- 3 pounds skin-on pork belly (center-cut)
- 4 teaspoons Red Boat salt
- 2 teaspoons five-spice
Salt the skin.
- Place the pork belly skin-side down on a cutting board, then trim the belly so that it’s the same thickness throughout. If there’s a side that’s thicker than another, then the pork belly will roast unevenly, resulting in areas that will be burnt and other areas that will not have puffed and crisped.
- Turn the pork belly skin-side up. Rub the pork belly skin with 3 teaspoon Red Boat salt.
- Place the pork belly, skin-side up, in a baking sheet fitted with a wire rack. Leave uncovered in the refrigerator overnight.
- Take the pork belly out and use a paper towel to wipe the pork belly dry. The drier the pork skin, the crispier the skin will be. (If you want to, you can put the pork belly back in the refrigerator uncovered for another day to let the skin dry even more.)
- Use a skewer to poke holes all over skin. This perforating will help the skin puff up and become crisp, so the more perforations, the better.
- Turn the pork skin-side down, then make 4 shallow cuts along the grain to score the belly into even strips (roughly 1 ½ - 2 inches wide). Press one palm to keep the pork belly steady, then in between each score mark, run a skewer through the belly. Then cut the belly into strips, also using the scoring as your guide.
- Make a rub by combining 2 teaspoon five-spice with 1 teaspoon Red Boat salt, then cover the flesh of the belly with the rub, including in-between the cuts. Do not apply any rub to the skin portion of the belly.
- Line the pork strips up next to each other, skin-side down. Run skewers to join the strips back together again. You should end up with one whole block of belly bound together with horizontal and vertical skewers. This skewer structure will help the strips remain flat during roasting, which will result in an evenly crisped skin. Cut any protruding skewers coming out of the sides of the strips.
- Create an aluminum roasting tray for the belly: place the belly on top of 2 sheets of aluminum foil. Fold up the sides of the foil to create a little open-face box that snugly encases the belly. This will allow the skin to crisp during the high heat roasting while preventing the rest of the belly from drying out.
- Let the belly rest at room temperature for an hour.
- Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 250° F.
- Once the oven is heated, place the aluminum-wrapped belly onto a wire rack-lined baking sheet and put it in the oven on the highest rack. Position the pork towards the back of the oven. Roast for 2 ½ hours.
- After 2 ½ hours, raise the temperature of the oven to 400° F and roast for 40 minutes or until the skin has crisped and puffed.
- After the skin has puffed, turn off the oven, use a towel to prop the oven door slightly ajar. Leave the pork in the oven to roast for another 30-60 minutes in the residual heat of the oven.
- After 30-60 minutes, take the pork belly out of the oven. Remove the skewers. Slice and serve warm or at room temperature.