Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Recipe - How To Make Crispy Pork Belly (Sio Bak)

Surprisingly, this crispy (or crackling) pork belly is quite simple to make at home. All you need is an oven, a small one will do, and pork belly with the skin (rind) on and five spice powder. (Five spice powder is made from peppercorn, cloves, cinnamon, star anise and fennel seeds).

The trick is to keep the skin dry and heat it till crispy. A second point to note is to poke as many holes as possible on the skin.While grilling, the fat inside the skin turns really hot, then get released from the holes. So the skin is fried from the inside and turns crispy. When you hear the crackling sound, it is almost done.

The skin is really tough. But there is no need to used special tools. I used needles to poke.

I bought the pork belly from NTUC supermarket and they come already cut into slices. That saves the trouble of having to slice them later after cooking. The challenge is to make the slices sit up while grilling so that the skin is facing up. I used aluminium foil to hold them with the skin exposed.

Note that by using the aluminium foil to wrap around the meat is like steaming the meat while grilling the top skin. This keeps the meat moist while the skin becomes crispy. I also scald the skin with hot water so it is like half cooked and it will also dry faster.

(Note: I find it easier to blanch the pieces of pork belly. It is also easier to poke holes on the skin as they are softer when blanched and warm.)

Alternatively, you can use skewers (bamboo skewers also can do) to make the pork belly sit upright on the grilling rack. By this method, the meat will be grilled and tends to be less juicy.

Ingredients (serves 5)
Slices of pork belly, about 500 grams

wrapped in foil before roasting

Half a teaspoon of salt
A dash of white pepper
2 teaspoons of 5 spice powder.

Scald the skin with boiling water (shown in 2nd video by Ken Hom).
Rub the marinade on the meat and not on the skin.
Leave in the fridge for 3 hours or overnight.

In The Oven
I use top heat only.
I roast the slices of pork on 180 deg C for about 25 minutes.
Once the skin start to crackle, it is about done. Watch and when the skin is golden brown, turn off the heat.
Rest the meat for a couple of minutes to allow the juices to be absorbed by the meat.

Note: I brushed the skin with vinegar to help blister the skin.
It also adds a bit of tangy taste, just a bit.

Get some tips from the videos below.

This 3 minute video is from Leslie Tay. He cooks the pork at 75 degrees C.

This 12 minute video is from Ken Hom. He adds sugar to the pepper, 5 spice powder and salt.
He scalds the skin.

Now for a Vietnamese version of crispy pork belly, also known as "thit heo quay"

A western version with apple sauce.

This version of crispy pork belly is from Hong Kong.
I have not tried this method yet.
It looks interesting.

This guy adds vegetables to the roast

No comments:

Post a Comment