Really Crispy Chinese Five Spice Roast Pork Siu Yuk 

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Crispy Chinese Roast Pork Belly is a crowd pleaser. You will find these large slabs of crispy roast pork in the windows of restaurants in Chinatown, usually hanging next to some roast ducks. 

It is one of those uncomplicated recipes that you can make at home. 

Tip: For the best tasting roast pork, try and source a good piece of free range pork belly from your local butcher. I like to get free range rare breed meat as they have a lot more flavour and you will end up with a delicious dish. 

Roast pork belly is a regular offering at temples for every religious occasion in Malaysia and most of South East Asia. Big slabs of slow-roasted pork belly or even whole roasted pigs adorn the altar tables in homes and businesses on religious holidays. After the offerings to the gods, the roast pork is then served at a family banquet. 

Cantonese style roast pork belly or Siu Yuk 

This is a great simple recipe for really crispy Chinese Roast Pork.  If you see it in a restaurant, don’t confuse it with the other common roast pork, the sweet and sticky Char Siu. That is quite different, strips of pork loin, marinated in a sweet sauce and roasted.

It is quite common to see both these types of roast pork sold together. In Chinatown, one of the most popular dishes to order is a combination of crispy roast pork and char siu rice.

This recipe uses Chinese flavours like the fragrant five-spice powder but you can leave these out to suit your own taste.

This will make a great Sunday lunch recipe too but be aware that you have to start a few days earlier. This recipe takes a bit of time but with very little effort, you end up with a perfectly roasted belly of pork with crispy crackling and meltingly tender pork. 

Really Crispy Roast Pork


  • A slab of belly pork about 1kg to 1.5kg - size to suit number of servings.
  • Salt
  • 5 spice powder to taste
  • white vinegar for the skin


  • Preheat oven to 200C/400F/gas 6.
  • Wash and scrape the skin until clean. Pour over a kettle of boiling water on the skin side of the belly pork and dry it.
  • Sometimes, I leave it in the fridge overnight uncovered to get even crispier results.
  • Rub about 1 -2 tsp of salt all over.
  • Sprinkle and rub in 5 tsp of 5 spice powder all over the pork until it looks brown.
  • To roast, put the slab of bellypork, skin side up, on a wire rack over a pan of water. This will collect the fat that will be rendered out of the pork while roasting and stop the oil from splattering.
  • Roast in a hot oven for 1 1/2 hours at 200C.
  • After 1 hour, brush the skin side with vinegar and put the grill on in the oven as well and watch the skin blister. Leave it in the oven for another half an hour.
  • You should get a really crispy piece of Roast Pork with minimal effort.

How to serve crispy roast belly pork 

I like to serve this as part of a family meal, with some other dishes like some stir-fried vegetables and maybe a soup. 

For a quick lunch, serve the roast pork in a bowl of rice and add some pickles on the side. 

No meal is complete without a spicy condiment. We usually serve this roast pork with a garlic chilli sauce . This would be the same garlic chilli that goes with Hainanese Chicken Rice.

What to do with leftover roast pork

If you have any of the roast pork left, you can try these recipes.

  • Cut the pork into small cubes and add it to fried rice.
  • Roast Pork in Sweet Soya Sauce. This Hokkien recipe is a regular dish in my grandma’s house. Using up the slab of crispy roast pork that was used as an offering on the altar, this makes a very moreish dish from the regular roast pork. 

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  1. This looks delicious, I am looking forward to giving it a go!