Friday, November 21, 2008

Roast Pork Experiment 1

Glistening juicy flesh! And soft bones/cartilage!
I love my new oven! I made roast pork, and loved it! Look at the juice bubbling out from the glistening flesh. It was warm, tender and sweeeet! The crackling skin was supercrispy! I love soft bones/cartilage too, so these were a bonus. But the biggest surprise - the roasted vegetables below that caught all the dripping fat and seasoning simply tasted divine! Yes, they turned out way better than when I roast them with other meats, especially chicken!

Crispy roast pork belly
There are so many variations in recipes but I decided to pare it down to the barest - pork belly, salt, pepper and five-spice powder. HoChiak's recipe looked the simplest, although the mountain of salt crystals looked too dangerous for me to safely attempt. Thankfully, HungryBear says if you make lots of little punctures on the skin with a fork, it will blister nicely without the need for oversalting. I was too lazy to pre-blanch the pork though. But I saw vegetables and tubers below her pork in the photos and followed that (DO IT! They will be so delicious!). Southernoise used bamboo sticks to keep the length of the pork belly from warping, and also carved inch-wide slots at the bottom for greater marinating surface area.

Some people recommend letting the salted slab dry out in the fridge for a day or two, but I tried that and the skin turned so tough no fork could penetrate it (I had to resort to steak knives to poke the skin)! Will skip the fridge step in future, and see what difference it makes.

Pork belly marinated with salt, pepper and five-spice powder
So this is how I would do it next time.

ROAST PORK Experiment 2

1kg pork belly
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper (white probably is better)
1 tablespoon five spice powder
cut vegetables of choice - onions, potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, whole garlic etc - enough to fill your baking tray.

1. Clean pork belly, and make slots about 1-2cm deep and one-inch apart on the meat side.
2. Poke skin with fork or sharp small knife thoroughly as much as possible.
3. Rub salt all over, skin and meat alike.
4. Smear pepper and five-spice powder all over the meat side, avoiding the skin.
5. Insert satay sticks in crosswise manner. Leave aside to rest/marinade for a couple of hours.
6. Roast pork belly with vegetables in tray in oven (you may need to preheat) at 180 degrees for about 30-40 mins. You may need to rotate the pork for even roasting. Continue baking for another half hour or until skin has fully blistered (depends on your oven). Savour the crackling symphony within.
7. Let roast pork rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing.
8. ENJOY WITH ALL MANNER OF CARB - rice, bread, noodles, pasta or even salad! Or eat it on its own - it's delicious! I had to pace myself and leave some for others.


  1. Looks delicious!!!
    Ermm Camemberu, the next is to try char siew and you are qualified to open your char siew, roasted pork rice stall!!!
    Yummy!!! but i would really like to try the veges underneath the roasted pork.
    Jamie Oliver loves doing this kind of cooking too!!!

  2. Roast pork, one of my favorites! The skin looks so crispy. Yeah, roasted veges are delicious. I always have them when I roast chicken.

  3. your sio bak making me lao nuah....

  4. "your sio bak making me lao nuah...." totally agree!

    juicy, crispy, yummy! haha

  5. Wow...this looks sooo good! I'm tempted to try this out this weekend!

  6. super nice!

    Drying in the fridge involves blanching.

    1. Salt the belly generously all over
    2. Put it skin up in the fridge for a few days. Let the skin dry up.
    3. Blanch the belly in boiling water for 2-3 minutes to remove the brine and soften up the skin a bit.
    4. Get a meat spoke from Sia Huat, very important and essential tool for a beautiful crackling. They have 2 types, get the one in stainless steel. Poke till you can hear the belly scream. :P

    I got a post coming up but Menya Shinchan first!

  7. If you want to try a non-blanch, non-fridge drying recipe, you may want to look at the one I posted back in 2006 =)

  8. Jackson: haha, I think I'm too lazy to learn how to make char siew! Roast pork alone rulez!

    Didally: yes, I've always had the roasted vegetables too, but they've NEVER TASTED SO GOOD! Ahh, the miracle of pork belly drippings!

    K-man, JaimeLN, Pureglutton: thank you, thank you, thank you! Do try this at home! :D

    Southernoise: ah so desu ne...I should have consulted you first! LOL! Yes, I heard the pork belly scream. Felt guilty while stabbing it...poor thing, die already still kena torture, stab and burn!

    D: oh yes! I forgot you had a recipe too! Thanks! :D

  9. I tried making this once and man the clean up I had to do after that. The oil splatter every where inside the oven. Roasting the veggies with it is a good idea as it will catch all juice of the roast.

  10. Thanks for posting the review :D

    I haven't had time to buy the oven yet ... hopefully soon ;p your roast pork look like those sold outside ;p

  11. Your sio bak looks SHIOK! Makes me lau nuah too...

  12. Gosh, it just looks gorgeous! The cracked skin, the glistening meat ... and best of all, the roasted veges below, like a tray of hidden treasure. SHIOK, indeed... ;)

  13. i love roast pork! now that i just got an oven, can try it out soon. need to use 1kg so much eh? but then again when it come out so nice, 1kg might not be enough. hahaha

  14. any recipes for the char siew they use in ramen? that'll be awesome!

  15. i tried to do something similar recently, but didn't even get this far. i couldn't find uncured pork belly anywhere! glad you were able to find it.

  16. hello! oh this looks really good, it does!

  17. It looks absolutely delicious! The crispy skin. Yummy!

  18. OMG, look at that crackly crust! It looks soooo good! Yum, yum, yum.

  19. That sures looks yummy-licious...

    Actually with an oven you can do lots of cooking... For instance, you can roast chicken wings (healthier and crispier, as no additional oil is added), "steam" fish by wrapping in a foil... Does your oven comes with grill and oven? That is extremely useful for baking and cooking :)

    I used to envy ppl with microwave oven as I don't have any but have 3 ovens at home... geez!!!

    Oh, daddy once roasted pork by rolling and tying the pork, more juices are locked in it, the skin is crispy with the interior juicy, but need a decent length >.<

  20. Wow..Wow... it looks nicer than the one in PUDU, KL.... Not oily compared to that... Sure a healthy for me....
    Oh ya, i am running my own hawker center in Alor Setar, i'm looking for Char Siew and Siew Yoke seller, any one can recommend?

  21. This is a premium piece of pork belly. So little fats under the skin. Moreover, they are sandwiched between three very thin layer of lean meat.

    I wonder if you got it from the wet-market or the supermarket?

  22. WAHHHHHHHHHH!!!! that's a very nicely browned piece of belly! i must say it looks much better than some of those i see at have inspired me to roast a belly! :)

  23. brilliant idea! i will definitely place a tray of veggie below my pork belly next time! woohoo!

  24. There goes my no fatty food until Chinese New year resolution. They look simply yummilicious!

  25. alamak, now i muz hv ROAST PORK rice later :P



  26. Inspired by your post, decided to
    try it for myself. Blanched skin with
    water with a bit of vinegar,then poked skin. Crackling came out brilliant!! My mother was impressed, thought I had mad skills. Heh.

    BTW, butcher in Marine Parade central asked if I was cooking sio bak, told me his pork belly sales was up because of some blog =)

  27. Haha, thanks everyone!

    Ocha: I'm stunned that blogs can rack up pork belly sales!

    Curious: I got this from the wet market. Wow, didn't know it was premium!

    Fen: yes, my oven comes with grill functions too. You have three??? Ah yes, rolled pork belly/loin makes a nice roast. I tried it a la Gordon Ramsay! Delicious!

    LIC: Hey 1kg is already very little! I see most people use 1.5-2kg! :) There can never be too much roast pork! :D

  28. WAH! Looks very delicious. I want!!!!

  29. Your roast pork is making me hungrier!!!

  30. LOL! SFF, you really like roast pork ah!!! I guess the vegetarian dinner just now made you yearn for meat! (I'm craving a good burger myself)

  31. Hee hee! I am not a pork fan but I like Roast Pork & I must say yours looks darn enticing! I'm seriously still hungry after the vegetarian dinner. I didn't want to finish the rest of the rice cos I was starting to get a slight MSG attack. I'm not sure which dish triggered it off. It was a pleasant surprise to see you again! :) Since you've put the idea in my mind, you got me totally craving a burger now!

  32. Hi! Thank you for spreading the love, your pics look soooo tempting that I have to try it!

    What exactly do you mean by "making slots" on the meat side? Do you mean by poking it with a knife?

    Thanks in advance.

  33. Thanks Anna! I think that might have been a typo...I probably meant "slits" rather than "slots"! So just carve large slits on the meat side from end to end. But it's really optional...just to create more surface area for the seasoning. Cheers!

  34. This is amazing. never had heard of pork belly til now, i gotta say its like a big slab of bacon! thanks for sharing.


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