900g pork belly
2 tbsp Chinese rice wine
11/2 tbsp Chinese five spice
1 tsp white pepper
2 tbsp rice vinegar
160g rock salt
sugar, to serve
The night before you want to cook the pork, pierce the skin all over with a corn cob spike or sharp knife, taking care not to puncture the meat underneath. If using a knife, be sure not to cut too deeply. The more holes you can pierce into the skin, the crisper it will be. Lay the pork belly skin side-down and massage the rice wine into the meat-side only, followed by the five spice, 2 tsp salt and white pepper. Place the pork belly in a dish, skin-side up, dry the skin with kitchen paper and put in the fridge, uncovered, overnight.
When you’re ready to cook, heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Place the pork on a piece of foil, fold the edges up to the pork belly covering the meat, but not the skin, on all sides. Dry the skin with kitchen paper again, then brush with the rice vinegar. Cover the skin completely with rock salt, then transfer to the oven to cook for 1 hr.
Remove the salt crust from the pork belly, discard, and transfer it to a clean baking tray. Return to the oven, uncovered, for 30-40 mins more. Remove from the oven and place under a hot grill for 8-10 mins until super-crispy (keep checking it to make sure it doesn’t burn).
Slice into bite-sized pieces and serve with a bowl of sugar for dipping.