What was to be a Sunday full of surprises turned out to be a complete disappointment. Well, in the first place, one can never expect to find a huge chunk of pork belly laying in the fridge of the pathetically small NTUC at Tiong Bahru Plaza. So where else to look for it but at the conventionally (in)famous Tiong Bahru Market? So I made my way down to the market, and pretty soon, a friendly hawker beckoned to me and peddled a 1.5kg piece of pork belly at the ‘best’ price of $12.50 per kg. I happily snatched up the purchase, impressed by how easily the transaction went.
In the evening, my earlier pride was facilely wiped out when my mum-in-law reported that pork belly sells for $7 a kg at the Smith Street Market.
I could have killed a whole pig with the amount that I’ve paid.
- Pork belly: 1.5kg, cleaned thoroughly
- Coarse salt: 1 packet (sells for about $0.60 a pack)
- Ground black pepper: to taste
- Honey: 1 tbsp
- Rub salt and black pepper on under belly of pork.
- Turn belly over. Use a fork and poke holes all throughout the skin.
- Leave a thick layer of coarse salt on skin. Marinate for 2-3 hours in the fridge.
- Preheat oven at 230 degrees.
- Remove pork from fridge and remove excess layer of salt on skin.
- Cut slits lengthwise on pork skin 2mm deep, 2cm apart from each other.
- Make sure that the salt is rubbed into the slits.
- Coat skin with a layer of honey and sprinkle (lots of) black pepper on top.
- Roast pork on middle tray in oven for 30min.
- Lower heat to 180 degrees and roast for another 45min.
- The pork should be done when the skin turns golden brown.
The poking of holes on the skin allows it to lose enough water and absorb the salt, hence becoming crispy. It’d be crispier if the salt can be left on the skin for at least 2 days before the roasting (as advised by expert MIL).
The black pepper works wonders in enhancing the fragrance of the dish!
8 – 10 persons
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