Serves 4 to 5

Prep time: 10 minutes + 1 hour or overnight to dry skin out        

Cook time: 45 minutes


Pork belly

  • 1kg free-range pork belly
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese five spice
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Caramelised chilli sauce

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 4-5 large red chillies, sliced (remove some of the seeds if you want a milder sauce)
  • 2 inches ginger, cut into small matchsticks
  • 1 cup white wine
  • ¼ cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • ½ cup water or chicken stock
  • ¼ cup brown sugar


  • Put the pork in a colander and pour boiling water over the skin (the skin will tighten up). Dry the pork well and score the skin with a sharp knife at roughly 1cm intervals (scoring the skin will help the fat render out to create crispy crackling). Be careful that you do not cut too deep as to cut through the meat. Turn the pork over and slash a few shallow cuts in a criss-cross pattern into the meat side (so the five spice can be rubbed in to get more flavour into the meat).
  • Mix the five spice and oil together to form a paste. Rub the paste into the meat side only, getting well into the cuts. Do not get any paste on the skin (the skin should be kept as dry as possible). Place the pork in a dish or tray and rub salt into the skin, getting into the score marks. Place in the fridge, uncovered, to allow the pork to dry overnight or for at least 1 hour. Drain off any liquid that may have seeped out and pat the skin dry with a paper towel.
  • Preheat oven to 220degC. Place the pork on a rack in a tray, skin-side-down, and roast for 15 minutes, then turn pork over so it is skin-side-up, and roast for 25-30 minutes, or until the skin crackles. Turn the oven on to grill for a few minutes to give the crackling a final blast, watching carefully that it doesn’t burn. Rest the meat in a warm place for 15 minutes while you prepare the sauce.
  • To make the sauce, heat oil in a fry pan and add garlic, shallot, chilli and ginger. Sautee garlic and shallots for 3-4 minutes, then add wine and allow to bubble rapidly before adding the remaining ingredients. Stir together and simmer sauce for 5-10 minutes to reduce down until it is slightly sticky.
  • To serve, cut pork belly into 4-5 slices, divide between plates and soon over some sauce. Serve with rice and stir-fried bok choy or broccoli.


The pork belly was delicious. The crackling was perfect and crunchy. However, be careful when buying your pork belly as mine had bones in it. I left them in during the cooking process. When it came to cutting the pork belly into segments, the bones were in the way. It was very hard to remove them, and the other elements that were going on the plate started to cool down.


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