Our Chinese Crispy Pork Belly is a twice cooked method that delivers each and every time. Twice cooking produces a very tender and moist flesh, packed with aromatic flavours. Two different stages of cooking render you with the moistest meat, and the best crackling.
We are very fond of making this crispy pork belly and serving it with our Chinese Pickled Red Cabbage with Ginger with steamed bao buns smeared with hoisin sauce. Winner! Winner!
Cooking in a nutshell
On day one, you basically spend five minutes to get the pork and aromatics into a baking dish and cover. Pop in the oven and let the oven do all the work for the next three hours or so.
On day two, you spend another five minutes scoring, cutting your serving sized pieces, brushing with vinegar and sprinkling with salt and again into the oven and let the high heat do all the work till you arrive at golden, crispy and crunchy crackling, and super moist pork belly. It really is that simple.
Tip for selecting your piece of pork belly
Try to select a piece of pork belly that is roughly the same depth all the way. The reason is, if you select a piece that is thinner at one end than the other, the pork will cook faster at the lower end.
The bath – stage one
Aromatics are added to a water bath, which is steeped with slices of fresh ginger, garlic, soy sauce and star anise. The pork is submerged up to the skin line in the aromatic bath, covered with baking paper, then foiled tightly. Pop into a slow oven and cook for 3-4 hours until the flesh is super fork tender.
You then leave the pork belly to cool a little and place the pork belly and tray with liquid in the fridge to cool. When cool remove pork belly, score and cut into desired pieces.
Leaving pork belly in the liquid
Leaving the pork belly to cool in the liquid ensures that the meat stays moist, and you end up with a succulent piece of pork. Just what we want!
Crispy crackling – stage two
Rubbing the pork with vinegar and sprinkling with salt absorbs the moisture in the pork rind, which then results in gorgeous fat blisters, which equals crispy, crunchy crackling.
Check out some more winning Asian recipes
What’s your favourite way to cook pork belly? We would love to hear from you in the comments below.Print
Chinese crispy pork belly recipe reads as if it is very involved. It’s not. It’s basically cooking your pork belly in water and aromatics till fork tender, then scoring it and roasting in a very hot oven till is is all golden, blistered and has crispy crackling.
The pork is best cooked in the water and aromatics on day one, then roasted on day two.
stage one – the bath
- 1 piece of pork belly, skin on, around 1.2 kg (2 1/2 pounds) – see notes below
- 6–8 slices of fresh ginger
- 6–8 whole cloves of garlic, unpeeled and flattened with the back of a knife
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 6–8 whole star anise
stage two – crispy crackling
- white vinegar to brush the skin of the pork belly – you can also use apple cider or malt vinegar
- salt to sprinkle over the skin
stage one – the bath
- preheat oven to 160 c (320 f)
- place ginger, garlic and star anise into the centre of a baking dish
- place pork belly on top of the aromatics
- pour water and soy sauce around the pork being careful not to cover the pork skin
- lay a sheet of baking paper over the pork belly – this stops the skin from sticking
- cover baking dish snugly with foil and place on middle shelf of oven
- set timer for 30 minutes then reduce the heat to 120 c (250 f)
- cook for 3 hours or until fork tender when tested
- remove pork from oven and leave it sitting in the liquid and covered with the foil
- cool on bench for half an hour or so
- refrigerate till pork is cold
stage two – crispy crackling
- preheat oven to 220 c (430 f)
- remove pork from liquid and discard liquid
- place pork, skin side up onto a chopping board
- score the top of the pork, cutting just through the skin to score or cut into serving sized pieces
- place pork skin side up on a sheet of aluminium foil and wrap the sides leaving only the top skin exposed
- rub vinegar into pork skin and sprinkle with salt
- place pork in foil on a baking sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes or until golden and blistered
- serve and enjoy!
- it does not matter what size or weight your pork belly is, as long as it fits in the pan, just make sure your liquid is not covering the rind
Cooper loves to steal clothing. So we set Coops up on a daily basis with a game we play. We purposely leave an old tee shirt on the bedroom floor. Cooper sits whimpering outside of the door. Each and every day it’s the same scenario. Cooper whimpers. The door opens. He casts a look around for the tee shirt and snatches it. Then he proudly prances out of the room with his bounty. Poor guy never seems to realise he’s been set up each and every day with the same bounty! Yet, he is so pleased with himself and so are we.