Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Chinese Crispy Roast Pork (Siu Yok)...

My favourite of all Chinese deli roasted meats-- Siu Yok Crispy Roast Pork! The Cantonese especially love roast meats called Siu Lap. Originating from the Guangdong province in Southern China, siu lap travelled with the immigrants beyond Hong Kong and is popularly enjoyed nowadays the world over. Go to a Chinatown and you'll find several deli siu lap shops hanging their proud succulent wares in their windows for all to admire and salivate. Chinese new year is around the corner and Chinese-style deli have always graced our family reunion dinner table. I love working with large hunks of meat, and I've roasted a-many in western styles, and I thought-- why not try my hands on Chinese siu yok! Images of huge pigs roasting over pit fires conjure in my mind deterring me from ever attempting it, but believe it or not the results with skin-on pork belly-- crispy crackling-skin and divine roasted meat came straight out of my oven-- and just my small convection oven too :). If you care to try, you may no longer need to trek to Chinatown for your siu yok fix!

$16 for 5 lbs. pork belly including ribs. vs. average $7.99/lb. at the Chinese deli shop.
You do the math :)

My dad learning to roast whole pig back in Hong Kong as a young chef.

Crispy Roast Pork (Siu Yok)

5 lbs. skin-on pork belly with ribs (I like the ribs attached to act as a rack and for more flavour-- I use the bones to make soup later). Or buy a 3 lbs. slab of pork belly sans ribs.
1 tsp. sea salt, for sprinkling
oil for brushing

2 Tbsp. soy sauce
3/4 tsp. Chinese five spice powder
1/4 tsp. ground white pepper
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. sugar

I go to the butchers at my local Asian supermarket.
Choose a nice skin-on slab with some fat and ample meat. 

Mix all the ingredients for the marinade in a small bowl. Set aside. Scrape the pork's skin surface with a sharp knife to remove the impurities. 

Poke the skin evenly and thoroughly using the pointed tip of a metal skewer (I used my oyster knife :)) You will need something sharp to get through the thick dense skin. This will produce a beehive-like crispy crackling. After, wipe off the skin surface with paper towels.

Turn the meat upside down. Slit the meat part of the pork belly, about 1-inch apart (or follow the ribs bones) and 3/4-inch deep. Using a small brush, brush the marinade on the pork and into the slits careful not getting the skin wet; if so pat dry with paper towels. Flip around and sprinkle the salt evenly on the skin. Marinate the pork for 2-3 hours at room temperature, exposing the skin to allow air-drying.

The salt will make the pork skin sweat. Pat dry with paper towels before roasting.

After marinating, take two aluminium foils and wrap the pork belly exposing only the pork skin. Heat the oven to 400F and roast for 1-1/2 hours. NOTE: If using 3 lb. pork belly sans ribs roast for 1 hour. Always cook pork until temperature in centre reaches 160F. 

Take it out and brush the skin surface with a little oil. Sprinkle a little more salt on the skin and turn the oven setting to broil. Put the pork belly back into the oven and broil the skin about 3-5 minutes, watching after two minutes to make sure it doesn't get burnt.

I use my convection oven-- it fits just perfectly!

Oh my God-- Crackling!!!

I did it!!!! Wearing a proud smile and appetizing eyes!! ᕦʕ ⊙ ◡ ⊙ ʔᕤ

Transfer the pork belly out of the oven, and let cool for about ten minutes to let the juices redistribute. Remove the ribs (roast further to gnaw off the meat or save for soup on another day). Cut the pork belly into pieces and serve right away.

Crispy roast pork tastes divine served dipped into hoisin or plum sauces.

My biggest Chinese deli meat roasting challenge is coming yet-- whole roasted duck!! Can't wait!


  1. I am going to try this recipe this weekend ....it looks so tasty.

    1. Awesome!! Once you see and taste how easily delicious it is to make at home, you'll want to make it again-- so-O much more economic that way too! Enjoy!

  2. what is the dipping sauce I see there?

    1. There are two that best serves with Siu Yuk roasted pork-- hoisin and plum sauces. The plum one I have here has chili in there-- like a sweet chili dip.