Crispy Roast Pork

Crispy Roast Pork – crunchy and flavoursome! (脆皮烧肉)

Crispy Roast Pork is one of the top Chinese favourites and easily the most recognisable Chinese food in the world. It’s not an easy dish to make at home. Whether the crackling will turn out to be crunchy can often be a hit and miss.

I love roast pork that is not too fat, has a nice crackling that is crispy and not hard on the teeth. It is important, for me, that the pork meat is tender and flavoursome. Over the past year, I have tried different roast pork recipes in search of a recipe that meets my requirements and is repeatable. For this particular recipe, I have changed a number of steps from my usual roast pork recipe. The pork meat is tastier and the skin is crunchy.

The key tips are:

  • Score the skin. This will help the fat escape while cooking.
  • The skin must be very dry. I use lemon and salt to help dry the skin and the dry the skin in the fridge overnight.
  • Marinade the meat portion with red beancurd. This provides a unique flavour.
  • Blanch the skin in boiling water. This will make poking the holes in the skin easier.

I am pretty happy with the result and would like to share this improved recipe with you.

Video Link:


  • 600 gm slab of lean belly pork (scored)
  • Marinade meat only with:
    • 1 clove garlic (minced)
    • 2 shallots (minced)
    • 1 piece red beancurd
    • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon five-spice powder
    • Dash white pepper


1. Score the pork skin.

2. Blanch the slab of pork, with skin facing down, in boiling water for 10 mins

3. Poke lots of holes in the skin with a fork. As the skin is scalded, this is an easy task.

4. Turn the slab (with skin down) on the chopping block and cut deep slits in the meat.

5. Rub the marinade on the meat portion only, especially in between the slits.

6. Dry the skin with a kitchen towel and spread lemon juice all over the skin. Then apply a thin layer of salt.

7. Leave the slab skin up  in the fridge overnight.  Leave uncovered in the fridge so that the skin will dry out.

8. The next day, take the pork out of the fridge an hour or two before roasting. The skin should be very dry. If not, leave the pork in the fridge for a longer time.

9. Roast the pork at 200°C for 30 mins. in an air fryer or oven until small bubbles form on the surface and skin is golden and crisp. Tap the crackling with the back of a spoon to test if it is done. It should sound hollow when the spoon hit the skin.

11. Leave the roast pork to cool on the rack. Turn the slab on the skin down and cut the pork through the slits. Chop into bite size chunks. Enjoy!

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