Crispy roasted pork belly is a dish you can find at every Vietnamese party or celebration. It is an important staple in Vietnamese culture. You would see a whole roasted pig carried at every Vietnamese wedding before it is chopped up and served to the masses. Many variations of this dish can also be seen in many other cultures with slight differences in its preparations and seasoning. However, despite its preparation, this dish is versatile and can be served with a bowl of vermicelli noodles, over a hot broth or squished between bread as a sandwich. It is without a doubt that this dish is loved and enjoyed by many. In this post, we are going to show you how to prepare this delicious pork belly in the oven to get that perfect crispy skin on top while keeping the meat juicy and tender.
Cook Time: 5+ hours
2-3lb Pork Belly
1 tbsp ketchup
2 tsp sugar
1tsp five spice powder
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp salt
Look at your slice of pork belly. It should have a skin side and a meat side. With the skin side facing up, stab a bunch of holes into the skin using a fork. You want there to be a puncture at least every half centimeter. This will help make the skin crispy.
Turn the pork belly over so that the meat side is facing up. Using a knife, cut slits into the meat that are ~2½ cm apart and about 1½-2 cm in depth.
Mix the ketchup, sugar, five spice powder and black pepper together in a bowl. Using a brush, brush the meat with the mixture. Be sure to coat in between the slits you made. Be sure to avoid getting marinade on the skin side.
Now turn your pork belly back over so that the skin side is facing up. Using a paper towel, pat the skin side dry. Coat the skin side with the drying mixture.
Using foil, you want to wrap your pork belly so that every side is covered in foil except for the skin side. Refrigerate for 3 to 12 hours. The longer it rests in the fridge, the dryer and crispier the skin will get.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Remove the foil from the pork belly. Now place the pork belly skin facing down on a baking tray. Bake for 20 mins.
After 20 mins, flip the pork belly over. Using a fork, poke holes in the skin like in Step 1. Fat from the pork belly will be released from these holes so be sure to pat the skin dry again using a paper towel. Brush the drying mixture over the skin again. Place in the oven at 400°F for another 20 minutes.
Using a paper towel again, pat the skin of the pork belly dry. Brush the drying mixture over the skin once again. Allow to bake in the oven for another 400°F. The skin should start to bubble up. After 20 mins is up, broil for 3-5 minutes to maximize the skin's crispiness. During the broiling process, be sure to watch the pork belly carefully so it does not burn. If you notice areas of the skin beginning to burn, cover that area with a piece of foil.
Slice the pork belly up into bite size pieces and enjoy!
I enjoy eating this dish over a bowl of steaming hot rice or on top of vermicelli noodles and lettuce. The layer of tender meat, along with that juicy layer of fat, topped with the crispy and salty skin really transport me to a different world with every bite. I love this dish so much. Every step of this recipe is incredibly important to ensure that the skin of the pork belly crisps up. If not done correctly, the skin will become chewy and not enjoyable. One thing I noticed when cooking this recipe is that it is important that the pork belly is evenly leveled. When the pork belly cooks in the oven, oil from the pork belly can pool in unleveled areas of the meat, preventing those areas to crisp up. I noticed that cutting the pork belly in those areas, or elevating those areas using balled up foil will prevent accumulation of oil on the skin. The number of aprons I give this recipe is...