Foodie

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Belly Pork Roast/Siew Yoke - Step-By-Step




I have been getting too many questions as to why the cracklings are not so crackling although they follow my recipe to the 'T".  So, i have decided to create this Step-By-Step and hope that the cracklings will crackle like it should. 


There are many factors to achieve a good 'Siew Yoke/Roasted Pork Belly".  First is to get a good piece of belly pork.  Choose one that is 2 inches in height which is quite difficult as the Asian stores here tend to leave a lot of meat to the ribs thus leaving a very thin piece of belly pork.  Secondly, choose a piece which is level in height,  an uneven level piece will have to be adjusted with aluminium foil so that the skin will be level while broiling/grilling. As suggested in my previous recipes Roast Belly Pork , Roast Belly Pork II and Roast Belly Pork III, the marinated piece of belly pork would like a vacation in the fridge, uncovered, overnight to dry out the skin.  This process will allow shorter crackling time.  I have now become lazy and found that i can achieve good crackling without drying.  So, you can omit the vacation process. 

An important tip:  When you scald the meat, make sure that the water is boiling hot when you put to meat to cook.  This is to remove scum and the piggy smell.  If the meat is thick, you can par-cook the meat by boiling it longer and this will ensure that the meat will cook through when the crackling is done.

The oven used for broiling/grilling has to be considered.  Here i have chosen the wall unit oven of which most of you will have in your kitchen, but, i have used the grill function on my Microwave oven and the Turbo Oven and made pretty good Siew Yoke.  If you are using the Turbo Oven, use the lower rack so that the meat is furthest away from the fan and half way through the grilling, put a piece of aluminium foil under the meat so that the meat will not cook further and dry out.


I hope i have covered all the tips and now get started to crackle...............


In a large skillet, bring water, salt and vinegar,  to the boil, then add in the belly pork skin side down first(apologies - forgot to take picture of the skin side  cooking , so picture was taken after i have scored the meat )

Turn belly pork over and cook the meat side

Remove belly pork and place meat side on to kitchen towel, using kitchen towel, press all over the skin 

Press all over the skin to remove as much moisture as possible

Sprinkle generously with salt

Rub the salt on to the surface of skin and leave aside

Using kitchen towel, dab and press onto skin, as salt will draw out more moisture from skin

Turn over to the meat side and score the meat, by scoring, the marinate is more effective

Cut a few slits on the edges of meat, this will avoid the meat from curling when grilling

Cut slits on the edges  of the other end of meat

After scoring the meat, turn over and now score the skin with a very sharp knife.  Score as finely as possible but do not cut through, score only the skin. Score like you would score squid/sotong.

Scored skin

Prepare the marinate:  sugar, salt, pepper, 5 spice powder, garlic powder, onion powder, soya sauce and cooking wine

Use a pastry brush to brush marinate over the meat

Turn marinated meat over and place onto to cake rack which is place on to baking sheet which has been covered with aluminium foil.  Rub generously with vinegar over the skin

Put to broil/grill on low heat, on the lower third rung of oven. Broil/grill for at least 45 minutes until the skin crackles.  Check on meat every 15 minutes, if certain spot on skin is not crackling so well , adjust..............

.............use aluminium foil under the meat at the spot where the crackling is not so well done and continue to broil/grill.  If you find that there is oil collected on certain parts of the cracklings, use kitchen towel to dab away the oil,  this will allow to crackle better and not cooking in oil. 

When the crackling is satisfactory to your liking, sprinkle salt over the crackling and put back to broil for 5 minutes.

The salt will further dry the crackling.  Certain areas of the cracklings will be charred more,  this is inevitable and this shows that the cracklings are thoroughly crackled.  The over charred cracklings can be scraped away.  Turn meat side over and broil/grill for 5 or 10 minutes if you like it to be most roasted. (i like mine still moist and not charred)

Allow roasted belly pork to cool before chopping up into bite sizes and enjoy.

Meat is still luscious and moist
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