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:

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