Cantonese Roast Pork Belly or (Siu Yuk 燒肉), is a savory pork dish that is enjoyed all throughout the holidays in Asia. It’s crispy and fatty while also providing all the flavors and textures you can ever want. Simple and easy to make, this is a dish you and your entire family will enjoy for years to come.
If you’re anything like me, then you’ll know that during the holiday season, special foods will need to be made.
Especially during Chinese New Year, there are an abundance of yummy foods made for people to eat and enjoy.
One of these foods in particular is something called a “Cantonese Roast Pork Belly”. This is one of the most popular food dishes eaten during this holiday. In fact, it it is so popular that many Chinese take-out spots even have this item for sale as well.
It’s has an extremely crispy skin while also having a soft and tender fatty meat which makes each and every bite so much more enjoyable.
Now depending on where you visit, there are many different ways of making this dish. Mostly in the seasoning department, but most methods are typically similar to one another.
However the method I will be showing you all today is one that many Chinese families seem to love and enjoy.
I guarantee once you make this roast pork belly dish, you will absolutely fall in love with it.
So sit back, relax, and let’s start cooking!
What Is Cantonese Roast Pork Belly?
What is Cantonese Roast Pork Belly / Siu Yuk / 燒肉y?
Cantonese Roast Pork Belly is a staple food item to have especially during the holidays in Asia.
Typically you can find this amazing food being sold at many Chinese restaurants and vendors. Most of which will usually hang this pork out near the window for people to see.
People from all over love this amazing dish for its immense flavors and taste. It pairs perfectly well with any and all side items you add with it which makes it great for all meals.
It’s extremely fatty as well as having a crispy skin that makes each and every bite so much more enjoyable.
The dish basically consists of the pork belly cut of meat that is then marinated in some seasonings. Then it is baked for awhile to make sure the pork belly is fully cooked. And then you broil it to get the skin to turn crispy and delicious.
Overall, it’s a very simple dish to make that will have the entire family cheering in joy from how good it is.
Why This Recipe Works
- This recipe uses Pork Belly, which is incredibly juicy and tender once cooked while also having a ton of flavor.
- Home-made Cantonese Roast Pork Belly is very simple to make as well as being very cheap to make as well. Compared to when you buy it at restaurants which will cost an arm and a leg.
- Poking as many holes while also covering the skin with salt ensures that your skin will be as crispy as possible.
Ingredients To Make Cantonese Roast Pork Belly
The ingredients you’ll need to make Cantonese Roast Pork Belly / Siu Yuk / 燒肉 are all easily found at any of your local Asian supermarkets.
Basically you’ll need the following:
- Pork Belly – 2 Pounds of Pork Belly
- Shaoxing Wine – 1 Tablespoon Of Shaoxing Wine
- Salt – 1 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- Sugar – 1 Teaspoon Sugar
- Five Spice Powder – 1 1/2 Teaspoon Five Spice Powder
- Ground White Pepper – 1 Teaspoon of Ground White Pepper
- Rice Wine Vinegar – 1 1/2 Teaspoon
- Baking Soda – 1/4 Teaspoon
- Course Salt – 1/2 Cup
And that’s basically it!
How To Make Cantonese Roast Pork Belly
Making this Cantonese Roast Pork Belly / Siu Yuk / 燒肉 dish is actually a pretty simple thing to do.
In order to make it, you’ll need to do the following:
Prepping The Pork Belly
First thing you’ll want to do is to create your seasoning marinade.
Into a small bowl, combine the shaoxing wine, salt, sugar, five-spice powder and ground white pepper together. This will create a liquid that becomes your seasoning marinade.
Then grab your pork belly and rinse it with some water so it becomes clean. Then pat it dry with a napkin and place it skin-side down on a board.
After that, you’ll want to grab a brush or spoon or you can even use your fingers if you want, to rub the marinade seasoning into the meat.
Note: Try not to get the marinade seasoning into the skin. You only want the meat part of the pork belly to be seasoned.
Once you have completely seasoned the meat portion of the pork belly, set it aside.
Now you’ll want to grab a tray that can hold the pork belly in place pretty tightly. I used a bread baking pan for this, but you can use anything you want as long as it holds the pork belly in place.
Then completely cover the tray or pan with some aluminum foil. This is so that you can create a box like shape so the pork belly remains tight in the box. This will also help cook the pork belly better as it’ll focus the oven’s heat onto the skin portion of the pork belly.
Then place your pork belly pieces skin-side up into the pan or tray. Make sure it is snug and tight.
Now comes the fun part!
Grab a skewer or fork and start poking as many holes as you can onto the top skin-portion of the pork belly. This is crucial because the holes will help dry out the skin part of the pork belly which is important for this recipe.
Note: The more little holes you have, the crunchier and tastier the skin will be.
After you have poked all of your holes into the skin, it’s time for the next step!
Grab a small bowl and combine your rice wine vinegar with the baking soda.
Then using a brush or a spoon, lightly brush the top of the skin-side portion of the pork belly.
What this does is that it’ll help make the skin softer and more airier which is great for the texture.
Once that is done, it’s time for the drying process.
Drying The Pork Belly
Place the tray or pan with the pork belly (Uncovered) into the fridge.
Let it stay there for around 12 to 24 hours so that it can dry up. Best to do it overnight if possible.
The goal here is to try to get the skin as dry as possible.
After time is up, take out the pork belly. The skin should be insanely dry by now which is good and we shall now proceed to the next step.
Baking The Pork Belly
Now it’s time for the baking process!
(Optional) Before you do anything, you can try to poke some more holes if you want with a skewer or fork. This is to help it dry out even more.
Now grab your pork belly tray or pan and place it on a table.
Grab your coarse salt (you can use rock salt too), and completely cover the skin-side portion of the pork belly with the salt. Make sure no skin is left showing when you are covering it with the salt.
The reason for this is because you are trying to draw out as much of the remaining moisture that is left inside the skin.
Then you’ll want to Pre-Heat the oven to about 375 Degrees F.
Once the oven is ready, place your tray or pan into the oven.
Let it bake for around 1 hour 40 minutes.
Once time is up, take out your pork belly from the oven.
Using a knife or spoon or even a fork, remove the top layer of course salt from the pork belly.
Try to remove all the salt that is on top of the skin.
Put the oven into Broiler mode, with low heat.
Then position the oven rack into the lowest position.
Uncover the aluminum foil and transfer the pork belly onto a rack on top of a tray.
Something like this or anything similar should work.
Then place it into the oven to broil. Let it broil for around 10 minutes or so.
The goal here is to let the pork belly broil in a slow manner so that the skin can crisp up really nicely.
After 10 minutes is up, turn off the broiler and remove the pork belly. Let it rest for around 10 to 20 minutes.
Then you can chop it into sections and serve immediately!
How To Store/Keep Cantonese Roast Pork Belly
One of the best things about this Cantonese Roast Pork Belly / Siu Yuk / 燒肉 dish is that it keeps perfectly well for a few days. Whether you want to save it for a few hours later to even a few days later, this dish will be perfect for you.
So if you happen to have made to much or just couldn’t finish all of it, then do not worry. All you’ll have to do is simply cover it with some plastic wrap or put it in an air-tight container. Then you can pop it in the fridge where it’ll be good for 3 to 4 days.
As for freezing, you are also certainly able to freeze it. In fact, just wrap it up in some plastic wrap or put it in an air-tight container. Then you can store it in the fridge for up to 1 month.
As for re-heating, simply pop it back into the oven over 400 F degrees heat. Then let it bake for a few minutes until its hot and it should come out just like new.
FAQS About This Recipe
The secret to a crispy skin is to rub salt onto the pork skin before roasting. The more salt that covers the top of the skin, the more moisture that will be removed. Also, to ensure the skin cracks perfectly, you will need to roast it at a high temperature.
Yes, it is perfectly fine to reheat pork in the oven. The only thing to note is that it can be quite difficult to find the right temperature and time for how long you should reheat the pork.
The pork will not crackle if the temperature is not hot enough or if the pork skin is not dry enough.
Tips For The Crispiest Skin
- Poke As Many Holes As You Can – The more holes you have, the drier the skin will be when you let it dry out in the fridge and oven.
- Let Your Pork Belly Dry Out For As Long As Possible – 12 hours is the minimum amount of time needed to make this recipe. But for the best results, try to let your pork belly dry out a full 24 hours in the fridge.
Cantonese Roast Pork Belly Recipe (Siu Yuk 燒肉)
- 2 Pound Pork Belly
- 1 Tablespoon Shaoxing Wine
- 1 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Sugar
- 1 1/2 Teaspoon Five-Spice Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Ground White Pepper
- 1 1/2 Teaspoon Rice Wine Vinegar
- 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/2 Cup Course Sea Salt
Prepping The Pork Belly
- First you want to clean the pork belly. So grab the pork belly and rinse it off with some water. Then pat it dry with a napkin and place it skin-side down on a tray or cooking board.Grab a small bowl and mix together your shaoxing wine, salt, sugar, five-spice powder and ground white pepper. This will become your marinade seasoning.Using a brush or a spoon or your hands, rub the marinade seasoning onto the meat of the pork belly. Try not to get it onto the skin.
- Now you'll want to grab a tray that can hold the pork belly in place pretty tightly. I used a bread baking pan for this, but you can use anything you want as long as it holds the pork belly in place.Then completely cover the tray or pan with some aluminum foil. This is so that you can create a box like shape so the pork belly remains tight in the box. This will also help cook the pork belly better as it'll focus the oven's heat onto the skin portion of the pork belly. Place the pork belly skin-side facing up into the tray/pan. Make sure it is completely snug and tight.Then using a skewer or fork, poke as many holes as you can onto the skin. The more holes you poke, the better the end result will be.
- Now grab a small bowl and mix together your rice wine vinegar with baking soda. Then lightly brush this mixture onto the skin of the pork belly.Now it's time to dry the pork belly.
Drying The Pork Belly
- Place the tray/pan containing the pork belly into the fridge (Uncovered).Let it sit in the fridge for around 12 to 24 hours (Preferably overnight).
- After it has sat in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours, take out the tray/pan with the pork belly.(Optional) = you can continue to poke more holes into the pork belly with a skewer or fork if you want to. But this is not necessary if you don't feel like doing so.
Baking The Pork Belly
- Pre-heat the oven to about 375 degrees F.While the oven is pre-heating, you'll want to grab your course sea salt.Pour the course sea salt on to the top surface of the skin of the pork belly. Using your hands, make sure the entire surface of the skin is covered with the coarse sea salt. Try not to have any skin being shown as it will burn in the oven if not covered.
- Once the oven is hot enough, place your tray/pan with the pork belly into the oven. Let it bake for around 1 hour and 40 minutes.
- After time is up, remove the tray/pan with the pork belly from the oven.Turn the oven setting onto the "Broiler Mode" with low heat. Also, position the oven rack into the lowest portion of the oven.During this time, remove the top layer of salt from the pork belly. You can throw this away as you do not need the salt anymore. Make sure all of the salt is completely gone from the surface of the pork belly.Then uncover the aluminum foil and transfer the pork belly skin-side up onto a rack with a tray underneath. Then place it on the lower shelf of the oven. Let it "broil" the pork belly for about 10 minutes. The goal here is that with the low heat cooking the pork belly, it will make the process happen gradually.
- Once the pork belly skin has started to puff up and becomes crispy, turn off the broiler and remove the pork belly from the oven. Let it rest for around 10 to 20 minutes.Then using a knife, cut the pork belly into sections and serve immediately.
Did you try making my Cantonese Roast Pork Belly / Siu Yuk / 燒肉? If so, how were they? I would love to hear all about it down in the comment section below or you can connect with my on Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram.
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