How to Make Crispy Skin Pork (Siu Yuk)

Hello and welcome to your How to Make Crispy Skin Pork (aka Siew Yuk / Siu Yuk) tutorial with step-by-step pictures!
Yay! We all love pictures! I thought my last post on Crispy Skinned Pork was OK, but needed some before and action shots.
First things first: Get your seasonings out. Clockwise from the top is Sugar, White Pepper, 5 Spice Powder, and MSG.

There’s as much or more sugar than all of the other ingredients combined. But don’t worry, this was in a tiny bowl – I just took this so you could have a jumping point of how you’d like your seasonings. With this amount, the pork flavor is enhanced and the seasonings are subtle. Use a small saucer or something and just whack your 5 spice powder a few times and then go from there.

Then you grab your pork belly from out of the fridge and wash it off. Ai ya! Look at all that fat! Dry it off well with paper towels after rinsing.

Plop your belly skin-side down and score the flesh side of the pork belly. This helps the seasoning get in a bit deeper.

Slather your meat sides (all 3 of ’em) with the dry seasoning. The dry seasoning is used to keep the pork as dry as possible, so don’t use wet seasonings. If it gets on the skin it’ll just be rubbery and flabby and not develop that delicious crunchy skin we all love.

Plop the belly skin side UP (seasoning side down) and wipe off any seasoning that may have wiggled its way onto the skin. Then stick it in the fridge, uncovered for 30 minutes to 2 days.

Keep it uncovered to dry out the skin and meat. It helps the skin crisp up in the oven when you cook it.

This is what your pork belly looks like if you’ve left it uncovered in the fridge for about a day, or 20-24 hours. The skin has retracted a bit (you can see the fat peeking in the top right above). Your fridge smells kind of like rotting piggy/funk. Cue flashbacks.

Then grab a handful of kosher salt. (I love you macro setting! (it’s a flower icon on my camera (how cute!!))) Don’t go stealing my identity with my palm prints or anything. I’m on to you, internets.

Slather the skin liberally with salt.
This was hard to do since the skin was so dry, but I gently patted it on and it stayed, for the most part. I’m not sure how it would be if you put the salt on and then let it sit in the fridge. Maybe that will be the next experiment.

After setting your oven to 450 F, set two of your oven racks as close to your heat source as possible. Plop your pork belly directly on to the top rack, and place a cookie sheet/dripping pan underneath on the 2nd rack to catch all of that fatty goodness.

Veg heads – I washed the cookie sheet. S’ok. Although pork cookies sound delicious as well. I also really like the term “veg head” you can have veg head days, your friends can be veg heads, it’s pretty flexible. I’m sure someone else came up with this, but I’m going to pretend I’m original in creating it.

Sorry, you can’t not have a post without me rambling. At any rate, after 20 minutes, go back and check on your piggy.
It’s shrunken a bit and there’s some fat on the cookie sheet. Good. We are in business. Or bidness. But not bizznazz, because the ‘nazz’ makes me think ‘nasty’, and this crispy skin pork is anything but ‘nasty’.

Grab your favorite sharp and pokey object and get ta’ pokin’!

I used a fondue fork. Poke the crap out of that thing. Seriously. I turned the oven off for a bit and pulled the two racks out so I wouldn’t burn or bake myself and poked the skin of the pork for a WHILE. If you think to yourself “Is there any skin left to poke? I think I’ve done every square centimeter.” then you’ve done a good job. Lots of poking. Lots.

I don’t think you can tell, but after poking this thing will start oozing liquid fat like a MOTHER. The skin top will be all nice and glossy with fat. Glisten, little piggie, glisten!

Place some rice wine vinegar in a little saucer bowl and brush on top of the pork belly skin. Don’t forget to turn the oven back on!
This is supposed to help crisp it up, and the vinegar flavor completely cooks off in the oven. The final product has no hint of vinegar, and neither do the drippings.

Wait. Let it cook at least 40 minutes more. Peek in on it every now and then, but for the most part, leave it alone until the edges look really dark (like above).

Rejoice! Once it reaches that state, you are done! If your pork belly is > 1 lb, you will need to cook it longer. No need to let it rest, dig right in if you want!
Lose camera somewhere in house, then give in to the siren call of the pork skin and eat half with hubby.

Find camera next morning in fireplace, wonder how the hell it ended up there of all places, and then take picture of remaining siu yuk that hubby has not eaten while you were sleeping.

See the striations? Turns out there was some meat in there after all.
You’ve got the crunchy skin on top, then the fat underneath, then thin layer of meat, thin layer of fat, a little more meat, thin layer of fat (kind of like a belt, right? haha) thick layer of meat, thin layer of fat, and spotty patches of more meat. Yummy! I love the lower layers because they’re more ‘dark’ meat than the top and even juicier.

The skin was just a bit chewier than the last one – I think it got a little too dry in my fridge, so next time I’m just letting it sit a few hours and not 24. But the fat cooked off much more, so there was a better flavor ratio than just fat oozing everywhere. Hey, I do lurve cracklins, but sometimes it’s about ratios of flavor. Delicious, porky ratios. Mmmm.
  1. llcwine said:

    looks unbelievably porky good

  2. ellie said:

    What is it with people teasing vegetarians with pork all of a sudden?

  3. llcwine – indeedy!ellie – haha, you’d know it if I were teasing you – right now your eyeballs are just teasing you by lookin’ at it. As are mine. Dangit, I want moooore.

  4. Anonymous said:

    made it this morning; it was heaven.The pictures were great. thanks. The only difference was that, based on a youtube I saw, I broiled it at the end for a few minutes to put a char on the skin. That got rid of a little rubber still left after the initial cook. Then I took a serrated knife and scarped off all the burnt and the color and crispiness were perfect.

  5. holy crud that looks good. might have to give it a try myself.

  6. Love it!!!!!!!! I’m a pork fanatic. I dig your pork-style.

  7. Anonymous said:

    Only works if your fridge is self-defrosting, otherwise the skin will not dry up enough to become crispy.

    I know it’s not really a problem in this day and age, but I’m stuck with a small one door fridge in my dorm room.

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