Category Archives: cooking

Roasted Pork Belly (Sio Bak) .. Babi Panggang

Hi Guys!!  So Jason has been encouraging me to start writing on this blog to share my journey on the newly found hobby.. baking and cooking.. yes.. it took me 30 years to realize that I actually like to cook and bake.. This started when Jason bought me an oven (Thanks Bay!! :) )

Last week, I decided to make Roasted Pork Belly (yummm yumm…) , my mom loves this, so rather than buying from the hawker center why not make it myself. I went to Tiong Bahru market to buy the pork belly from Uncle A Guan. Jason’s family has been buying pork from this stall for 3 generations and Jovan (our son) seems to be liking that Uncle too :). I also dropped by the vegetable stall to buy fresh lemon grass, lemon and rosemary.

This recipe is my own creation inspired when watching Jamie Oliver make his Roasted Chicken. I thought of experimenting and it turned out to be fantastic and a totally different flavour than those you buy at the hawker stalls. And by the way, this is my second try.

The ingredients:

  • Pork Belly (I only use 0.5kg but it depends on how many people in your house)
  • Fresh Rosemary
  • Lemon
  • Minced Garlic
  • Salt & Pepper

The tools:

  • Aluminium Container
  • Satay sticks
  • Oven

The method:

the meat prepared for roasting

  1. Clean the remaining hair from the pork belly’s skin with a tweezers
  2. Insert satay stick this is manner ..“X” to avoid it from curling up when roasted. Place pork belly in the aluminum container with the meat part facing up
  3. Heat up oven at 160C top grill and roast the belly for 30 minutes (stage 1)
  4. After 30 minutes, take the belly out from the oven. At this stage it is half done. Poke the skin with tooth pick (yes.. tooth pick.. at this stage the skin is soft). Do not miss any corner of the skin as this is the secret of a perfect crackling skin.
  5. Apply the minced garlic all over the meat side (avoid the skin), sprinkle a little salt and pepper
  6. Sprinkle salt all over the skin
  7. Lay rosemary and lemon grass on the bottom of the aluminum container and squeeze the lemon. Put the pork belly on top of it with meat part facing up.
  8. Roast for another 30 minutes at 160C top grill.
  9. Remove the rosemary and lemon grass from the container. Remove the satay sticks. Turn the pork belly so that the skin face up. Dab the skin with kitchen towel to remove any water/sweat.
  10. Crank up your oven to maximum temperature and roast the skin for 45 minutes. At this stage, you will be able to hear the crackling sound of the skin.. (yum yum)
  11. Some part of the skin will get a little black but it doesn’t matter, you just have to scrape it off
  12. Slice and serve

Cross Section of the meat after roasting

The learning:

  1. On my 1st experiment, instead of grilling for 30 minutes (stage 1), I blanched the belly for 1 minute in boiling water but the skin turn out to be tough and difficult to poke. At the same time, the meat becomes dry. By grilling, the skin is very soft and the meat stays moist.
  2. You may score the meat part around 1 inch thick before grilling. This is for easy cutting when belly is done.
  3. If you want the taste of the belly to exactly the same as the hawker stalls, you should use the 5 spices (Ngo Hiong) instead of using rosemary, garlic, lemon grass and lemon.
  4. To make the belly a little tangier, you can rub Coleman’s Mustard on the meat part before applying the garlic.

The belly turned out to be very crispy, moist and the aroma was just superb. Jason and my mom love this dish, next time I’m gonna make a little more for Jason’s parents.

The Meat cut into chunks ready to be served