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Member recipe

Crisp Chinese roast pork

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Serves 4

Delicious crispy crackling with tender lean (surprisingly - all the fat disappears during cooking) and tasty roast pork.

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  • 1 x 1.5kg (3lb) piece of thick belly pork with the rind
  • 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons Maldon sea salt flakes
  • 2 teaspoons five spice powder
  • 2 teaspoons caster sugar


    1. Spike the skin of the pork with a fine skewer as many times as you can, going through to the fat, but not so deep that you go into the flesh. Then pour a full kettle of hot water over the skin, leave to drain and then dry it off well.
    2. Heat a dry, heavy based frying pan over a high heat. Add the Sichuan and black peppercorns and shake them around for a few seconds until they darken slightly and start to smell aromatic. Grind to a fine poweder in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar. Tip them into a bowl and stir in the sea salt, five spice powder and sugar.
    3. Turn the pork flesh side up on a tray and rub the flesh all over with the spice mixture. Set it aside somewhere cool for 6 hours, or overnight.
    4. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6. Turn the pork skin side up and place it on a rack resting on top of a roasting tin of water. Roast the pork for 15 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 180C/350F/gas 4 and roast for a further 2 hours, topping up the water in the roasting tin now and then when necessary.
    5. Increase the oven temperature once more to 230C/450F/gas 8 and continue to roast the pork for a further 15 minutes. Remove it from the oven and leave to cool, it is best served warm.
    6. Cut the pork into bite sized pieces and arrange them on a warmed platter. Serve with Chinese greens in oyster sauce and steamed rice.

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