Chinese Crispy Pork Belly: A Chinese BBQ Delight

If you’re a fan of Chinese BBQ, then you know that nothing beats the crispy, juicy goodness of Chinese Crispy Pork Belly. It’s the combination of the best crackling in the world with perfectly seasoned flesh that sets it apart. And the best part is, it’s easy to make at home!

Close up of sliced Chinese Crispy Pork Belly with super crispy perfect crackling

The Undisputed King of Crispy Delights

In the realm of Chinese cuisine, the Chinese are the undisputed kings of two things: crispy duck and crispy pork belly. While a proper Peking Duck recipe might be too challenging for the average home kitchen, pork belly is entirely doable. With its juicy, flavorful meat and the best crackling in the world, Chinese Crispy Pork Belly is a sought-after delicacy that keeps people lining up outside the best Chinese BBQ meat shops.

The Secret to Perfect Crackling

What sets Chinese pork belly crackling apart is the signature puffy bubbles that cover its surface. Achieving this unique texture requires two secrets that the Chinese have discovered. First, pricking lots of holes in the skin creates those beautiful bubbly crackling. The Chinese have a special tool for this, but you can use an ice pick or metal skewers. If you find it too difficult, you can skip this step and try the Easy Non-Pricking Method.

Second, roasting the pork belly covered in rock salt ensures that the crackling becomes crispy. The salt draws moisture to the surface, guaranteeing that the crackling will have the perfect texture. Rock salt is ideal for this because it’s easy to remove and won’t penetrate into the holes, making the pork overly salty.

Further reading:  Instant Pot BBQ Ribs

How to make Chinese Crispy Pork Belly, the best crackling in the world

Pork Belly Marinade for Ultimate Flavor

To infuse the pork belly with classic Chinese flavors, it’s marinated in a mixture of Chinese cooking wine (or dry sherry or Mirin), five spice powder, salt, and white pepper. While some Chinese pork belly recipes skip the marinating step, marinating the meat enriches its flavor and adds that distinct Chinese touch.

The Alternative: Easy Non-Pricking Method

If pricking the skin seems like too much work or you don’t have the right tools, there’s an alternative method to achieve crispy pork belly heaven. This virtually foolproof method skips the pricking step but still results in outrageously crispy crackling. However, it won’t have the signature puffy bubbles that Chinese Crispy Pork Belly is known for. The crackling will snap cleanly rather than partially crumbling like the authentic version.

Chinese Crispy Pork belly slices on a plate, ready to be eaten

Serving Suggestions

Traditionally, Chinese Crispy Pork Belly is served by cutting it into slices and then into smaller pieces. Considering its richness, it’s best to serve it with mustard, either yellow mustard or Hot English Mustard for an added kick. Another option is to serve it with white sugar, allowing the pork to be dipped into the sugar for a unique flavor combination. As for sides, fresh vegetables like cucumber and radish complement the richness of the pork belly and add a pop of color to the plate.

Plate of Chinese Crispy Pork Belly with the best crackling in the world. Pork belly slices on a plate, ready to be served

In Summary

To summarize, Chinese Crispy Pork Belly is a culinary delight with its golden puffy crackling and juicy, seasoned flesh. Achieving puffy crackling requires pricking the skin with many little holes, while covering the meat in rock salt ensures crispy perfection. If pricking seems too daunting, the Alternative Easy Non-Pricking Method offers an equally delightful crackling without the bubbles. No matter the method, you’re in for a treat!

Further reading:  The Ultimate Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder Recipe

PS: Don’t forget to watch the video to hear just how crispy that crackling can be!

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