Crispy Roast Pork (Siew Yoke)
With a luscious interior and perfectly crisp crackling, this is everything roast meat should be.
Enlarge Image Credit: Todd Coleman
Ingredients1 4-lb. slab pork belly (1 ¾" thick)
1 ½ tbsp. baking soda
5 tbsp. Chinese rice wine or sake
3 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. mashed red fermented bean curd
1 tbsp. fine sea salt
1 ¼ tsp. five-spice powder
Instructions1. Place pork on a work surface, skin side up. Using a pork-skin pricking tool, an ice pick, or a carving fork, prick skin all over, making hundreds of small holes that just puncture the surface; set pork aside.
2. Dissolve baking soda in 5 cups boiling water. Transfer water to a measuring cup with a spout. Grasp one corner of the pork belly with tongs. Holding pork belly over a bowl or the sink, slowly pour the baking soda mixture in a thin stream over pork skin to scald it.
3. Transfer pork to a work surface, skin side down. Using a knife, score the meat, making 1"-deep parallel slits spaced 1 ½" apart.
4. Combine 3 tbsp. rice wine, sugar, bean curd, salt, and five-spice powder in a small bowl and pour marinade over the meat.
5. Rub marinade all over the meat, pushing it into the slits. Transfer pork skin side up to a baking dish. Wipe any moisture from skin with a paper towel. Refrigerate pork belly uncovered overnight to let marinate as the skin air-dries.
6. Heat oven to 375°. Thread 3 metal skewers horizontally through the meat layer of the pork belly (to prevent the pork from curling as it cooks). Transfer pork skin side up to a rack set over a foil-lined roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet. Wipe skin again with a paper towel.
7. Pour remaining rice wine over skin and brush to distribute. Pour hot water into pan to a depth of ¼". Cook pork on center oven rack until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part reads 160°, about 1 hour. Raise heat to broil and cook until skin is blistered and browned, 5–10 minutes. Before serving, let pork rest 15 minutes. To serve, cut into 1" slices.