Chinese Roast Pork
Recipe Type: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep Time: 
Cook Time: 
Total Time: 
Serves: 4
If you love pork, you will love the smell and taste of the Chinese Roast Pork. Simple to make but the flavours will linger in your mouth forever. For best result, prepare the pork a day before.
  • 500g uncut pork belly, if possible ask the butcher to make slits on the skin
  • 2 tbsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp five-spice powder
  • dash of white pepper powder
  • sugar, to dip
  • mustard, to dip
A day before
  1. Wash the pork belly slab and pat dry. Then use tweezers to remove stray hairs on the skin. The belly skin needs to be slit to achieve that crackling so if there are some parts that are not slit, use a kitchen knife to make diagonal slits onto the skin as much as you can. Don't cut into the meat.
  2. Combine ½ tbsp sea salt with 2 tbsp five-spice powder and a dash of white pepper powder. Turn the pork belly around and begin to rub the marinade all over the meat – ensure that it doesn’t get to the skin. If it does, rub it off.
  3. Turn the pork belly around so the skin is facing up now. Rub the remaining 1½ tbsp sea salt onto the skin and slits.
  4. Transfer the pork belly to a plate and refrigerate with skin facing upwards, uncovered overnight.
The next day
  1. Remove pork belly from the fridge and pat the skin lightly to remove water remnants. In a roasting tray, place a heat-proof ramekin in the centre and fill the tray with some water. Place the pork belly (skin side up) on a roasting rack and place on top of the ramekin. Do not wet the skin and meat.
  2. Roast the pork in a pre-heated oven of 220C for 30 minutes. Place the rack higher (at the 3rd level) but not too close until it gets burned.
  3. At this time, you can see that the skin starts blistering and the crackle starts.
  4. Remove after first 30 minutes. With a bamboo skewer, poke onto the area where the skin has not blistered yet. Then return the pork to the oven and roast at 180C for another 70-90 minutes or until cooked through. At every 30 minutes interval, ensure the pork is crackling evenly and if it’s not, repeat with the skewer. Also check that water level is good.
  5. After 70-90 minutes, remove the pork from oven to rest on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
  6. If the skin has been charred, scrap them away with a butter knife before cutting. Then place the roasted pork with skin side down and slice strip by strip before cutting into smaller pieces.
  7. Serve with sugar and mustard.
1. Refrigerate the pork overnight helps to dry out the skin so it's able to crackle and lets the marinade seep well into the meat.
2. Roasting with water in the oven keeps the meat moist and not dry out.
3. After roasting, it is important to rest the meat before slicing to allow the juices to settle and keeps the meat moist and tender.
Recipe by Honest Cooking at