05 January 2011

Where are my manners!

How to make a good Chinese style pork cracking.

You need:

4lb piece fat belly pork with skin. Bigger is better fatter is better older pork is also better than young pork. Free range is also better as free range pigs have more fat on them than chemical and hormone grown meat. You can usually buy this at your wholesalers or indie butcher. Don't buy the shit you find at supermarkets as the (added) water content is too high and it is cut into thin strips.

  • A whole bag of salt any is fine.
  • 3 table spoons of sugar
  • Some star anise
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 7 cloves garlic, crushed. However don't peel it, grab your chopper and use the side to slam it.
  • 2oo ml rocket fuel (high alcohol content vodka works nicely you can sub this with water if you want)
  • 1.5 tablespoons Chinese white vinegar


  • Grab a board with nails in it and stab the meat, don't score it scoring produces crappy pork cracking, stab it repeatedly so that EVERY single bit of skin looks like a colander. Do NOT stab too deep though you want to get just below the skin surface.
  • Keep on stabbing.
  • Keep on stabbing.
  • Keep on stabbing.
  • Mix all of the above in a bowl of water. Crushing the star anise thoroughly.
  • Now rub it into the pork.
  • Bugger off for a whole day and leave it to soak in. The alcohol should vapourise meaning it doesn't add water to the pork.
  • Stab some more.
  • Now dehydrate the meat a for a bit with a sprinkling of salt. But not too much I don't know the measurement I just grab a handful and sprinkle.
  • Leave it for another day in the fridge. The fridge is better as fridges dehydrate things also it prevents bacterial growth on the underside of the meat.
  • Now dust the salt off. As it has done its purpose.
  • Rub some more salt into it, as if it were your worst enemy and you some how have him pinned down.
  • Leave it in the fridge again for at least 24 hours. This dries the meat incredibly.
  • Now get some oil, peanut oil is ok, and rub the surface of the pork and the underside. If you feel like it stab with a soaked oil nail here and there.
  • Now put it in the oven at the top of the oven on a thin tray. Turn it to 200C and leave.
  • Come back 15 minutes later and then turn the heat down to 180C.
  • Come back 5 minutes later and then if you have a grill function in the oven turn it on.
  • Watch it like a hawk. The second it goes dark and the edges start to go brown black (charred) remove from the oven.
  • Leave it to cool on a rack for about 10 minutes to let the steam escape.
  • Then cut into cubes, add some rice and eat.

I'd note adding bacon is NOT a good idea UNLESS you add the bacon AFTER the pork has been oven'd as the fat in the bacon drips into the pork and adds moisture to the skin. Somewhat 熱氣 though. Also contains vast amounts of fat cholestrol and things which are bad for you and will significantly shorten your life!

You can add sugar though which gives it a caramel type glaze.

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