Roast pork served with stir-fry veg
A Nyonya in UK, Dinner, Lunch, Recipes

How To Make Roast Pork (Crispy Pork Belly Chinese Style)

How to make roast pork, crispy roast pork belly Chinese Style?

Good question. Roast pork belly, or sio bak (Hokkien)or siu yok  (Cantonese) is easy to make. But the process takes over a day or 2 depending on how long you want to treat the rind.

In my  pervious recipe,  use salt to draw the moisture from the skin and I roast it in the oven with a tray of water beneath the meat. This time, there is not salt crust, no poking (the skin, please, don’t let your imagination take over the better of you), and there is no smoky oven!!

I also have 2 top tips to make the pork belly rind crunchy, crispy and light; and how to make the top cooks and bubbles evenly.  I use soda bicarbonate for the rind. The pork skin is incredibly crispy and light with bubbles all over. The underside meat is moist. Although I usually cook a fairly big piece, today’s piece is gigantic. Only then, I can be sure of having spare for the next day or freeze it for a quick meal in the next few weeks.

Note: If you are trying it for the first time. please follow the recipe by using the correct weight, i.e., 1.5 to 1.8kg

Enjoy your roast!

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Penang Lassie

How To Make Roast Pork (Crispy Pork Belly Chinese Style)

I have been making roast pork for many years now as this is the only way that can get to enjoy it. In Leicestershire, where I leave, I have not come across decent roast pork so I got to make it myself.My first successful recipe was using salt to make the rind crunchy and it worked. I roast the meat over a pan of water to make the meat moist. That does the trick but I get a very smoky and steamy oven.I try using other ingredients to make the rind crunchy and it works. This time, I am using a different ingredient and the result is really, really nice. I make a big piece this time and I have, at last, some left-overs for another day
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time2 hours 5 minutes
marinade and drying time1 day
Total Time1 day 2 hours 35 minutes
Course: celebration, Dinner, lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese, Malaysian, South-east Asian, Thai
Keyword: 5 spice powder, Baking Soda
Servings: 8 servings
Cost: £13.00


  • 1 Roasting tin with roasting rack for the pork
  • 1 Sharp knife
  • 1 Ruler or small baking sheet
  • 1 brush
  • Alumminium foil
  • small bowls
  • 1 Pestle and mortar


  • 1.5-1.8 kg Belly pork

Rind seasoning

  • 1/2 tbsp Salt for salting the skin
  • 1/2 tbsp Bicarbonate of soda
  • 3 tbsp White vinegar

Rub for the meat

  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1-2 tsp Szechuan pepper corns
  • 1 tsp Star anise powder

Root vegetables (optional)

  • some potatoes, carrots or sweet potatos


  • Make slits on the meat side of the pork for easy seasoning
  • Mix the salt, bicarbonate of soda together. Set aside.
  • Mix the rub ingredients together.
  • Season the underside of the pork with the rub.
  • Turn over the pork so the skin side is up.
  • Remove any traces of the spice.
  • Score the skin 2cm apart to enable easy cutting after roasting.
  • Wrap the underside of the pork (lean part) with foil.
  • Use root vegetables to make the pork surface even if required
  • Rub the skin side with salt and Bicarbonate mixture making sure you rub it into the scored skin.
  • Put in the fridge to dry, uncovered, over night or 48 hours if possible.
  • Dap off any moisture from the skin and reapply the salt mixture another 2 to 3 times, if required

To Roast

  • Take it out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before roasting.
  • When you want to roast it, heat up the oven the highest mark. (220C)
  • Dap off any moisture on the skin with paper towel.
  • Remove all the salt mixture
  • Apply white vinegar over the skin.
  • Let it work for 5 minutes. Dap it off.
  • Put the whole thing in the oven for about 20 minutes and turn down the oven to 180C for about 1hr 15mins. (Do 1 hr first, as oven temperature varies )
  • Check the skin. If it is not crispy enough, turn the oven up to Mark or 220C for another 20 minutes. ( keep a watch, you may not neeed 20 minutes)
  • 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 it into serving size.
  • Serve with hoisin sauce, plum sauce and chilli sauce.
  • Garnish with coriander and spring onions, and cucumber
  • Add rice and vegetables, too!
  • Enjoy!!!



Left-overs can be stored in the fridge and heat up in the oven. 
It can be frozen, too.
Making this is simple but takes a long time as it has to marinade, I tend to make more and save it for a few meals.
Let me know how yours goes.

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  1. […] no, I have a few recipes that uses both baking powder and baking soda to make my food tastes […]

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