How to make Siew Yoke / Crispy Roast Pork

Roast Pork, the chinese way aka Siew Yoke with a luscious interior and perfectly crisp crackling, this is everything roast meat should be. Siew yoke is made with very minimal ingredients and you probably already have them in your pantry right now!

All you need to do is to go to the market and get a fresh and plump piece of pork belly. And some few hours to spare.

Since it’s almost Chinese New Year, I’m going to put up CNY related stuffs this month. 🙂

Last year I made lots of siew yoke, I’ve had some failed recipes before but once I had it right, I went on to make like 10kgs of siew yoke for my nephew’s full moon party in my house. of course I ended up being the siew yoke-chopping-woman hahaha

siew yoke army

So there, there’s my army of siew yoke waiting to be devoured. The skin tends to come out easily from the layer of fat above. I’m not sure why T__T tips anyone ?

Ok, now to make siew yoke, first you need the pork-skin pricking tool, an oven and some skewers and a brush.

Ingredients for marinade; fermented bean curd, five spice powder, white pepper, salt and white vinegar

pork skin pricking tool

Actually, I haven’t used this before because I just bought it from Hong Kong. I got a plastic one before but the ‘nails’ were too big it didn’t poke thru. So even if you dont have this tool, you can use a knife to score, like me. Just make sure you don’t cut too deep that it exposes the fat layer. It takes a while for sure but it’s a crucial step. Or if you know your butcher well, ask him to do it for your 😉

how to make siew yoke 2So after u have score the skin, marinate the bottom (only) with mashed fermented beancurd, five spice powder and some salt.and white pepper. Flip it over, and use a skewer and poke through across. This will help the slab to stay flat and not shrink up too much. You can then pat dry the skin, then place it in the fridge so the skin dries up. It’s good to leave it to dry for about 4 hours or overnight.

Then sprinkle a layer of salt on top. Pat flat so it covers up the skin surface. Now this step, once, I made without the salt layer, it still is crispy but you need to wipe the oil away with a tong + paper towel otherwise the skin won’t blister on later

how to make siew yoke 3Then, put in in an oven of 200 C temperature with the regular top and bottom heat for about 20 minutes. You can see lots of fat dripping down into the bottom tray and the skin starting to tighten and have little blister at the sides (the dry skin will blister up) Remove the layer of salt. Just push it away to the bottom tray.

Using a brush, apply a thin layer of white vinegar on the surface of the skin..

how to make siew yoke 4

Then change the temperature to 230, with the grill / broil function (only top heat) This will seriously blister up and char the skin. It’s quite addictive to keep watching the blistering skin…. This step would take about 20-40 minutes, depending on the size of the slab of belly.

You would think at this point, it’s done.. Nope..

how to make siew yoke charred skinYou need to get it charred in order to achieve the crispy skin later on. But don’t worry you won’t be eating all of that…

how to make siew yoke 6Use a serrated knife to scrap the charred bits away. The skewers, can be removed before or after scrapping. Ready to dig in ?? yes already!!

how to make siew yoke - slicing

how to make siew yoke ovenCut a long slice, then chop chop chop away! Now, you need to have a chopper to do a clean cut, so make sure your knife is sharp and heavy.

Crispy Roast Pork / Siew Yoke Recipe

(based on 2kg slab of Pork Belly)

2 kg Pork Belly with skin – washed and pat very dry with a paper towel.


2 cubes of preserved fermented red beancurd (nam yue)

1 tbsp Chinese 5-spice powder (Ng Heong Fun)

1 tbsp white pepper

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp sugar

2 tbsps rice wine


2 tbsp salt, for rubbing on pork skin

4 tbsp white vinegar, for brushing on pork skin at 20 minutes into roasting



1. Pierce pork skin with the piercing tool or score with a very sharp knife, but not too deep. Turn mean over. Rub marinate all over the meat side of the pork belly for a few minutes.

2. Place pork belly meat side down in a rectangular baking tray. Place uncovered in fridge overnight until an hour before roasting.

3. To roast, preheat oven to 200 C for 20 minutes. Use a skewer to poke through the pork belly diagonally so it stays in shape while cooking.

4. Place pork belly on a rack in the middle of the oven. Have a pan below to catch the dripping fat during roasting. Wrap the bottom pan with aluminium foil for easier cleaning later.

5. After 20 minutes, remove the pork belly, brush away the salt, wipe any grease on top of the skin, use a brush and brush white vinegar over the surface only.

6. Put it in the oven, increase the temperature to 230 C and turn the function to Broiler / Grill. It will take about 20-30 minutes depending on the size of the pork. Ideally, it should bubble and crisp up and turn charred. If there are parts which hasn’t bubble up, use a tong clipped with paper towel and wipe the oil away on the surface.

7. Once it is charred, remove from oven and let it cool. Use a serrated knife to scrap the charred bits off. Then chop lengthwise to a long strip, use a chopper and cut to smaller pieces.


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