Roasted Oink! Oink! Belly
Roasted Oink Oink Belly! is actually 'siew yoke'. A very popular roast among Malaysian chinese. I would rate it more sought after than roast leg of lamb or even roast turkey here. This piece of roast is not directly associated with any particular festive season and can be found sold in almost every local chinese coffee shop here. I never thought I would one day attempt to make this myself, the truth is, it's pretty simple. A good piece would have beautiful light crackling skin, not too much fatty streaks and a tasty marinate. When you cut it with a cleaver, the crispy sound it makes is just out of this world. Everytime I have siew yoke at home, I make sure that I have bottles and bottles of chilled cold beer to dunk it in with. Satisfying just plain satisfying!
I remember my grandma (my late father's mother) would have a stout with siew yoke or roasted duck thigh every evening at 4pm. I was about 4 years old then. Radiofusion music piping from her kitchen. Hmm those good old days, not a care in the world!
Get yourself a good piece of pork belly (not too fatty please or else it will turn out too oily, happened to me)
Pat dry the piece of pork belly (8" X 15") with a kitchen towel.
Prick the skin with a sharp paring knife tip and slice slits on the other side of the meat.
Marinate the slited side of the meat with a mixture of 5-Spice powder (from the chinese medical hall) and some sea salt.
Some would encourage you to put it to dry under the sun but I am just too lazy. I just place it under a rotating ceiling fan in my dining for 2 - 3 hours.
Heat oven at 220 degree celsius and pop in the piece of meat drizzled with a little olive oil. Put timer to 20 minutes and turn down to 200 degree celsius after that, checking every 10 - 15 minutes to avoid burning. Baske the meat with its own dripping everytime you check.
Turn the heat down a little if it is too hot but the skin must continue to crackle. If it doesn't, means the oven is not hot enough. Please do not cover the meat with a cover or tin foil throughout the whole roasting process. The roasting time will depend on the size of the meat, how much fat on the meat and the heat of your oven. An average piece like mine would take approximately 1 hour. The meat will shrink a little when completely cooked.
Let the meat rest (cool) for 1/2 hour before chopping it up into bite size pieces with a sharp knife.