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Crispy Chinese Pork Belly with Five Spice

Chinese pork belly, roasted for the perfect crispy crackling soft and juicy pork with a blackened Szechuan pepper and five-spice crust.

The pork belly roasts in the oven for an hour and a half and results in the most wonderfully succulent meat!

Close up sliced crispy Chinese Pork Belly.

Crispy Roast Pork Belly!

I adore pork belly, if I ever get to that mythical last meal choice then it is likely what I would choose!

It is a piece of meat that has a wonderful flavour, the perfect amount of fat and that skin makes for the best crispy crackling crust.

I cook with it a lot in dishes as diverse as this traditional British roast pork to my pressed pork belly with cherries and a sticky spicy Korean Pork Belly through to roast pork belly slices.

This crispy Chinese pork belly recipe features another of my favourite ingredients Szechuan pepper.

The ingredient that gives dishes like kung pao chicken and dan dan noodles their distinctive flavour.

Throw in a little soy, Chinese five-spice, garlic and ginger and off you go.

Overhead sliced crispy Chinese Pork Belly served with rice and pickled cucumbers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a secret to perfect crackling?

No, not really! There is much written about cooking the perfect pork crackling.

It is often said that the skin should be as dry as the Sahara desert when it goes into the oven. It is a method that works and the one I use here.

However, I cook a pork knuckle recipe that has beer poured over it before it goes into the oven. If you find yourself struggling it is likely that the combination of time and temperature is incorrect.

Can I cook a larger piece of pork belly like this?

Yes, this recipe serves two generously and three fairly comfortably.

You can increase the weight of pork belly up to 750g without and difference in cooking time so long as you ensure that it is not thicker than 5-6cm (2″). This will serve 4 generously and will be ok for up to 6 people.

Make sure to increase the marinade by 30% to cater for the increase in size.

Sliced crispy Chinese Pork Belly served with rice and pickled cucumbers.

Serving Suggestions

The richness of pork belly works exceptionally well with pickles. This recipe is pictured with some quick pickled cucumber, but pickled daikon would work equally well.

I also like to add some rice. Here it is pictured with steamed jasmine rice, but a egg fried rice would be awesome too!

Don’t forget the veggies either, stir fried broccoli or stir fried asparagus both make nice additions.

Finally, you could add some noodles. Plain chow mein noodles or something like sweet chilli noodles or sweet and sour stir fried noodles would both work well

Sliced crispy Chinese Pork Belly served with pickled cucumbers.

Equipment Used

I only mention brands of equipment if I think they make a material difference to a recipe. If you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Stovetop.
  • Oven.
  • Wok or Frying pan.
  • Baking tray.
  • Cooling rack.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Mixing bowls.
  • Pestle and mortar or spice grinder.
Sliced crispy Chinese Pork Belly served with pickled cucumbers.
Yield: 2 Servings

Roasted Crispy Chinese Pork Belly Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Marinade Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 9 hours 45 minutes

Roasted Chinese Pork Belly with a blackened crust of Chinese five spice and lashings of Szechuan Pepper all topped with a perfect crisp crackling crust.


  • 450g (1lb) Pork Belly
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • ¼ Tsp Chinese Five Spice

For the Marinade:

  • 2 Tbsp Szechuan Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce.
  • 2 Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Chinese Five Spice
  • 2 Tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1 Tsp Ground Garlic
  • 1 Tsp Sesame Oil


  1. Toast off the Szechuan peppercorns in a wok and grind in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder.
  2. Add the Szechuan pepper to a bowl along with the remaining ingredients for the marinade.
  3. Mix to form a thick paste.
  4. Dry the pork skin with a kitchen towel.
  5. Score the pork skin to a depth of 2-3mm in a crosshatch pattern about 1cm (¼") apart.
  6. Flip over the pork and pour the marinade over the flesh side of the pork and massage itin.
  7. Place the pork on a plate and clean off any marinade from the skin.
  8. Transfer to the fridge uncovered and allow it to sit for at least 8 hours.
  9. An hour before you are ready to cook remove the pork from the fridge.
  10. Rub the salt and Chinese five-spice into the skin.
  11. Place on a grid "balanced" above a roasting tin and pour hot water into the tin.
  12. Cook in an oven at 220°C or 450°F for 30 minutes then reduce the temperature to 170°C or 340°F and cook for a further hour.
  13. Rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 726Total Fat: 51gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 31gCholesterol: 189mgSodium: 2221mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 3gSugar: 0gProtein: 55g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!


Saturday 9th of September 2023

Just made this. Absolutely incredible. I had never cooked pork belly and was so worried about it. But the process was easy and the end result was SO good. Will make this again and again.

Brian Jones

Saturday 9th of September 2023

Glad that you enjoyed it Jim, thanks for taking the time to let me know :)


Sunday 4th of September 2022

Pork belly recipe was out of this world. I would pay good money for them. Cooked on hot to start with then just 45 mins on low. Top wasn’t crispy but still perfect. Marinated for 24 hours. Can’t wait to do them again.

Brian Jones

Sunday 11th of September 2022

Glad you enjoyed this Bernie, it's one of my favourites, anything pork belly is a weakness for me :)


Saturday 27th of January 2018

I love crispy crackling crust and unfortunately here is France I struggle to find the pork with the skin. I love this recipe and will try next time I am in Italy to buy proper pork with skin. Forget about 600 gr, knowing my boys they will easily finish 1 kg

Brian Jones

Sunday 28th of January 2018

Thanks Laura... Odd how markets vary across Europe, pig skin is ubiquitous here and easy to buy separately as well as bundled up on meat :)

Elaine Benoit

Friday 26th of January 2018

I'm with you! I want crispy crackling crust!! These Chinese pork bellies look so incredibly delicious! I love pork bellies and can't wait to try your recipe!

Brian Jones

Saturday 27th of January 2018

Enjoy, I love this recipe, like I say it is an oversized meal for two but never results in left overs :o


Monday 22nd of February 2016

Thank you so much for your super fast response. Looking forward to cooking this dish....yummy ☺

Brian Jones

Monday 22nd of February 2016

You are more than welcome, what time you serving up I'll pop around it is one of my favourites ;)

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