Crispy roast pork belly sits on a roasting pan linked with baking paper. Fresh chilli and herbs decorate.

In need of delicious crispy roast pork belly fragrant for Asian dishes like bao buns, noodles or ramen dishes? Cherie Metcalfe swears by this recipe.

Crispy Roast Pork Belly

Recipe by Cherie Metcalfe
This is the pork belly recipe I use to get delicious crispy fragrant spiced belly for bao buns and to slice and serve with noodles or any ramen dishes. I’ve played with a few different ways of getting that skin super crispy, and while my dad swears by drying the skin with a hairdryer, I prefer to blanch it really well by pouring boiling water over. Don’t be surprised when the meat shrinks significantly while cooking, due to its fat content.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Servings 4 people


  • 1 kg slab pork belly hair and nipples removed (be warned, cutting a nipple off a piece of pork is enough to turn anyone vegetarian)
  • cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ cup any store-bought gluten-free soy or ginger stir-fry sauce plus extra for serving
  • 1 teaspoon five spice
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon gluten-free onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon gluten-free garlic powder
  • thumb-sized piece fresh ginger
  • finely grated


  • Preheat the oven to 230°C. Boil a jug full of water. Line an oven tray with baking paper.
  • Pat the pork belly dry. Using a sharp knife, score the top with a criss-cross pattern about 3–4mm deep (not quite all the way through the skin). Put the belly onto a cooling rack, placed in or across the top of the sink (so the boiling water can trickle away). Pour the jug of boiling water very slowly and evenly across the pork belly. Dry with a paper towel, and then refill the jug and repeat the process. Dry the pork belly really well.
  • Rub the olive oil and salt into the skin. Mix together the stir-fry sauce, spices and ginger and rub all across the bottom meaty part of the belly, while keeping the top nice and dry, just with its oil and salt. Pop the belly back on the cooling rack, then place on the prepared oven tray and into the oven.
  • Roast for about 15 minutes. When the skin is looking nice and bubbly and the meat has been really hit with that heat, reduce the oven temperature to 160°C and leave to slowly cook for around 1½–1¾ hours. The meat should be starting to feel pretty tender by then, and if the top is perfectly crispy it’s time to pull it out. Sometimes the stubborn skin might need a little help, and I finish by grilling it for 1–2 minutes. Do not—I repeat DO NOT—walk away from the oven at this stage.
  • Watch it like a hawk, as it will burn in seconds.
  • Once the pork is perfectly golden and crisp, remove from the oven and rest for 10 minutes. It will be quite dry on the bottom, but infused with the delicious stir-fry sauce and spices. Slice the pork more than 1cm thick and brush the slices with extra stir-fry sauce before serving.


Recipe extracted from Keepers by Cherie Metcalfe, published by Allen & Unwin NZ, RRP $45, photography by Melanie Jenkins.Cover of Keepers by Cherie Metcalfe
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