Like a good gainclone amplifier, the ingredients are minimal:
- Pork belly, salt
- chinese wine (optional).
- Buy 1kg pork belly from the local butcher, and do not ask him to score. Do not wash.
- Score into squares so it's easier to cut later (and let the fat cook the skin). Not too deep, and should not touch the meat part.
- Sprinkle salt (can be normal salt/sea salt) and cover with paper towel for 5 minutes. The salt will suck the moisture out of the skin, and the paper towel will suck even more. Do this twice to get extra-dry skin which is the prime requirements for "crackling"
- Sprinkle salt throughout the prepared meat
- Pre-heat oven to 225-230 °C and put the meat low enough to allow even distribution of heat. Use top heater only.
- Cook for 10-15 minutes. It should come out like the picture above.
- Optionally brush a bit of Chinese cooking wine on the skin part (not too wet!). Normally I use paper towel to do this and not a brush. Sprinkle bit more salt and back in the oven.
- Continue to cook at 225-230 °C for another 10-15 minutes until the skin all crackles like above. Observe closely! as the transition between well-crackling and burnt black is very quick.
- Once the skin is all blistered and you see a hint of burnt section, set the oven temperature down to 120 °C and continue cooking for 45-60 min. This is to allow the meat to cook.
- Once done, put in a plate and leave alone for 20 minutes. Do not be tempted to cut before this time as it will be too juicy and ruins the dryness of crackling. Do not wrap in foil.
There you go... and eat in moderation (if you can)