Verdict: Win

Sigh, I really wanted this to turn out perfectly with that crackling crispy skin on top. Unfortunately, I'm not as familiar with my oven as I could be, so I didn't get the crispy skin. it still tasted great, but how can pork belly (aka what bacon's made of) not taste great? Next time I'll set the broil setting on low and adjust the rack higher.

Roast Pork Belly from Tasty Treats
Yield: Serves 2-3

For the marinade:
1 cube fermented red beancurd
1/2 tbsp Chinese five spice powder
1/2 tbsp white pepper
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp rice wine

For the pork belly:
1 x 1kg piece pork belly
1 tbsp coarse sea salt
2 tbsp white vinegar

Mix all of the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl until well combined.

Using a sharp knife, score the skin of the pork belly all over (you can ask your butcher to do this for you). The more you score, the more fat will be released and the crispier your pork belly will be! Turn the pork belly over and make incisions in the meat about 1/2cm deep and about 2cm apart.

Rub the marinade into the pork flesh (make sure to rub into the incisions as well).

Place the meat skin-side up into a container. Pat the skin dry with kitchen paper, then rub in the coarse salt. Place, uncovered, into the fridge and leave to marinate overnight.

Take the meat out an hour before roasting (so about 2 hours before you want to serve). Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.

Place the pork belly on a rack in the middle of the oven and roast for 20 minutes. Then, brush the skin with the white vinegar and switch the oven to the grill (broil) function. (The white vinegar is to help speed up the crackling process.)

Keep an eye on your pork belly as it cooks; it should take about 45 minutes. Now, the tip here is to let the skin char for ultra-crispy crackling (the logic is that this is how you know the skin is crisp all the way through and not chewy on the bottom).

Use a serrated knife to scrape away the blackened layer and reveal a golden-red layer of crisp pork skin. Using a large knife, chop (don’t slice) the pork belly into bite-sized pieces. Serve.


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