Here’s our easy siew yoke recipe!
Easy siew yoke recipe
Siew yoke or Chinese roast pork belly is a staple dish in many Cantonese restaurants around the world. Along with char siew and roast chicken, it is considered a part of siu mei 燒味 or roasted meat dishes in the Cantonese cuisine.
While siew yoke can be easily found in most Chinese restaurants here in Malaysia, it is also quite easy to make this dish at home with an oven.
Siew yoke recipe – what makes a good siew yoke?
So what are the qualities of a good siew yoke? A good siew yoke has super crispy and crackling skin.
The meat should also be tender and well-seasoned, but never too salty.
Finally, a good pork belly cut should have a good ratio of fat-to-meat. The most desirable cut is what we call the three-layer meat or 三层肉 – which has three distinct layers of skin, fat and meat.
This cut is also generally known as samgyeop-sal (삼겹살) in Korean – which also literally translates to three-layer meat. The samgyeop-sal is particularly popular for Korean BBQ.
This three-layer is ideal as the fat renders into the meat and skin during the roasting process. However, a five-layer meat (skin-fat-meat-fat-meat) is also very good for siew yoke.
Siew yoke recipe – how our seasoning differs
The seasoning for siew yoke is simple with salt and five-spice powder as the core ingredients. Most recipes tend to include fermented red beancurd (nam yue or 南乳 in Cantonese).
However, we like to substitute nam yue with minced garlic as the main aromatic for that distinct, umami, garlicky flavour.
Tips to make crackling skin
So how do you make the skin crispy and crackling? The key is to ensure the skin is very dry during the roasting process.
To achieve this – we incorporate a few key steps.
1. Clean and pat dry
First, we clean the skin thoroughly by scraping the skin with a sharp knife to remove any hair and impurities. The key is to go against the growth of the hair, or use a pair of tweezers to pluck out the hair. Wash the pork belly with water and make sure to really pat dry with a paper towel.
2. Poke holes and marinade meat only
Use a fork or a knife to poke holes. This is to allow moisture to escape the skin. Cut ridges on the meat side about 1/3 deep and 1-inch apart.
We rub the marinade on the meat, but never on the skin as we want to ensure the skin remains dry.
3. Chillin’ in the fridge
If possible, allow meat to chill uncovered in the fridge overnight. The cold air in the fridge will sap out the moisture.
4. Wrap me up!
On the day of roasting, take out the meat to cool down in room temperature for 30 minutes. Then, wrap the slab of meat in aluminium foil but leave the skin uncovered.
This step is to ensure the meat retains its shape during the roasting process. Make sure the meat lies flat, and you may use roasting needles to secure the meat if necessary.
The foil also catches the juices and ensures the meat remains moist.
5. Salt and vinegar
Before placing the meat in the oven, we pat the skin dry again and brush it lightly with vinegar. The vinegar helps to make pork skin crispy as it sucks out moisture. Finally, pour out a generous layer of coarse salt on top of the skin. Salt further draws out moisture from the meat.
6. Remove salt crust
The first roasting process is to cook the meat.
Once done, the layer of salt will harden to form a crust. You’ll be able to remove this crust.
7. Broil it, baby!
The final step to achieve cracklin’ skin! One more brush of vinegar and broil the meat (place the skin closer to the heating elements if possible) at high heat.
Make sure the meat is flat so it is evenly cooked. Use a roasting needle is needed.
Watch the skin crackle and pop!
8. Cut and serve!
Once done, remove and allow it to cool for 5-10 minutes. Remove meat from foil.
For ease, we recommend cutting the siew yoke into strips with the skin on the chopping board, and the meat-side facing upwards. Finally, enjoy it with mustard or sweet chilli sauce.
Check out our Video
Check out our Instagram reel below of us making siew yoke!
Follow us on Instagram
Follow us on Instagram for the latest recipes and food adventures.
Check out our char siew recipe
If you like this, do also check out our char siew recipe in the link below:
Check out our nine CNY recipes
Siew yoke is a common dish during Chinese New Year. For more CNY recipes, check out the link below:
Siew Yoke recipeCourse: Chinese, Chinese Recipes, Easy Recipes, Pork, Pork Recipes, Recipes
Let’s cook siew yoke or Cantonese roasted pork belly!
1.3 kg pork belly
180g coarse salt
1 tsp vinegar
4 tbsp Chinese wine
1 tsp five-spice powder
1.5 bulb of minced garlic
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
- The day before
- Use a knife to scrape off impurities and remove any hair on skin. You may use a pair of tweezers to remove hair.
- Wash pork belly and pat dry with a paper towel. With a knife or a fork, poke some holes on the skin side.
- On the meat side, make shallow cuts about 1/3 deep and 1-inch apart across the meat.
- In a bowl, mix the marinade ingredients. Rub the marinade on the meat side, making sure it gets into the ridges of the meat. Do not rub the marinade on the skin.
- Place pork belly on a plate with the skin side up. Pat dry the meat once more and place the meat in the fridge uncovered overnight.
- Final prep before roasting
- Take out the pork belly from the fridge and allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes to room temperature.
- Pat dry the skin side again and wrap meat in aluminum foil, leaving only the skin side exposed.
- Brush skin with vinegar.
- Pour a generous amount of salt on the skin to make a layer.
- Roasting time!
- Roast pork belly in the oven for 30 minutes at 200°C.
- When done, the layer of salt on top of the belly should harden. Carefully remove the layer.
- Use a paper towel to remove any residual salt. Finally, brush the skin with vinegar.
- Place pork belly into the oven, with the skin side closer to the heating elements if possible. Broil for 5-10 minutes at 250°C until the skin is crackling.
- Remove and allow the meat to cool down for 10 minutes. If needed, use a knife to scrape off any burned bits. Cut and serve.