A dish fit for a banquet and one that sure to be a hit with lechon-loving Filipinos of every age, this is a recipe that will allow you to enjoy crunchy pork skin and flavorful meat at any day in the comfort of your own home. First, the meat is blanched until it softens—this will keep the pork tender and make the crisping process for the skin go faster prior to broiling. Make sure that the meat rests properly to reabsorb any lost moisture and keep it from becoming a dry dish for your mealtime! The secret is the combination of five spice powder and rice wine which imparts a uniquely herby flavor while the pork broils. Five spice powder has warm and spicy-sweet flavors familiar in Chinese cooking—earthy star anise and cloves, cinnamon, Szechuan pepper and fennel—and it’s perfect for richer meats like pork belly.
- 2.5 kg pork belly
- 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine, optional
- rock salt to taste
- 6 – 7 teaspoons salt
- 4 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon five-spice powder
- 4 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
- To prepare the seasonings: Combine salt with sugar, pepper and five-spice powder well. Set aside.
- Use a knife to scrape away any impurities and hair. Rinse thoroughly.
- Blanch in boiling water for about 20 minutes, until around 70% done, and the skin is softened. You can use a large wok and filled 1/4 of it with water. Carefully place the pork belly in, and to make sure that the meat is fully submerged in water, just added a glass or two as needed and allowed it to boil.
- Drain well and wipe dry with paper towels.
- Place the belly on a large platter or tray, meat side up and skin side down.
- Use a knife to make a few small slits on the meat and up the sides but not on the skin, so the seasoning will be absorbed better.
- Evenly brush the meat with the rice wine (optional). Let it rest for around 20 – 30 minutes.
- Coat the meat BUT NOT THE SKIN with seasoning mixture, otherwise, the five-spice will darken the skin.
- Flip the meat so the skin is now facing upwards.
- Using thick kitchen towels, evenly pat the skin dry. This is important so the skin can properly crisp up.
- Using a small knife with a sharp tip OR fondue forks, gently poke the skin to make little holes all over the skin. Don’t exert too much force that the holes have gone through deep into the fat. But still, you can go crazy poking holes all over. During this time, preheat the oven to 200 C/395 F if you intend to cook it immediately.
- Pat dry the skin a second time, making sure that there is no visible moisture left behind. Alternatively, you can also wrap the meat, but not the skin, with foil and leave it to dry inside the refrigerator overnight.
- When ready to cook, place the belly in a large roasting rack lined with aluminum foil to catch the drippings. Pour around ¼ cup water onto the foil so when the drippings will fall, it will not burn.
- Evenly season the rind with rock salt.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about one hour to one hour and ten minutes.
- Turn the heat dial to ‘broil’ and roast for another 20 minutes, or until the rind has sufficiently and evenly crackled.
- At this point you may notice that some parts of the skin appear to have charred too much. DO NOT PANIC. You can easily remove the charred bits by scraping it with a knife.
- When done, remove from oven, chop it into your desired serving sizes – cubes or strips and serve warm with rice, with soy sauce and vinegar on the side. Enjoy!
Recipe Source here
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