• 1 slab of pork belly
  • 2-4 tsp of Five Spice Salt (see end of recipe)
  • a pinch or two of baking soda


Season pork belly, cut into (approx) 15cm by 20cm rectangles, meat side only, with plenty of Five Spice Salt and a pinch or two of baking soda. Let sit uncovered in fridge rind side up for at least 12 hours, overnight if possible.

Cook TempCook TimePuff TempPuff TimeResult
170°C1 h220°C40 mQuicker
120°C3½ h230°C20 mMore tender

Choose a cooking strategy from the table above, depending on the time you have. Preheat oven to the =Cook Temp=. Place the belly pieces on some baking paper/foil on a tray that can contain drippings, and pour salt over pork rind in a thin layer such that the rind is just visible under the salt. Make sure to go all the way to the edges if possible. Bake for the =Cook Time= (middle rack on toaster oven). Make sure that salt crust has formed.

Remove belly pieces from oven and preheat to =Puff Temp=. Remove the salt crust from the pork and brush away as much excess salt as possible. Raise the belly pieces using rolled up aluminium foil, trying to achieve a flat surface with the rind. Pour a cup or two of water into the bottom of the tray to contain drippings, prevent smoke and keep the meat moist while the crackling forms. The water should not touch the meat that is sitting on the foil.

Put the belly pieces back into the oven (bottom rack on toaster oven). Bake further for =Puff Time=, rotating the baking tray halfway through to ensure even roasting of the rind. If too much char, reduce temperature to 200°C. Let rest for 20 minutes (or more, up to an hour) after removing from oven, then carve.


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