One of my favorite dishes to order at the traditional Cantonese BBQ Places is the roast duck and the roast pork. Usually they hang up a full pig in the window, hacking off portions when people order it. The downside to this method is that the pig is out in the window until it has been sold… so the restaurants don’t roast a fresh whole pig everyday. One the first day, when its fresh, Wilbur still tastes delicious… skin is crackling… the meat is moist and well flavored. By day two, he’s not so crackling.
In the past, we’ve ordered this at Koi Palace, our local dim sum place…. at a whopping 18 buckaroos for a small dish full of crispy roasted pork belly. That’s when it dawned on me… Koi Palace doesn’t roast entire pigs in the back; it just doesn’t make sense to do that and keep that dish consistent. I realized that they must be only roasting the belly portions. Which led me to attempt making this at home.
I went and bought a nice hunk of pork belly, marinated it, prepped it, and popped it into the oven. Crossed my fingers and hoped that it would turn out.
After an hour, the pork belly started getting some color on it. The fat from underneath the skin started pooling on top of the skin, bubbling occasionally.
I pulled it out to examine… and to poke the skin a bit more to get more fat to render out. The water on the bottom of the dish is to prevent the rendered fat from catching on fire… and to make cleanup a bit easier.
Hour and a half into it… it’s starting to get lots of pretty color and nice crunchy bubbles on the skin. I poked at the corner and tasted the meat to see if the seasoning worked.
YAY!!! Almost there! Here’s the pork belly pulled out and resting prior to being hacked into bite sized pieces. The skin had browned and bubbled beautifully. At this point, I only hope that it tasted as good as it looked.
OMG. It was delicious! The marbling and layers of fat and meat were amazing. Most of the fat had rendered out and crisped up the pork skin. It was better than the restaurants since I could control the seasoning and salt and the skin was far more crunchy than the ones at the restaurant. Definitely a success and given the cost and price; totally worth it to make it at home!