Thịt Heo Quay (Roast Pork)


1 piece (2-3 pounds) Pork Belly, with or without bone-on 

for the Meat

2 teaspoons Salt

2 teaspoons Five Spices

1 teaspoon Black Pepper

3 teaspoons Sugar

2-3 cloves of Garlic

for the Skin

Kosher Sea Salt

2 teaspoons Vinegar or Lime Juice

1 teaspoon Salt



Preparing Pork

Use a knife to scrape the pork's skin thoroughly to eliminate the odor on the skin. Use a tweezer to remove hair on the pork skin if any. Rinse and pat-dry.


Marinating Meat

Smash garlic with a pestle then combine all dried ingredients and mix well.
Rub it all over the top and sides of the meat but NOT the skin.
If you have a big piece of meat, cut the meat about 1/2 inch deep  into small sections then rub the dried ingredients all over it  This way the meat will absorb the seasoning quickly.
Flip the meat over with the skin face up. Use a piece of paper towel to pat the surface very dry.

Place the meat in the fridge for at least 4 hours or over night to marinate it. DO NOT cover the meat with plastic wrap as the moisture will collect on the plastic wrap and wet the skin.


Preparing the pork skin

At this point, preheat oven to 395 F or 200 degrees Celsius.

Remove pork from the fridge. Prick the skin all over with a sharp fork or a skewer but try not to prick too deep that it disrupts the fat layer under the skin. This will cause the fat to release during baking and will wet the skin.

Place pork on a big piece of foil wrap and fold it up like a boat. This method is to keep the meat from being dried and burnt; it also holds off the layer of salt. Last but not least, it prevents the fat from splattering all over the oven.

Make sure the pork skin is dried. Use a paper towel to pat dry it if needed. Use a brush or your fingers to massage vinegar or lime juice all over the skin.

Method #1: Cover the pork skin with a layer of sea salt will help reduce the smoky pork odor.  This method comes from ancient Chinese recipe to trap heat and moisture under an airtight crust, forcing seasoning to permeate the food rather than allowing them to escape.

Method #2: You can eliminate the layer of sea salt step but make sure to mix 2 teaspoons of vinegar/lime juice with 1 teaspoon of salt then brush or your fingers to massage  over the skin.


Roasting the Pork

Place the pork boat on a tray and roast it in the middle rack of the oven for about 50-60 minutes depends on the size of the pork.

Remove the pork tray from the oven.  Remove the foil wrap to make it easier to scrape off the layer of salt. Discard all the salt.

Put meat back on the rack with a tray on the bottom to catch the dripping fat. Switch the heat to broil on medium heat (my oven has broil number setting at 1 low to 3 high) and broil for another 10-15 minutes until the skin is crackling and puffing evenly.

If you use method #2 which is without applying a layer of salt, keep the meat in the foil boat while broiling to catch the dripping fat.

If there is an area that hasn't cracked and puffed yet, cover the finished part with foil wrap to prevent it from burning and continue roasting.

Once done, remove from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before cutting with the skin facing up.

If there are any burnt parts of the skin, use a knife to scrape it off.



Chop roasted pork into small bite size pieces.  Serve with steamed rice or enjoy it with bánh hỏi (fine rice noodle cake), lots of herb and lettuces.

Ăn Ngon!