Crispy-skinned pork belly

The combination of crunchy, crispy crackling and tender meat in an Asian-inspired marinade is always a crowd favourite. Although keep in mind that this recipe does need to be started the night before.

Serves 6


1kg pork belly

Sea salt

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1 tbsp five-spice powder

2 tbsp peanut oil


2 star anise

1 small red chilli, finely chopped

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1/2 – 1 cup shoaling rice wine

3 tbsp soy sauce

3 tbsp hoisin sauce

1 cinnamon stick

2 spring onions, roughly chopped

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2 garlic cloves, chopped

2 tbsp five-spice powder

To serve:

Steamed jasmine rice

Wilted chinese greens

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Score the skin of the pork belly with a very sharp knife, wipe dry and rub with salt. Rub the five-spice into the pork belly (not the skin).

For the marinade, combine all the ingredients in a saucepan, bring to boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Leave to cool, pour into a large shallow dish and sit the pork in it – the marinade must NOT cover the skin. You want to leave the skin completely exposed and dry. Marinate overnight in the fridge. The pork is best left in the fridge uncovered as it will help dry out the skin which makes crisper crackling.

Preheat the oven to 230 degrees celsius.

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Remove the pork from the marinade and wipe dry. Lightly rub the peanut oil over the skin. Rub some salt into the skin and place the pork in a roasting tin. Pour the marinade into the tin. The pork should sit in the marinade but it should not cover the skin. If there is too much liquid in the pan, sit the pork on a shallow wire rack so that the skin is not covered. Roast for 30-45 minutes until the skin is blistered and crisp (this can take longer). Reduce the temperature to 170 degrees celsius and cook for another 1-1.5 hours until the meat is very tender. Add water to the tin if the liquid dries out.

Cut the pork belly into narrow slices, serve with the juices in the tin, steam the rice and wilted greens.


Taken from Kumar’s Family Cookbook

Available for $25.50 from Booktopia


Is this kind of meal a favourite of yours? Do you often prepare meals in advance?