinade gets on the skin, rub it off with a paper towel.
Rub more salt on the skin. Place pork belly on a plate, uncovered, skin side up and let it marinade for a few hours or preferably overnight in the refrigerator. The purpose is to dry the skin thoroughly and also to allow the marinade to seep into the meat.
Bake siu yuk for 30 minutes in the set up shown on the left. After 30 minutes, use a bamboo skewer to poke as many holes as you can on the portion of the skin which is still soft. Return pork belly and roast for another 90 minutes, or until the skin is roasted to crispy perfection. At every 30 minutes interval, top up the water in the tray and poke holes with a bamboo skewer on the portion of the skin which is still soft.
When the siu yuk is ready, place it on a wire rack and allow the meat to rest for about 15 minutes before cutting. Scrap off charred areas from the skin, if any, with a knife. Place the meat on a chopping board, skin side down. Slice a strip of pork.
Further cut the strip of roast pork to smaller, bite-sized pieces.