Ken Hom's Pork belly

Marinate pork belly with Sichuan peppercorns and five spice then slow roast to perfection
By Ken Hom
Ken Hom's Pork belly
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time:
  • Effort: medium


  • 1.5 kg boneless pork belly, with skin on
  • 4 tbsp coarse sea salt
  • 2 tbsp ground roasted sichuan peppercorns
  • 2 tsp white pepper
  • 2 tbsp chinese five spice
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar

Tips and Suggestions

Serve with egg fried rice or some stir-fried pak choi.

Save any leftover pork for lunch the following day it makes a great sandwich.


1. Pierce the skin side of pork with a roasting fork or sharp knife until the skin is covered with fine holes. Insert a meat hook into the meat to secure it then put the joint skin side up over the sink. Bring a pot of water to the boil and, using a large ladle, carefully pour the hot water over the skin of the pork several times then set the pork belly aside.

2. Heat a wok or large frying pan until it is very hot, then add the salt, peppercorns, pepper and five spice and stir-fry for 3 minutes until hot and well mixed. Remove from the heat, stir in the sugar, then allow to cool slightly. When it is warm enough to handle, rub this mixture on the flesh side of the pork.

3. Hang the meat to dry for 8 hours or overnight in a cool place or in front of a fan. Alternatively, place the meat on a wire rack set above a roasting tin. You want the pork to be absolutely dry before roasting.

4. After at least 8 hours of drying, preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Turn the pork rind side up on a wire rack and put the rack over a roasting tin with 23cm hot water in the bottom. Roast for 20 minutes but watch it carefully. Once the skin puffs up, turn the temperature down to 180C/160C/gas 4 and continue to roast for 2 hours, checking every now and then that your tin is not dry splash in some hot water from the kettle if it is.

5. Increase the heat to 230C/210C/gas 8 and cook for a further 15 minutes, but again watch carefully. Remove the pork from the oven and leave it to rest for about 20 minutes. Carve it into bite-size pieces, arrange on a platter, and serve warm or at room temperature.

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