Friday, March 29, 2013

Chinese Roast Pork (Siu Yuk)

Siu Yuk is a Cantonese cuisine traditionally prepared by roasting an entire pig with seasoning in a charcoal furnace at high temperature. Roasted pigs of high quality have crisp skin and juicy and tender meat.

Siu Yuk is comfort food for me that I indulge once in a blue moon, due to its high fat content which is an integral part of this dish. When I saw a unique recipe shared by Grace Howie in a Facebook group, I knew that I have to cook this. Grace's sister, Jennifer Choong experimented and tweaked different recipes and the result of her effort is definitely worth it. This recipe is exceptional because it produces the crispest and fluffiest crackling with moist meat.

The secret is in roasting the pork at 60C for one hour. This keeps the meat moist. Best of all, this recipe is easier than most others and I am sure you can do it too. All you need is patience, as you need to dry the pork skin in the fridge for at least 2 days.

1 kg pork belly
1/2 - 1 tbsp salt (I used 1/2 tbsp salt as I do not like it too salty)
4 tbsp white vinegar

1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp oyster sauce(optional)
1 tbsp red fermented bean curd sauce (I used miso paste)
1/2 tsp five spice powder
1 tbsp shaoxing wine (I used sherry)

  1. Wash pork and pat dry. The piece of pork I bought has already have slits on the skin. Otherwise, cut slits about 1 cm width. When ready, cut the Siew Yoke along the slits.
  2. Cut a few slits on the meat side so that the marinade can penetrate through the meat.
  3. Mix the marinade together and rub marinade on the meat side.
  4. Rub salt on the skin and place pork on a tray with skin side up. Chill in the fridge uncovered.
  5. Brush the skin with vinegar twice daily for 2 days and leave to dry in the fridge.
  6. On the third day, preheat the oven to 60 Celsius. 
  7. Place pork on a wire rack on top of a tray(with some water in the tray) and roast for 1 hour.
  8. After 1 hour, turn the oven up to 250 Celsius and bake Siew Yoke for another 30 minutes. I had to turn my Siew Yoke 180 degrees because the heat in my oven is not even.
  9. Cut into small pieces and serve with rice.

Note: Each oven is different. If the skin has not finished crackling, leave it on for few minutes longer. I ended up putting under the grill to finish the crackling.


Walter said...

Yummy, yummy... a yin-yang food, crispy on the surface, tender and juicy inside.

Grace Howie said...

The crackling looks perfect. Looking at your Siu Yoke makes me want to cook another one soon. Lately, I have problem getting a piece with a nice proportion of fat on it. If the meat is too lean, it turns out a tad dry and doesn't crackle as well as a fattier piece.

My Food Safari said...

Hi Grace,

Thanks for dropping by and sharing this wonderful recipe. This crackling was so crispy and the meat moist. I found that free range pork is leaner but my family didn't mind it.

The bone on the meat keeps the pork flat and helps with crackling evenly.

My Food Safari said...

Hi Walter,

It was sure yummy. A yin-yang food is an excellent way to describe Siu Yuk.

bee said...

I'm sure it tastes as good as it looks. Any chance for a taste?