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Recipe: Homemade Roasted Pork Belly

As all of us are at home all of the time, either getting “cabin fever’ pacing up and down, the telly no longer charms, gardening is out of the question as you live in a flat and reading gets tedious, how about getting into the kitchen and whip up some delectables (we hope they will be!!) which are readily available and which most of my dear readers can purchase, even under the current MCO.

Preparing food and cooking is known to be a calming activity, engaging the mind as well as the body. And as cooking for the family is all that is asked for during this stressful period, I will be posting recipes here on a daily basis for you to experiment with during the days ahead.

I cajoled my dear friend Margarita Lee (Ipohite) who currently lives in Sydney and who used to contribute recipes in these pages in the early days of Ipoh Echo, to ferret in her voluminous log of recipes and share some with us. Here is one of her easy recipes:

Homemade Roasted Pork Belly

by Margarita Lee

Margarita Lee

Ingredients A:

  • 500g Pork belly
  • 2 tsp Five spice powder 
  • 2 tsp Salt 
  • 2 tsp Garlic powder 
  • 1 tsp White pepper 
  • 2 pcs Red fermented beancurd 
  • 2-3 tbsp Shao Hsing cooking wine

Ingredients B:

  • 1 tbsp White vinegar
  • 200g Coarse sea salt
Photo by Margarita Lee

Oven Method:

  1. Combine the condiments of Ingredients A in a bowl, set aside.
  2. Boil a pot of water, put in the pork belly (skin down), and blanch for about 15 minutes. 
  3. Rinse pork belly in running cold water, then pat dry with paper towels. 
  4. Using a knife, make a few cuts/slits on the meat side of the pork belly, about 2 inches apart, making sure not to cut too deep. 
  5. Prick holes on the skin with a sharp tool or a fork. Rub white vinegar onto the skin.
  6. Rub Shao Hsing cooking wine onto the meat only and in between the slits, then rub in the combined ingredients.
  7. Place the pork belly in a container with the skin side up and uncovered. Keep in the fridge overnight. 
  8. Remove pork belly from fridge and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before roasting. 
  9. Preheat oven to 180℃. 
  10. Place a large piece of aluminum foil onto a baking tray and fold up the sides around the pork. 
  11. Layer salt evenly on the top of the pork belly.
  12. Place in the oven and roast for 1 hour.
  13. Remove pork belly from oven, discard foil and scrape all the salt off the top and sides.
  14. Brush a few layers of white vinegar onto the pork belly skin.
  15. Place under grill/broiler at 200℃ for 15- 20 minutes, rotating the tray once until the skin is golden, crispy and puffed.
  16. Remove from oven and rest for 10 minutes. Slice and serve.
Photo by Margarita Lee

Airfryer Method:

  1. Preheat the AF to 180℃ for 5 minutes.
  2. Place the pork belly on the grill pan, bake at 180℃ for 30 minutes until a salt crust forms and the salt has hardened. 
  3. Remove the pork belly from the AF, discard the salt crust. 
  4. Brush some vinegar over the pork skin.
  5. Increase the temperature to 200℃, then place the pork belly back in and air fry for another 20 minutes.
  6. Slice and serve.
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See Foon

SeeFoon Chan-Koppen has been writing a food column called Musings on Food in the Ipoh Echo since 2009. It is widely read both in print as well as online which receives more than 1 million hits a month. Her forte is in communications, having honed her skills after graduating from the University of Singapore where she worked for the Straits Times Group and was a food critic for the New Nation. Her knowledge of food and cooking come from more than 30 years in the hotel industry based in Singapore, Tokyo, Hong Kong and subsequently Kuala Lumpur. During this time, she has travelled all over the world and eaten at the best and worst restaurants. She is totally intimate with the subtleties and nuances of most cuisines of the world having been involved in opening over 50 hotels throughout the Asia/Pacific region and China where she helped to conceptualize Food and Beverage themes and critiqued on food quality. SeeFoon calls herself a global citizen and now chooses the serenity and friendliness of Ipoh to the bright lights of the many cities she has lived in. She also loves the food in Ipoh and is passionate about telling the world about it.

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