Roasted Chinese Pork Belly with a blackened crust if sugar, Chinese five spice and lashings of Szechuan Pepper all topped with a perfect Crackling crust.
My Chinese pork belly recipe takes my food influences to somewhere else new on my blog today, to be honest I have no idea if this is authentic but the sweet flavours combined with five spice and Szechuan pepper are close enough for me. Pork belly is my idea of heaven and I would order it in a any restaurant over any other dish.
Unfortunately we don’t see nearly enough of it over here despite pork being a core form of protein in the Hungarian diet, so when we saw a huge slab of it our local butchers I had to buy some.
You can expect a few pork belly recipes in the coming weeks because I bought a fair bit. After a little soul searching I plumped on this blackened Chinese pork belly recipe. I used to do something relatively similar with salmon when I lived in the UK although the flavours were pulled back a little and the marinade time cut to an hour at most.
The one thing that was an absolute must for me on this recipe was a crispy and crunchy pork crackling crust, as far as I am concerned the meat is nothing but the entrée for the main event. As far as I am concerned Pork Crackling should be heard by your neighbours crunching whilst you are eating dinner. It should sound like fireworks going and be salted to perfection.
There should be no real secret to pork crackling, it is simple really the key trick is ensuring that the pork skin is as dry as the Sahara desert when it goes into a hot oven.
As per the instructions for this blackened Chinese pork belly recipe, I always score my pork the night before I cook it and place it in a fridge uncovered. Then take it out of the fridge for an hour or so before cooking and just before it goes in the oven add your seasoning, naturally salt and then what ever takes your fancy.
I went for some homemade Chinese five spice but you could easily, go salt and roasted ground fennel seeds or cumin & coriander or thyme and rosemary or… Wow I could go on forever!
I have purposely left the ‘serves’ option empty in the recipe field opposite as I have no idea what to say, typically a 600g piece of meat would happily be enough for 4 in my eyes as I like to serve lots of vegetables and sides with my food.
However there was only enough left over for half a pork sandwich by the time we finished, yes that’s how good it was, we munched the lot and could quite happily have gone back for more afterwards. So play with the portion size if you are more than 2 and cook a piece of meat the size that you think is appropriate, and as for cooking the meat to perfection use a meat thermometer and cook it until the thermometer reads 64°c in the centre of the joint.
I will sign off this Chinese pork belly recipe by promising that I will try and take some brighter pictures on my next post, I have certainly fallen into a ‘dark phase’ at the moment, I blame those pesky Sticky Chicken Drumsticks for starting it all.
The next couple of recipes are also planned to be vegetarian, I do feel like I have eaten a lot of meat based dishes recently and the crops on the land are looking grand so more ‘vegetable plot’ based treats heading your way 🙂
- 600 g Pork Belly: Skin on Boneless
- 2 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce.
- 2 Tbsp Light Brown Sugar.
- 1 Tbsp Chinese Five Spice: , See Recipe Below.
- 2 Tsp Ground Ginger.
- 1 Tsp Ground Garlic.
- 2 Tbsp Szechuan Pepper:, Roasted and ground
- 1 Tsp Salt.
- 1 Tsp Sesame Oil.
To season the Crackling
- 1/4 Tsp Salt.
- 1/8 Tsp Chinese Five Spice.
- Begin by thoroughly drying and then scoring the pork skin, use a sharp craft knife and score the pork along the direction that you will carve your meat about 1 cm apart, be careful not to cut into the meat, you want to score 2-3 mm deep
- Then score at a 45 degree angle from your first score marks and then repeat the process at 45 degrees in the opposite direction
- Heat the Szechuan pepper corns over a medium heat taking care not to burn and toast for 2-3 minutes until fragrant and then grind
- Add the soy sauce, Sugar, Chinese five spice, ginger, garlic, salt & sesame oil to the ground szechuan pepper and mix into a paste. The resulting paste should be almost spreadable
- Then massage this paste into the meat of the pork belly ensuring that you do not get any on the pork skin and set aside uncovered in a fridge over night
- Remove the pork from the fridge about an hour before cooking to allow to bring to room temperature, ensuring the skin is still dry and preheat an oven to 220°C & place a roasting try in the oven half filled with water and allow to come to temperature prior to placing the meat in the oven
- Just before cooking sprinkle some salt and Chinese five spice over the dried skin of the pork and place in the oven
- Cook at 220°C for 35 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 200°C and cook for a further hour, ensure you rest the meat for at least 15 minutes before carving
I make my own Chinese five spice as I find ground spices begin to loose their flavour very quickly, but feel free to use shop bought if you wish.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 396 Total Fat: 22g Saturated Fat: 8g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 12g Cholesterol: 132mg Sodium: 1358mg Carbohydrates: 7g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 5g Protein: 40g