When you've been a good girl all week, I think you're entitled to a bit of a weekend 'splurge' don't you? If you love roasted pork and crispy crackling like I do, you have to try this (trust me)! Backstory: I happened to find this recipe out of frustration. Every now and then I'd treat myself to a bit of crispy roast pork on the weekends. About a year ago I had a (rare) bad experience at a local Chinese BBQ establishment that I won't name. I ended up throwing the roast pork I'd purchased away-it was that bad. Feeling completely unsatisfied I decided to try my luck making it at home. After searching online I finally found what I feel is the perfect recipe. All credit to the wonderful Helen Le of danangcuisine.com for her version of Vietnamese Crispy Roast Pork Belly (Thịt Heo Quay). When I find something this good I have to share. More info on Helen and this great recipe follows after the jump...
Helen was born and raised in Da Nang, Vietnam. As a co-admin of danangcuisine.com (along with her sister Summer) she shares authentic Vietnamese recipes (with easy step-by-step instructions) through the website as well as her Helen's Recipes YouTube channel. If you're a fan of Vietnamese cuisine you must visit the site and subscribe to her channel! Check out her recipe for Thịt Heo Quay here. If you follow her instructions I promise you will be rewarded with delicious, flavorful roast pork belly with crunchy crackling. It's so good that I will no longer bother with the local BBQ establishments for my fix!
Tips from Tina:
- Follow Helen's instructions (and watch the video).
- Be easy when applying mix #1 to the pork belly. Don't apply too much of the mix or the pork will be salty.
- Per Helen you can allow the pork to 'marinate' for as little as three hours but I prefer to prep the pork the day before roasting and leave it in the fridge overnight.
- I usually purchase fresh pork belly at Super H Mart (if you don't have one in your area you should be able to find fresh pork belly at your local Asian supermarket). I purchased this package of three pieces (with skin attached) pictured below. I cut those pieces in half. I also use a Vietnamese 5-Spice Powder (also purchased from Super H Mart and pictured below); it comes in an 8 oz. jar so you'll have plenty on hand to use for other recipes.
- I used rice wine vinegar for mix #2 but any white vinegar is fine.
- For delicious, crispy crackling make sure the skin is as dry as possible and apply mix #2 following Helen's instructions. Per Helen: you can scrape some of the salt off the finished product if you find the crackling too salty.
- If the skin hasn't 'crackled' enough after the one hour cooking time is completed put the pork belly under the broiler for about a minute or so. WATCH CAREFULLY-don't take your eyes off of the pork belly so that you won't burn the crackling.