Sunday, 19 May 2013

slow-cooked crispy chinese pork belly

I love pork belly. It's a great cut of meat with lots of flavour and is also one of the cheapest you can get.  I love it so much we're even serving it at my upcoming wedding. This recipe uses Chinese flavours to complement the richness of the meat and is great served with simple stir-fried greens and some steamed rice. There are no complicated techniques here or hard to find ingredients but you do need the time to allow the marinade to work and for the pork to slow cook.

1kg (approx) bone-in pork belly with the skin scored (you can use boned instead if you prefer)
1 onion cut into large slices
2 carrots peeled and cut into 2 or 3 pieces
2 sticks of celery cut into 2 or 3 large pieces
100/200ml cold water depending on method
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
1 tsp chinese 5 spice powder
3 cloves garlic, finely minced/grated
thumb sized piece fresh, peeled ginger minced/grated
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 stick lemongrass
2 dried red chillies, finely chopped

STEP 1 - Marinade
  1. Make sure the meat is completely dry and pat away any excess moisture with kitchen paper.
  2. Mix together the marinade ingredients then spread evenly over the flesh side of the pork belly, working it into the meat.
  3. Place the meat into a sealable plastic food bag. Bruise the lemon grass with the back of a knife or rolling pin then add to the bag with the meat. 
  4. Put the pork belly in the fridge making sure it is safely away from cooked food and that no juices will drip from the meat then leave for at least a couple of hours or overnight to allow the flavours to develop.

STEP 2 - Slow cooking
Slowcooker Method
  1. Put the onion, carrots and celery in the bottom of the slow cooker put the pork belly, skin side up, on top of the veg and pour in 100mls of water.
  2. Put the lid on the slow cooker then cook the pork belly for around 6-8 hours on medium. You may need to adjust the cooking times depending on your slow cooker model.
Oven Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 150C. Put the veg in the base of a roasting pan or casserole dish and then place the meat on top with the skin facing upwards. Pour in 200ml water then cover over the pan with either foil or the lid if you have one. 
  2. Put the meat in the oven and cook for around 3 hours or until you can insert the blunt end of a spoon all the way through the meat.
STEP 3 - Crisping up
  1. Once the meat has cooked using your chosen method you can either continue with the whole piece of belly and cut to serve later or cut into portions now. If you decide to portion it before crisping make sure you allow it to cool enough so that you can handle it. As you can see from the pictures I decided to keep the piece whole. I enjoy cutting through the crispy crackling when I serve it. 
  2. Preheat the oven to 200C then transfer pork to a roasting pan then put in the oven to finish off for about 30 minutes or until you've got a nice crispy crackling top.
  3. Serve with stir-fried broccoli, pak choi or similar and some steamed rice. 

I've entered this recipe into A Kick at the Pantry Door's 'Feel Good Food Challenge'. Why not take a look at all the other great recipes featured. 


  1. Ooof....that does look GOOD!

  2. Thanks Su-Lin! So pleased you like it. It was a rather good dinner. :)

  3. Another mouthwatering recipe! It's 10 in the morning and I want roast pork now, what have you done to me!!


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