Deep inside, everyone has to have a soft spot for some crackling off a piece of roast pork. Regardless of the copious amounts of fat and calories in each crunch, it justs tastes too good to refuse.
So inspired by the glorious weather and a craving for some crispy skin pork, Linda and I made it our mission to re-create one of our restaurant favourites. With help from Linda’s mum’s secret marinade recipe and accounts of different peoples trials and tribulations on how to achieve the ideal crackling effect of the pork skin, we were motivated to conjour up our own creation.
- 1 kg Pork belly
- Bowl of boiling water (to assist in the crackling process)
- Olive oil
- Sea salt or table salt
- 2 cloves garlic , chrushed
- 3 tbspn sugar
- 2 tbspn soy sauce
- 2 tbspn char siu sauce
- 1 teaspon 5 spice powder
- Pepper to taste
- With a knife, score the skin of the pork so that it is evenly distributed
- Put the pork in a strainer and poor the boiling water carefully onto the skin of the pork
- Pat the pork dry, especially the skin and let it cool while you make the marinade below
- Add all the marinade ingredients into a mortar and pestle and grind carefully until it turns into a paste like substance. If you dont have a mortar and pestle, feel free to use anything which is suitable for mixing all the ingredients into a marinade.
- Gently rub the marinade onto the pork (note : don’t marinate the skin of the pork , only the meat, as this will carimalise under the grill) and ensure the skin of the pork stays upright
- Allow to dry for at least 3 hours in room temperature. I actually let mine dry outside in the sun covered so no flies could get in. The more it dries, the more crispier the skin can get.
- Once done, put it in a pre-heated oven (180 degrees) for 30 – 45 minutes depending on the size of your pork belly.
- Once the pork is golden brown on the outside, take it out of the oven.
- Brush the skin on top of the pork sparingly with olive oil and then sprinkle a small amount of sea salt on top
- Put the pork under the grill / broiler and grill it until you can hear crackling sounds. Alternatively, grill until it crackles to your liking.
Prior to removing the pork belly from the grill, we were a little apprehensive about the final result. As this is the first time we have ever done anything like this, we wanted it to work. With each second that we peered into the grill, we grew more and more adamant that this is working our way. The sound of the pork skin crackling was like music to my ears. Never had I imagined that you can actually hear the cooking process.
After approximately 5 minutes under the grill, the pork was removed and left to rest.
Upon slicing up the piece of pork, juice was oozing from the pieces, highlighting the fact that the cooking process has helped retain the moisture, hence preventing it from drying out. The slightly sweet char siu flavoured meat combined with a thin buttery fatty layer contradicting the slightly salty crispy skin sends the senses into a gastronomical adventure.
Definitely a dish that we will be re-visiting, next time we’ll experiment with different marinades.