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Chinese Roast Pork

Easy Chinese Roast Pork Recipe that is better than Chinatown and you can make it at home |

Chinese Roast Pork

Easy Chinese Roast Pork Recipe that is better than Chinatown and you can make it at home |

Prep time:

Cook time:

Total Time:


2 lbs pork belly
6 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon five spice powder
1 cup salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350F/180c, arrange a pan on the bottom 1/3 of oven rack and fill with water. The pork belly should be roasted using the rack above it.
2. Wash and use paper towels to dry the pork belly.
3. Make some horizontal slits on the sides of the belly, then insert each garlic and push them deep in so they don’t burn.
4. Rub the meat side with the five spice powder.
5. Then layer the top of the pork belly with the salt evenly.
6. Place the pork belly on a wire rack, and place at the top 1/3 of the oven for 1 hour. While baking, the oil will drip to the bottom pan with water.
7. Bake until the salt crust forms, the salt should be hardened. Check water in the pan below and add if needed.
8. Remove the pork belly from the oven, pull off the salt crust and discard.
9. Raise the heat of oven to 465f/240c, place the pork belly back in and roast for another 40 minutes.
10. Remove from oven and let set for 10 minutes. Cut and serve immediately with some chili sauce and hoisin sauce, or eat as is.

Chinese Roast Pork

In my cookbook “Easy Chinese Recipes,” I have a Chinese roast pork belly recipe, or siu yuk. On Rasa Malaysia, I also have a crispy pork belly recipe, contributed by my dear friends at Eat A Duck I Must. Both recipes are great and excellent, but when it comes to Chinese Roast Pork, one could never have enough recipes. There is always that one PERFECT recipe that everyone is constantly looking for—easy, hassle-free, everyone-can-do-it kind of recipe that promises crispy, crunchy, absolutely aromatic and to-die-for pork crackling, melt-in-your-mouth Chinese roasted pork belly….ahhh, the thought of it sets my mouth watering.

This Chinese Roast Pork recipe is from my good friend Robert Danhi’s Facebook page. Robert and his wife made the roast pork following a recipe gathered from a church in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I had personally tried their creation during an event last year, so I decided to attempt it on my own.

Chinese Roast Pork

I have to say that this Chinese Roast Pork recipe is probably one of the easiest recipes around. There is no need to poke the pork skin, no vinegar, no pre-boiling the pork belly. Just very simple and only few steps are involved and the result is almost guaranteed and fail-proof. I am all about easy recipes that makes Asian food accessible in any kitchen, and I strongly urge you to try this Chinese Roast Pork recipe.

Chinese Roast Pork

The end result, as you can see, is very crispy pork crackling. The pork belly is juicy and tender, with the melt-in-your-mouth pork fat, and the taste is a bit salty, aromatic (from the garlic and 5-spice powder). It’s delicious!! If you don’t believe it, browse through my photos as the images speak louder than words.


To make this recipe a lot more accessible, check out the following video. Make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel for future videos.

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103 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. Mike S

    Just a quick question about the salt….did you just use regular table salt or was it a flakier or bigger chunks of salt? Curious how the salt stays on as a crust if its just regular table salt? Thanks for any info!

      • Cliff

        Oh Bee…… I have done a couple of times making Chinese Roast Pork ( Siu Yok ) , the recipe was given to me by a Chinese Roast Pork seller, and looking at your recipe I think you have missed out an important step in the preparation to get the crispiness of the skin :). Can you update this recipe please to your ‘die-hard’ followers-thank you!

    • Scott

      I used regular table salt. I couldn’t understand this step but I followed as written and it worked like a charm. The salt will sit on the skin and somehow will bake into a salt “cracker”. The skin and meat will shrink and the salt sort of protects the skin from becoming hard and burnt. The skin cooks perfectly. My chinese mother in law couldn’t belive that I, not chinese, could cook it the same as you would buy at the wet markets in Hong Kong.

  2. smathewson

    Hi Bee-where do you buy a pork belly? the regular grocery stores like pavilions and ralphs don’t cary them :-(

  3. Jun

    I tried this recipe for the 2nd time (didn’t do it too well the first time) and it came out beautifully succulent on the inside and nice crackle on top. It is such an easy recipe and much prefer it to buying from the shops!

  4. Dee

    I tried this recipe over the weekend and gotta say it is easy to make and clean up is a breeze; taste is also pretty good. The fat didn’t get rendered as much as frying so it feels heavier on the mouth. Is this your experience as well?

      • Dee

        Oh the crackling was really crispy, it’s so good that’s all you hear as you’re eating them =) I mean the fatty part of the pork belly didn’t get as rendered as when you fry it.

        I can’t wait to make this again during our family get together, with jelly fish on the side =)

  5. Alan

    Awesome simple recipe … Loved it. Tried it once and it turns out rather well. I am impressed with my culinary skills … Lol … Thank you so much.

  6. Joanna Ainscough

    Not sure which step was wrong because my pork belly is really hard especially the skin. Too bad I do not know how to attach tge picture to show. T..T

  7. Lettie

    I’m planning to make this dish for about 20 people tomorrow. I’m hosting a dinner at my friend’s apartment though, so I thought I would bake them in my oven first until the salt forms and then continue the last 40 mins baking at my friend’s apartment, do you think it will be okay? I’m afraid it will continue cooking as I drive to my friend’s place and become overcook.

    Also, another question, I saw some recipes using baking soda but you omit this step, will it give the same crispy result?

  8. Bullet

    The first couple of times I did and it turned out nicely. But now it keep failing. The skin doesn’t turn golden and crispy but dark and hard. I’m not sure what I did wrong. I do notice when I remove the salt, the skin look wet in some area. Any thoughts? Thanks!

  9. Wonderful, beautiful, EASY crispy-skin pork belly? Yes please. I’ve cooked this several times and it always turns out absolute perfection. I adjust the cooking times to suit the the cut of pork belly I have. I find putting the pork belly under broil (use discretion) will quickly crisp up any stubborn spots on the skin if needed, and can be used to reheat as well (who on earth has leftover crispy pork belly though?). Thank you for sharing this recipe. I’ll be using it the rest of my life :)

  10. peasmom

    Hi. If I have a 2.5 lb pork belly to roast, how do I adjust the roasting time both for the salt hardening part and after removing it. Thanks!

  11. Emily

    Just to check, put a water pan at bottom 1/3 rack throughout. And also, the pork goes in and out always to the top 1/3 rack of the oven all the time?

    Is it ok if I prick holes at the top part? Do I need brush vinegar somewhere? Heard it tastes better with it. Thanks!

  12. Angela

    Hi Bee, can I bake it with a halogen oven? What if I omit the garlic? Really look forward to trying this awesome dish!

    • peasmom

      I use my halogen oven in making this. Read the oven manual to check how it compares with a conventional oven. Mine says it cooks 40% faster. So I adjust the time needed to roast the pork. It’s a trial and error on the temp and time. :-)

  13. Happy Baking

    I intend to make it tomorrow. 1 have an oven with top & bottom heat mode (for baking cakes) or grilling mode (for char siew). Which mode should I use? tku again.

  14. Happy Baking

    Hi Bee, I just wanted to thank you so much for yr beautiful & simple recipe. It was a success. I used the grill mode. Bye. From Seremban, N. Sembilan, Malaysia

  15. Jayne


    Was wondering if I can marinade the meat with shaoxing wine and five spice powder and leave it overnight to marinade before cooking it the next day with the salt crust?


  16. Hannah

    Hi Bee, i just don’t know if I miss any steps here. Do you mix the salt with water or egg yolk to keep it sticks together, or just pour the salt right on top the pork? I’m afraid it would not stay. Let me know please, my pork is ready for the oven but i still don’t know how to keep the salt on.


  17. alyssa

    Hi thanks for your great recipe. I have tried few roast pork recipes but no one works for me and I feel great Cox with ur recipe I’m now able to make my own roast pork and I want to say ur recipe is the easiest recipe for roast pork. No boil and complicated steps. All I changed is I put into fridge after marinate the meat to make the skin more dry just in case. Out of my surprised it’s came out perfectly with crispy crunchy top. Thank you!

  18. Joey

    Hi Bee,.. I’ve tried making it once and the skin is really crispy. But I wonder why the pork taste rather salty even after removing the crust. Need you advise. Thank you!

  19. Hi Bee,

    got the rind ‘biscuit crisp’, but it doesn’t stay and turn soft after maybe like a couple of hours later.
    wonder how can we maintain the crust?


  20. Cherry Wong

    Hi, i have tried a similar recipe before using salt crust but i found that the salt crust is very diffcult to remove and some salt are sticking to the skin! any ideas why that would happen? was it because i didn’t bake the salt crust long enough? i normally tried to remove the salt after 45-50mins.


  21. Chris Thailand

    I didn’t have high hopes as at the end of the cooking time the skin was dark and flaccid. That said, just 30 mins of blasting under the grill setting gave a lovely, even crisp finish which was light and oh-so crackly.
    Good job

  22. Chris Thailand

    Oh, and I omitted both the five spice and the garlic and ate it with cauliflower, apple sauce and gravy.
    The way it should be ;)

  23. Nadene

    Hi there,
    When i click on the link to read the recipe, it says”page cannot be found”. Is there somewhere else i can get the recipe from. This looks delicious !!

  24. Monty

    This recipe worked excellent. The salt turned into a crust that was easily removed. The skin crisped up perfectly. Made some crazy good Banh Mi tacos.

  25. Angela

    My roast pork turned out perfect using a halogen oven. So easy n hassle free. The taste is to die for ….except I forgot the garlic! Thanks Bee for this awesome recipe.

  26. Spicymui

    Can you post a pic of what you mean “Make some horizontal slits on the sides of the belly, then insert each garlic and push them deep in so they don’t burn.” Sometimes pictures are better than words.

  27. jehleo

    Hi! I have a 2 pound pork belly….

    1) how long should I roast it for with the salt on top? And also roast at 350F?
    2) and how long do I roast it for the 2nd part after taking salt layer off? And also roast at 465F?

    Please advise! Thanks in advance!

  28. Augusto

    How do you get the skin to be so thin and smooth? When I do it, it gets super bubbly and it’s crispy but really hard.

  29. John Hattery

    Tried the recipe. Salt crust worked great. Garlic was rather too much. Skin was disappointing, crisped up well, but was very very hard. Next try I’ll likely reduce or eliminate the garlic (I don’t recall the sui yook I loved in Singapore being at all garlicky), and would welcome suggestions regarding making the crackling edible.

  30. Sally Trinh

    Won’t the salt make the skin a but too salty? I’ve tried this way before and I’m not sure if it was because the oven wasn’t hot enough or if it was too low on the rack?

  31. Judy Riconalla

    Actually, it taste better to refrigerate overnite when marinated with the 5 spice powder. Moreover, it can make the skin drier (do poke holes) as this will make the skin for crunchy and crackling
    Give a try and u will love it … yummy and delicious !

  32. Meisiang

    Hi Bee, I tried this yesterday. Everything was good at the beginning but when I remove the salt and want to further roast at 240c, the skin just burned after 5 min. 😭. Is the temperature too high?

  33. fairly

    Was this recipe borrowed from the Legacy Cookbook published by various contributor for a fund raising event for church. Was permission sought please?

    • Fairly – I am not sure, I didn’t see the book but I learned it from my chef friend Robert Danhi’s Facebook page. I gave the best credit I could and Robert credited it to a church cookbook.

  34. Antz, Subang, Malaysia

    Hello Bee, is my first time posting. Have been receiving updates with great pictures. Am no good cook at all to a family of 5 but checking your recipes with simple steps and great pics seems possible to do it. Was thinking of making roast pork one day …as my friend said is simple and said she does it well but did not share! Finally, yours came in and am so delighted. Will try when I am on both feet again (femur fracture). Thanks again and keep sharing !

  35. Julie

    I was so exicted to make this recipe. It looked so easy and seemed to be great since I am watching my carbohydrate intake. I could just eat without sauce with no worries. I never ate chinese five spice either and found that I liked it. It was almost sweet without the sugar. I enjoyed your pork recipe. My BF did not, I was so bummed and hurt Rasa. Thanks for making it easy and not overwhelming. Keep it coming!!

  36. dickytan

    not too sure what i am cooking it does appear to form roast pork havent tried yet too hot. just exixting being able does it on tv.have exercise safety hence mo danger.its 10 pastb10 pm wed nite in houston texas.hi there where ever you are.

  37. Ngoc Lan

    Hi Bee, thanks for the great recipe. Made this tonight and it was a hit! I was wondering… why is the salt needed? Thank you.

  38. Scott

    came out almost perfect (pilot error — did not rotate half-way thru cooking on “Phase 2″). have one, small tweak. while the pork belly came to room temperature on the counter, i put a fan on high to make sure it was thoroughly dry.

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