26 June 2014

Crispy soy-roasted pork belly

Hands up who loves pork crackling? I mean, unless you’re vegetarian, what’s not to like about this salty, crispy, flavoursome piece of scrumminess?

I’ve been hanging out with my brother and his family on Boyne Island, just near Gladstone, Queensland, for the week. As a wee thank you for them having me I decided to treat us all to a meal of pork belly with steamed greens. 

I found this recipe by one of my favourite Australian chefs, Kylie Kwong. I’ve cooked a number of her recipes and have always been happy with the results.

However, the method used in this recipe guaranteed crispy crackling. It did not happen. Not happy, Jan! So I had to resort to my foolproof method for crackling, which is putting it under the grill at the end of cooking the meat. Always keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn, but if the skin is going to crackle at all, it will do it via this method.

The taste of the meat was sensational, though. Because it’s marinated overnight the flavour of the five spice went through the meat beautifully. And the slow cooking process leaves the meat succulent.

What’s your foolproof way of making crackling?

My other pork belly recipe is Chinese red roast pork belly.

Crispy soy-roasted pork belly

Crispy soy-roasted pork belly
from Simple Chinese Cooking Class by Kylie Kwong

1 × 800g piece of free-range boneless pork belly, skin on and scored (ask your butcher to do this)
500ml boiling water
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp salt flakes
For the marinade
2 tbsp brown rice miso paste
1 tbsp five-spice powder
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp light soy sauce

Place pork belly, skin-side up, on a wire rack over the sink. Pour over boiling water to scald the pork skin – this will help the skin crisp up into crunchy crackling.

Pat rind thoroughly dry with kitchen paper and place pork, uncovered, in refrigerator for two hours.

Remove pork from fridge and place, skin-side up, on a chopping board. Using the tip of a sharp knife, stab the pork skin repeatedly until the surface is covered with holes, being careful not to go all the way through. Turn the pork belly over and make cuts about 2cm apart and 1cm deep.

Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Rub marinade evenly over the flesh side of the pork (not the skin) and massage well into the cuts.

Place pork, skin-side up, on a wire rack (this same rack will be used for roasting the pork, so make sure it is ovenproof and fits inside a roasting tin) and place over a tray or large plate to catch any drips. Place in refrigerator and leave pork uncovered overnight, during which time the skin will dry out. The drier the skin, the better the crackling when roasted.

The next day, bring pork to room temperature and preheat oven to 150°C (300F).

Transfer pork and wire rack to a roasting tin. Rub skin well with the sesame oil, then scatter salt all over. Roast for 1½–2 hours or until tender (to test, pierce the meat with a skewer – you should meet no resistance). Increase the oven temperature to 220°C (430F) and continue roasting for 15 minutes. This final blast of heat will crisp up the skin, turning it into crackling.

Remove pork from oven and allow to rest, uncovered, in a warm place for 15 minutes. To serve, cut into 1cm slices. Serve as part of a banquet for four people.


  1. Hi Fi great recipe. I have only just recently discovered putting pork crackling under the grill - omg so happy - crispy crackling every time :)

    1. It is a winner of an idea. My family have been using it for a very long time.

  2. The other tip is to buy a whole separate piece of skin so there is TONS FOR ALL!!!

    1. Excellent suggestion and one I shall implement, Bree. :-)