Crispy Pork Belly Recipe (Siu Yuk/烧肉)

Posted By Rasa Malaysia On December 3, 2009 @ 6:15 PM
In Chinese Recipes,Recipes

Crispy Pork Belly (Siu Yuk/烧肉)
Crispy Pork Belly (Siu Yuk/烧肉) pictures (1 of 11)

Recently, Alice and Jared of Eat A Duck I Must and I bonded over Penang street food as the cute couple just came back from Penang not too long ago. After intensive tweeting about the subject of food, I invited them to guest post on Rasa Malaysia. Alice kindly accepted and offered their crispy pork belly/siu yuk (烧肉) recipe. Eat a Duck I Must (the name is as cute as the couple) is a great food blog about their eating trips and home-cooked meals. Other than working full-time, blogging, and traveling, Eat A Duck I Must also offers photography services. Please give your warmest welcome while you drool over their Chinese roast pork. If you wish to view their step-by-step photos, click on the gallery above.

In the last few years, it seems that pork belly and bacon are making a big comeback on the food scene. Everywhere you turn, you see bacon—bacon dipped in chocolate, bacon mayonaise, pork belly sandwiches, braised pork belly, bacon ice cream, bacon wrapped bacon… (I blame you David Chang and Michael Ruhlman!) So to add to this pork belly craze, we have decided to make the popular Chinese Crispy Pork Belly (Siu Yuk/烧肉).

Typically, Crispy Pork Belly is a dish you would eat at Chinese banquets or pick up as carryout for a special occasion at home from a Chinese BBQ shop strictly dedicated to roasting pork, duck, goose and chicken over an open fire or wood burning rotisserie ovens. Growing up, this was one of my all time favorite dishes. The crispy crunchy skin crackles as you take your first bite only to reveal the mouthwatering fat that sits right below. And then at long last you taste it all together with the savory pork belly meat. It’s awesome. And if you plan on getting the belly meat from the BBQ shop, you better get there early as it is usually the first item to be sold out. The next best thing is to make your own.

Now, we don’t all have the luxury of having a large rotisserie oven or an open pit constructed in our backyards so we’ve learned this homecooked version from Jared’s aunt. Jared’s aunt is one special lady. Thinking about her cooking makes me drool. Every time we head over there for a meal, there seems to be a huge feast with at least 6-7 dishes, not including the obligatory Cantonese soup. There usually isn’t a special occasion to celebrate, it’s just dinner. Our absolute favorite dish is her homemade crispy pork belly. Most homemade recipes call for the pork belly to be baked, which can take hours to crisp up the skin and can dry out the meat in the process. Jared’s aunt’s secret comes from frying the skin. This allows the skin to reach the perfect amount of crispiness in the shortest amount of time. Honestly, we’ve all started to prefer this homecooked version over the professional BBQ shop takeout version—and that is saying a lot!

Jared and I spent the last weekend persuading her to divulge her secret recipe and we’ve tested the recipe at home to make sure it is foolproof. I present to you the Crispy Pork Belly Recipe!!

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Crispy Pork Belly Recipe (siu yuk 烧肉)

Ingredients:

1lb pork belly
1 tsp Dry Ginger Powder (沙薑粉)
1 tsp Five Spice Powder (五香粉)
1/2 tsp white pepper
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp msg (optional)

Method:

Wash the meat under cold water.

Submerge the pork belly meat in a pot of water and boil for about 15 minutes on medium heat.

Remove the pork and place it in a colander to let it dry for about 15 minutes. You may take the extra step of patting the pork belly skin dry with a paper towel for extra crispy skin.

Stab the pork with a knife a few times and rub the spices and salt on the flesh only (not the skin). We recommend layering the spices in the following order: spiced ginger powder, 5 spice powder, white pepper, salt and optional msg.

Let it marinate for 1 hour, though over night is better for a deeper flavor.

In a dutch oven or a large cast iron pan, fill it with oil enough to cover the skin of the pork belly. Avoid using olive oil since it has a low smoking point. You can place the pork belly in pan while the oil is still cold to prevent splatter. CAUTION!!! the pork will splatter a lot, so it is better to use a dutch oven with a heavy lid or use a splatter screen to place over your frying pan.

Fry the skin side first for roughly 5 mins or until golden brown and crispy, turn it on the side and fry it only for a min or two, repeat on all sides (it is best not to fry it on the flesh side for too long as it will toughen the meat) Frying is a skill learned over time, so if the skin is burnt, you can scrape it off with a knife. No worries!

Let it rest until cool to the touch and cut into slices.

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