I cannot recall the number of times I have wondered how to make perfect pork crackling whenever I roast pork belly. I always admired how the Chinese restaurants make their roast pork (siu yuk) because their pork crackling are always melt in the mouth and not tough enough to break my teeth whenever I bite on it. The crispiness of meat’s skin from these restaurants are always to die for. Therefore, my ultimate dream was to my crackling like the ones at the Chinese restaurants.
Though I have made many attempts to replicate the roast pork crackling like the ones in the Chinese restaurants, all my efforts have failed to produce the same, perfect pork crackling as compared to the ones from the Chinese restaurants.
So for my Chinese New Year celebration this year, I decided to attempt making Chinese roast pork (siu yuk) again. But this time, I am happy to say that I finally managed to make perfect pork crackling, just like the ones from the Chinese restaurants.
My secret is a special gadget I bought to poke the pork skin. Below is the gadget I used:
The benefit of this gadget is that it produces more pokes with one single attempt. Also, in the past, I used to poke my pork skin with either a toothpick or a satay stick. If you have tried poking a dried pork skin with these things before, I am sure you can relate to the fact that it is very difficult to even make one poke in the skin – let alone hundreds of pokes. So with the gadget above, I was able to easily poke my pork skin to perfection. The more pokes you have on your pork skin, the better the pork crackling will be! So if you don’t have this gadget, I would highly recommend you to buy it.
If you are curious to know how I make perfect pork crackling for my Chinese roast pork, below are my instructions:-
How to Make Perfect Pork Crackling for Chinese Roast Pork
Make sure your pork belly is fully thawed. Make some slits on the meat side of the pork belly. Do not cut the fat or skin.
Marinade only the meat of the pork belly. Make sure not to marinade the skin. If any marinade or water gets onto the skin, you can wipe it with kitchen towel.
Leave the meat in the refrigerator, skin side up preferably overnight. If you are unable to wait so long, marinade for at least one hour. The longer you marinade the meat, the nicer it will taste.
After taking the meat out of the refrigerator, you may notice that the skin is still a bit damp. At this stage, you can blow dry the skin with a hair dryer for about 10 minutes. This would give you better results with your crackling. You can skip this step if you like but the skin would not be so crispy.
Poke the skin of the pork. The more pokes you make on the skin, the better. I used my special gadget to do this.
Rub the skin with table salt and some cooking oil.
Fry the skin side of the pork in a frying pan for about 10 minutes. Beware as the oil from the pan may splatter while cooking.
Put a generous helping of rock salt onto the pork belly skin. This helps to produce even better pork crackling.
Arrange the pork belly, skin side up on a rack. Place the rack above a tray filled with some water. This step ensures that the pork belly meat does not dry out when it is placed in the oven.
Bake the pork belly in a preheated oven at 250 C for about 45 minutes or until the pork is cooked and the skin is crispy. The cooking time depends on your oven and the weight of your meat.
Remove the salt from the skin once the pork is cooked.
Rest the meat for about 10 minutes. Cover the meat with foil to ensure that the meat does not get cold.
Chop the meat into bite sized pieces and enjoy with steamed rice and cucumber.
That’s it. I hope you’ve enjoyed learning how to make perfect pork crackling through my post. If you have any other suggestions, feel free to share it here.