Chinese Roast Pork ( Seo Bak)
This is a very easy recipe. I have cooked it many times and it never fails to deliver crisp crunchy crackling.
Last week I went to the local butcher and bought a whole belly pork, ie, spare-ribs included. I asked the butcher to separate the ribs and the meat. I used the ribs to make ‘Bak Kut Teh’. Actually, I do not have the proper ingredients for the spices and herbs for Bak Kut Teh and I actually have a recipe that gives just the same flavour and smell as the real McCoy. But that is another story.
Coming back to the belly pork, I had the butcher score the skin in 1 cm width. This will make it easy to cut the pork once it is cooked. The total belly weighs about 2.7kg. The meat part comes up to 1.6 kg.
The end result was a crispy crunchy roast pork and I expected to have some left-overs, and hope to make some other dishes out of it. But we finished all the next day. So I need to cook a bigger rack the next time.
Here is the recipe:
Serves: 6-8 with accompaniments
Time: 10 mins to prepare, 2 hours to roast and extra time to marinate.
1.3-1.6kg Belly pork, the skin scored 1cm all over
2-3 Tbsp Salt for salting the skin
1 Tbsp Salt
1 Tsp Szechuan pepper powder
1 Tsp Star anise powder
1 Roasting tin with roasting rack for the pork
Season the underside of the pork ( the meat part )with the rub. Turn it over and rub the skin side with salt making sure you rub it into the scored skin.
Leave it on the rack placed over the roasting tin in a cool place for at least 4 hours or better still, overnight in the fridge, uncovered. This will help the skin to dry better. Dap off any moisture on the skin with paper towel.
When you want to roast it, heat up the oven to the highest mark.
Add some boiled water to the roasting tin. Put the whole thing in the oven for about 20 minutes and turn down the oven to gas Mark 4 for about 1 ½ hours.
Check the skin. If it is not crispy enough, turn the oven up to Mark 7 for another 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven, and leave it for a few minutes. Check that the skin is crispy.
If you want the skin to be really crispy, place the belly skin side up under a medium grill and grill for about 5 minutes or more to get it to the crispiness that you want. Keep a good watch over it so as not to burn the crackling.
Remove from grill and let it stand for about 20 minutes.
Cut into serving size. It is easier to cut with a cleaver.
Serve with Hoisin sauce and Plum sauce. And of course chilli sauce.
Add rice and vegetables, too.