Jun 24, 2020

Hakka Style Roast Pork 客家鹹豬肉

The "Hakka" I'm referring to is more about "Taiwanese Hakka." Taiwanese Hakka are Taiwanese with Han nationality and Hakka identity. Note that Hakka is the second largest ethnic group in Taiwan. And today we are going to make one of Hakka's most comforting dishes, Hakka style roast pork.

Hakka style roast pork 客家鹹豬肉 - 




Ingredients?


  • 2 pork belly (about 0.5 to 1 inch wide)
  • Some Chinese rice cooking wine 米酒
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely-cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon five spice powder 五香粉
  • Some garlic sprouts 蒜苗 (optional)


Dipping sauce (optional) -


  • Some rice vinegar
  • Some grated garlic


How?


Traditionally, Hakka style roast pork usually paired with a dipping sauce made with a mixture of rice vinegar and grated garlic. Some also serve the pork with sliced Chinese leek or garlic sprouts. However, these are not requirements, the pork alone is already well-seasoned and still quite yummy without these side boosts.


Splash some rice cooking wine to the pork and give it a quick massage. Use a fort to prick some holes throughout. Peel and chop the garlic cloves.


Take a non-stick pan, add about 1 tablespoon of Sichuan peppercorns. Use low heat to warm up these peppercorns, which will help releasing the aroma.




Transfer toasted Sichuan peppercorns to a cutting board and crush them using the side of the knife.


Mix these peppercorns together with 2 teaspoons of salt, 2 teaspoons of coarsely-cracked black pepper, 1 teaspoon of five spice powder, and 2 tablespoons of chopped garlic.




Transfer pork belly to a large Ziploc bag. Add in all the mixed seasonings. Seal the bag and massage these spices into the meat. Make sure not to miss any spots. Let it sit in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. Remember to re-massage the meat, perhaps flip the bag to the other side once a while.




When it's time for roasting, preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit/220 degrees Celsius. Line a baking sheet with foil. 


Rinse off the seasonings from the pork. Pat dry with paper towel. Transfer to the baking sheet and roast for about 15 minutes. Take out the dish and flip the pork bellies to the other side, back to the oven and continue to roast for another 10 minutes, or till fully cooked through.




Remove from heat and let the meat rest for about 10 minutes. Slice with some thickness for a hearty chew. Serve with rice vinegar garlicky sauce, garlic sprouts, or Chinese leek if preferred, but this Hakka style roast pork is already quite flavorful on its own.




One a side note, when rinsing pork to remove the seasonings, it's not absolutely necessary to wash off everything. I actually enjoy some Sichuan peppercorns that got stuck inside the meat after roasting. When biting into these peppercorns, that aromatic burst was pretty addicting, also not quite as numbing as I would have imagined. 


  

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