Chinese Roast Pork Belly: A Mouthwatering Delight

Chinese Roast Pork Belly

If you’re a fan of crispy, savory pork belly, then Chinese Roast Pork Belly is a dish that you must try. This recipe delivers the perfect combination of tender, juicy meat and irresistibly crunchy crackling skin. With a simple Chinese five-spice dry rub, this dish is bursting with flavor. Whether enjoyed as a main course or repurposed for other meals, Chinese Roast Pork Belly is a crowd-pleaser.

What is Chinese Roast Pork Belly?

Crispy Chinese-style pork belly, also known as ‘Siew Yoke’ or ‘Siu Yook,’ is a delectable slab of pork belly with a crackling, golden-brown skin. Seasoned with Chinese five-spice powder, salt, and sometimes brown sugar, this dish is a staple in Chinese cuisine. The top layer of the skin crackles like no other and is often served at Chinese restaurants and enjoyed during Chinese New Year celebrations for its symbolic representation of wealth, good fortune, and strength. Chinese roasted pork belly is often served alongside other barbecued meat dishes such as char siu pork, roasted duck, and deep-fried chicken.

Chinese Roast Pork Belly

An Easy and Foolproof Recipe

With numerous recipes available for Chinese Roast Pork Belly, this particular method stands out for its simplicity and ease. You won’t need a salt crust or coarse salt for this version, making the preparation even more straightforward. The result is an extra puffy and crispy skin that is hard to resist. Unlike other recipes, there is no need to rest the pork belly in the fridge overnight to dry out the skin. With this recipe, you’ll achieve perfect crackling without the extra effort.

Minimal Ingredients, Maximum Flavor

What makes this homemade Chinese Roast Pork Belly recipe truly exceptional is its minimal ingredient list. With just seven simple components, you can create the best Chinese pork belly recipe you’ve ever tasted.

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Chinese Roast Pork Belly


  • Room temperature boneless pork belly strips with a thick top skin
  • White vinegar or rice wine vinegar
  • Salt (sea salt or table salt)
  • Neutral oil (such as avocado oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, peanut oil, vegetable oil, or canola oil)
  • Chinese five spice
  • Garlic powder
  • Hoisin sauce (optional)
  • Rice vinegar or white vinegar (optional)

Chinese Roast Pork Belly


  • 2 large pieces of aluminum foil
  • Clean paper towels
  • Sharp knife with a pointy tip or a clean utility razor blade
  • Baking tray

How to Cook Chinese Roast Pork Belly

To ensure you achieve the perfect Chinese Roast Pork Belly, follow these steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine the dry rub ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. If necessary, cut the pork belly into 1.5 to 2-inch wide strips. Ensure that the pork belly skin is thick (approximately 3-4 millimeters) and remove any bones or uneven meat.
  4. Season the meat side of the pork belly with the dry rub, patting it into the meat.
  5. Turn the pork belly over, making sure the skin side is facing up. If there is any dry rub on the skin, wipe it off with a clean paper towel. Ensure the skin is dry.
  6. Score tiny cross hatches into the skin with a sharp paring knife or clean scoring blade. Alternatively, poke as many holes as possible into the skin using metal skewers or a needling tool.
  7. Place the pork belly strips onto a large rectangular sheet of aluminum foil, creating a rectangular box. Ensure the skin is exposed and avoid creating tall walls that may block the heat.
  8. Lightly brush the skin with white vinegar, ensuring not to drench it.
  9. Generously sprinkle salt on top of the skin.
  10. Transfer the pork belly in its aluminum foil box onto a small baking sheet.
  11. Bake in the oven on the second lowest oven rack for 60 minutes, until the skin becomes dry and slightly hard to touch.
  12. Remove the pork belly from the oven and lightly brush the skin with vegetable oil.
  13. Preheat the oven to 500°F or broiling point. Place the pork belly back into the oven on the lowest roasting rack.
  14. If you scored cross hatches into the skin, roast for 12-15 minutes until the skin becomes golden brown, cracked, and bubbly. If you used the hole-piercing method, roast for 25-30 minutes. Monitor closely to prevent burning and cover areas that brown too quickly with small sheets of aluminum foil.
  15. Remove the pork belly from the oven and let it rest for 10-15 minutes inside the aluminum boxes for the juices to reabsorb into the meat.
  16. Slice the pork belly into small pieces, cutting through the skin in one swift motion.
  17. Serve with hoisin sauce and rice vinegar or white vinegar, if desired.
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Storage and Serving Suggestions

Chinese Roast Pork Belly can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To reheat, place it in the oven at 350°F until the skin becomes crispy again, being careful not to over-bake and dry out the meat. It is not recommended to reheat it in the microwave, as it may result in soggy skin.

This mouthwatering dish can be enjoyed in various ways. Serve it with steamed rice, Chinese broccoli (gai-lan) or bok choy, and a drizzle of hoisin sauce. Alternatively, pair it with yellow mustard, sautéed napa cabbage, or leafy greens. For a more modern twist, try it in a fluffy milk bao or soft bun.

Chinese Roast Pork Belly

Tips for Success

To ensure the best possible outcome for your Chinese Roast Pork Belly, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Source quality pork belly with a thick top layer of skin.
  • Rub the dry seasoning into the meat, not the skin, and wipe off any dry rub from the skin.
  • Thoroughly dry the top layer of the skin with a clean towel to achieve maximum crispiness.
  • For the best crackling, lightly score tiny cross hatches into the thick skin.
  • Wrap the pork belly in aluminum foil, ensuring not to create tall edges that could hinder the even distribution of heat.
  • Roast the pork on the second lowest wire rack initially, then move it to the lowest position away from the heat for the crackling process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use other cuts of pork for this recipe?

This recipe is specifically developed for a thick cut of pork belly, so using other cuts such as pork shoulder, pork roast, or pork tenderloin may not yield the desired result of a crispy crackled skin.

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How do you cook pork belly in the oven?

The detailed instructions provided in this recipe guide you through the cooking process. The recommended cooking time is around 1 hour and 15-30 minutes, but it’s important to monitor it closely during the high-temperature roasting phase to achieve the perfect golden crispy skin.

How do you reheat Chinese roast pork belly?

To reheat Chinese roast pork belly, you can use the oven at 350°F until the skin becomes crispy again and the meat is warm. Avoid over-baking, as it can dry out the meat. Reheating in the microwave is not recommended, as it may result in soggy skin.

What are the recommended accompaniments for Chinese roast pork belly?

Chinese roast pork belly pairs well with steamed rice, Chinese broccoli, bok choy, and hoisin sauce. Other options include sautéed napa cabbage, leafy greens, or Chinese yellow mustard. It can also be enjoyed with dry or wet noodles and is delicious inside a bao or soft fluffy milk bun.

Can I make this dish in a toaster oven?

Yes, you can make Chinese roast pork belly in a toaster oven. However, be cautious during the crackling roasting process, as the heat element in a toaster oven is closer to the pork belly skin.

How can I repurpose leftover crispy pork belly?

Leftover crispy pork belly can be repurposed in various ways, such as using it in fried rice, soup or dry fried noodles, or inside a fluffy milk bao with hoisin sauce and pickled veggies.

Enjoy this delectable Chinese Roast Pork Belly recipe and savor the incredible flavors and textures. For more mouthwatering recipes and cooking inspiration, visit Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ.