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Authentic Vietnamese recipes from the Motherland

Crispy Roasted Pork Belly

Every time I visit Chinatown in Oakland, I love to stop by the little food shops that hang their meats in the windows. I am usually salivating from the aroma and admiring the crispiness of the roasted pork. How do they get so crispy and yet remain so juicy on the inside? I just had to replicate this at home. Surprisingly, it wasn't too hard.

Crispy Roasted Pork Belly

Crispy Roasted Pork Belly

Crispy Roasted Pork Belly

Ingredients 

  • 3 lbs pork belly with skin
  • 2 teaspoons Five-Spice Powder
  • 4 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar

Instructions

  • Rinse the pork belly thoroughly with water and pat dry with paper towels.
  • With the skin side down (see picture below), score the pork belly 1/2 inch to 1 inch deep.
  • Mix the Five-Spice powder, sugar, 2 teaspoons salt (reserve the remaining 2), and pepper in a small bowl.
  • Apply the marinade all over the pork belly, making sure to also apply in the scored areas.
  • Flip the pork over so skin side is now facing up. Use a paper towel to dry the skin.
  • With a sharp pointed knife, puncture small holes on top of the skin. The more holes, the better.
  • Combine the remaining 2 teaspoons of salt with the vinegar. Brush this mixture onto the skin until mixture is completely gone.
  • Wrap the pork with skin side up in Saran wrap and put it in the fridge to marinate for one day.
  • Next day, preheat oven to 400 F. 
  • Place the pork skin side down on a roasting rack and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Flip pork over with skin side up and bake for additional 30 minutes.
  • The skin should start puffing and crisping up. If the skin doesn't crisp up in the last 10 minutes, turn the oven to a high broil.
  • To cut up the pork, place the pork skin side down. Once you get to the skin layer, you will need to pound on the knife to get a clean cut through the skin. 
Scored Pork Belly 

Scored Pork Belly