Saturday, 2 August 2008
Seasoning with szechuan peppercorn, 5-spiced powder and salt without scoring.
A whole slab of belly pork is not easily available where I live so the temptation to buy one was irresistible when a friend offered to take me to the only place that sells them but for which you have to be a member.
The idea of boiling the pork first is from Ah Pui of Makansutra.
1. Slab of Belly Pork (choose one with good combinations of lean and fat)
2. Good quality salt (amount depending on size of pork)
1. Blanch belly pork in boiling water.
2. Bring a pot of cold water to a boil, add pork, ensuring it is immersed completely in water. You may need a plate to hold the pork down in the pot.
3. Boil for between fifteen and 20 minutes (depending on size of pork)
4. Remove pork carefully onto a flat surface.
5. Stab skin with a fork. Literally on every part of the skin. Do not be afraid of overdoing it. Just do it. This is very important as it helps the skin to blister without the need for over salting it.
6. Rub good quality salt on the skin and on all sides.
7. Score skin for easy slicing (optional)
8. Rest pork on a flat rack for a minimum of an hour at room temperature.
9. Pre-heat oven to very hot and roast, skin side up, on centre rack of the oven for between 30 and 45 minutes.
10. Check pork after about 30 minutes as you may need to adjust the temperature. Rotate the pork if necessary for even blistering and golden browning.
11. Rest pork for about ten minutes before slicing.
1. Ah Pui's version of boiling the pork first makes it extremely easy and therapeutic when it comes to stabbing the skin.
2. If you have done a good job in stabbing the skin with a fork, not much salt is required.
3. Sometimes I rub a mixture of 5-spice powder and freshly ground white pepper on all areas of the pork EXCEPT the skin.
4. You can actually hear the beautiful crackling sound emitting from the oven