Crisp Chinese pork
- Preparation and cooking time
- Plus at least 2 hours salting
- Serves 4
Belly is the cheapest pork roasting joint and, as it’s rich, a little goes a long way, making it perfect for Sundays and dinner parties
- 1.3kg piece boned pork belly , skin on and scored, ask the butcher for the thin end
- 2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
For the dipping sauce
- STEP 1
Rub the pork with the five-spice and 2 tsp sea salt then leave, uncovered, in the fridge for at least 2 hrs, but preferably overnight. When ready to cook, heat oven to its maximum setting. Lay the pork on a rack over a roasting tin, making sure the skin is exposed. Roast for 10 mins before turning down the heat to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4, then leave to cook for a further 1½ hrs. Have a look at the pork – if the skin isn’t crisp, turn up the heat to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7, then cook for another 30 mins until crisp. Leave to rest on a board for at least 10 mins.
- STEP 2
To make the dipping sauce, mix all the ingredients together with 2 tbsp water. Cut the pork into small pieces, then serve with the sauce, plus boiled rice and steamed greens, if you like.
When whole, the belly has a thick and a thin end, with the ribs attached to the thick end. A whole pork belly will weigh about 3kg but will feed about 8-10 people, so half a belly is perfect for four, with leftovers. Pork belly can either be tied into a joint and roasted, or roasted as a flat piece, as in my recipe, right. It is also delicious slow-cooked in liquid – this is best done skinned, but you won’t get the wonderful crackling that comes from roasting.
I like to buy organic and farm-assured meat, but it’s not the cheapest option. So, learn from all good butchers and choose the less popular cuts they take home for themselves. They taste delicious and you’ll get so much more for your money