Cantonese Roast Crackling Pork

Recently I’ve been seriously struggling with daylight. I planned to cook three dishes this week but with the sun now starting to go down around 2:30pm I can’t do a lot of photography after I have finished cooking. This is really annoying me! It’s very hard to take nice food photos without natural or studio lighting and I’m definitely not an early bird person on my days off. As a note I work from 9am typically until 12am-1am, once customers have ordered their final desserts. I’m not a wealthy person who can spend a couple thousand pounds on studio lighting and I’m not a housewife so time is limited.

So, rant over. Now I’m thinking about new ideas for my blog. Sometimes life’s difficulties are a good thing and it’s made me think about preparing quicker dishes to cook. Some of the most simple dishes are the tastiest.

I had a chat with one of my colleages the other day at work. She told me she really likes my blog but a lot of the dishes have too many ingredients and involve too much preparation. This conversation made me think a lot. I really value everyone’s opinion of food and what they like to learn or see from my blog, it gives me new ideas and a new point of view to my cooking.

Here is my latest recipe. This ideas of this roast crackling pork is from one of my favourite Chinese restaurants in the UK called “Imperial Palace”. Everytime I go there I want to eat this dish and it makes me keep coming back. So, I decided to give it a go. In the end it’s turned out not too bad.



850g pork belly
3 spring onions, cut into 3 cm lengthways
3 slices ginger



2 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon Sichuan pepper
1 teaspoon five spice powder
Some soy sauce
1 teaspoon caster sugar
½ teaspoon bicarbonate soda



  1. Wash the pork belly and cook in boiling water with spring onion and ginger. Cook pork belly for 5 minutes and prod a skewer inside pork. If no blood comes out it’s cooked. Soak in cold water immediately and dry it with a clean tea towel or napkin.
  2. Use a dry frying pan to sauté the Sichuan pepper until the aroma comes out. Then use a pestle and mortar to grind the Sichuan peppers into a powder.
  3. Prod the skin part with a skewer or the tool that I have pictured in this post. I bought this tool from local Chinese supermarket for about £5.
  4. Brush the soy sauce on every side of pork belly. Mix all the seasonings together evenly and gently rub the seasonings on pork belly. Leave the pork belly marinade for 2 hours.
  5. Tin foil wrap the side and bottom of the pork belly. Only leave the skin part unwrap. Put the pork belly on the middle oven shelf. Pre-heat the oven to 230 degrees and roast for 20~30 minutes.
  6. Take out the pork and brush a thin layer of oil. Roast in oven (temperature 180 degree C) for another 20 minutes.


Credits: Preparation photos were taken by myself but final photos were taken by Chris at:


  1. Indeed cracling pork is unresistable dish to our family too!
    I make this nearly every week for my son.
    Lucky that you still can find the skewer in UK. I can’t get any similar over in kiwi land, I was looking high and low for it. In the end I just poke with my sharp tip of my fruit peel :-(

    • Hi Yin,
      Crackling pork is unresistable dish to me too. (hi 5) I found my skewer tool in local Chinese supermarket. Maybe you can try to find it in Chinese supermarket in your local area too. Thank you very much for your kind comment. 😉 I’m really appreciate.

    • Thank you very much for your kind comment. I’m really really appreciate. :)

  2. I love crackling pork.. and I always thing it’s difficult to do!! But your recipe looks easy to handle for me :)

  3. I love crackling pork.. and I always think it’s difficult to do!! But your recipe looks easy to handle for me :)

    • Thank you so much for your comment. This pork belly dish is really easy to make and I hope you will give it a go in the future. 😉

  4. The sun disappears at 2.30pm??!!! Wowww that is really depressing :( even in Australia winters the sun would set at the earliest 5.00pm.. and yes, I am so thankful for summer now because I have the sun for photography lighting right up to 8.00pm and as we approach Feb we will get sun until 9.00pm! So trust me, I know how upsetting this must be because I definitely know how difficult it is to take a good photo in non-natural lighting.. hang in there *hugs*

    PS roast pork and crackling is like my weak spot. I LOVE them so much, if I’m on a diet this is the ONLY dish I would give in to.. haha. No self control over roast pork with yummy crackling!

    • Yes, it’s very depressing about the light issue. You’re so lucky to live in somewhere like Australia. But I will try my best to sort something out soon. Thank you for the hug and comment. I really need it at moment. (*hug back)

  5. This pork looks delicious! Love the crispy cracklings! Nothing beats it! Oh by the way, if you’re looking for relatively inexpensive studio lights, check out EGO lights… I know a lot of food bloggers use them and have great results.

    • Hi Peggy,
      Crispy crackling is one of my favorite thing and my weakest spot for food 😉 Thank you very much for your comment. I’m really appreciate. Also, thank you for sharing the information for lighting. I will certainly check it out when I have day off.

  6. Liv the pork looks amazing! I can’t believe that something that looks so scrumptious has few ingredients and isn’t so hard to make. You work such long hours and I don’t know where you get your energy to still cook such fantastic dishes. No light to shoot is such a difficult thing for so many of us food bloggers. But your photos are always fantastic!

    • Hi Nancy,
      Thank you so much for your kind comment. 😉
      This pork dish is really quit simple to make. I hope you will give it a go in the future :) My work hours is really long and it’s really tiring. I think it’s passion for cooking and food, also all of your sweet comments support me to keep cooking and update my blog. 😀 So, thank you so much. (big hug*) Lighting is my biggest problem at moment. But I will try to sort something out soon. Good luck to myself.

  7. Wow Liv I think I may have drooled on myself just now…I have such a weakness for anything roast pork and then you throw crackling into the mix and I’m hooked :)

    I can’t believe the sun sets so early there, I like to shoot in natural light too and the fall/winter always makes it hard!

    • Hello Joy,
      😀 Thank you so much for your kind comment. I’m like you. Roast pork+crackling = Can’t stop drooling. :) That’s why I start making this dish at home rather than spend too much money to go to that restaurant for this roast crackling pork.

      I can’t believe the sun sets so early here. I was totally shock about it when I just moved to here. But I can’t fight the natural so all i can do is just get on with it. :(

  8. And now I’m super duper hungry.

    I love that poking tool! I’ve never seen one like that before.

    • :) Thank you Gali.

  9. That looks delicious! How does one pronounce the Chinese word or phrase for crackling?


    • Hi Janet,
      Many thanks for your comment. Crackling in Chinese is “脆皮” (cui pi), so this dish in Chinese is “脆皮燒肉” (cui pi shao rou). I hope this information helps. :)

  10. Such a super tasty dish. I love roast crackling pork

  11. Love this recipe! I`m trying it today!

    • 😀 Thank you Sara, I will see you at work.

  12. Darn it! i only found this after trying to cook sizzling beef chinese style.. I would much prefer this dish.. I’m going to the chop shop to get me some pork belly this weekend :) Yummy and Thanks for the recipe :) – Dale


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