Here’s something I’ve been wanting to try for a long time. Pork belly can sometimes be hard to find and it seems too expensive when I actually do find it. During a recent trip to Chinatown, however, I spotted a bunch in the butcher’s case and at $2.99 per pound, it was actually one of the more expensive items. It’s true, most everything is cheaper in Chinatown and I always say I should shop there more often only to return many months later. The thing about pork belly is the crispy skin and I went to great lengths to achieve it – scoring and salting the skin, drying and seasoning again before actually cooking. The pork itself was not unlike any other pork roast, just a bit fattier as might be expected, but the skin was still a bit tough so I took it one step further and fried it in hot oil. The pieces puffed like popcorn and were as crisp as any I’ve tried. Maybe it’s not the healthiest side dish, but I probably won’t make it again anyway until my next trip to Chinatown.
Roasted Pork Belly
1 pork belly, about 2 pounds
Lots of kosher salt
1 teaspoon five spice powder
1 large onion, peeled and sliced thickly
Score the pork skin with a sharp knife. Rub generously with salt and let it sit for at least an hour until the moisture begins to be drawn out. Rinse and dry completely, then season with salt and five spice powder.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lay the onion slices in the bottom of a roasting pan and lay the pork on top, skin side up. Put a little water in the bottom of the pan to prevent burning, and replenish during cooking if necessary. Roast for 3 hours without basting. Remove the skin and slice the belly for serving. Crisp the skin in hot oil and serve on the side.