• 2 ½ lb. Pork belly (skin on)
• 1 1/2 T. Chinese cooking wine
• 1 t. Chinese five spice powder
• 1 t. White pepper
• 1 t. Salt
• 1 T. white vinegar (helps conduct heat evenly)
• 7 oz. Rock salt
Proper Chinese Method: Puffy Crispy Crackling
1. Use an ice pick, sharp metal skewer or another tool to prick tons and tons of holes in the skin. Be very careful not to pierce into the fat or flesh.
2. Turn the pork belly upside down. Rub the flesh (not skin) with Chinese cooking wine, dribbling it on gradually.
3. Sprinkle over five spice powder, salt and pepper. Rub all over flesh (not on skin).
4. Turn right side up and place in a container. Dab skin dry with paper towels. Refrigerate uncovered for 12 hours (max 24 hours).
5. Preheat oven to 180C/350F (all oven types).
6. Remove pork from fridge. Place onto a large sheet of foil. Fold up sides of foil around the pork to enclose it snugly (see photos in post or video) with a 1.5cm / 2/5″ rim above the pork skin (to hold salt in).
7. Transfer pork to baking tray. Dab skin with paper towels.
8. Brush skin with vinegar.
9. Spread rock salt on the skin (the foil edges will stop it from falling down the sides).
10. Roast for 60 minutes.
11. Remove pork from oven and transfer onto work surface.
12. Switch to grill/broiler on medium high. Move shelf so it is at least 25cm/10″ from the heat source.
13. Fold down foil and scrape all the salt off the top and sides. Return pork only (i.e. discard foil) to baking tray.
14. Place under grill/broiler for 20 – 25 minutes, rotating tray once, until skin is golden, crispy and puffed.
Easy Method: Super Crispy but Not Puffy Crackling
1. For this method, 1 cup table salt (enough to cover skin about 3 – 5 mm / 1/8 – 1/5″ thick) can be used.
2. Skip the skin pricking but follow same steps up to scraping off the salt.
3. Instead of flicking to grill/broiler, turn the oven up to 240C/465F.
4. Place pork on a rack and return to baking tray.
5. Roast for a further 30 minutes or until crackling is golden and crispy.
Enjoy, Dean Stefanic