1 slab of pork belly about 2 – 2.5 pounds
1 teaspoon Shaoxing cooking wine (1 Tablespoon for a little chef)
2 tablespoon sugar
3.5 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon Five Spice powder
Tools for the little chef: poky sticks, escargot fork, latex gloves, cooking brush, large baking tray, foil, two little cups or bowls labeled A and B
“Hi! I’m going to show you little friends how to help your mommy and daddy make Chinese roasted pork in this pictorial!
Step 1: Mommy rinsed a slab of pork belly about 2 to 2.5 pounds. This slab of pork belly weighs 2.2 pounds to be exact. Try to pick a slab of pork belly that has an even thickness.
Step 2: Mommy blanched or lightly boiled the pork belly for just 10 minutes. Remember to remind mommy to flip the meat over after five minutes.
Step 3: Mommy scooped the pork belly onto a colander. Then she pats it dry with a paper towel. She would not let me help because it is hot! She reserved the pork broth or water used to boil the pork belly aside to make my favorite pork udon soup later.
Step 4: We are supposed to tenderize the pork skin with a tool called a Microplane Meat Tenderizer. We don’t have such fancy tool so I just helped poke the meat with these pointy sticks and an escargot fork. Mommy said I did my best and that’s all it matters.
Step 5: Mommy and I rubbed a pinch of kosher salt onto the SKIN part (not the meat). I didn’t like getting my hands dirty so I just posed in this picture. Please pretend I did help.
Step 6: Mommy put one tablespoon of Shaosing cooking wine into bowl A. Did you know that “ramican” is just another word for a little bowl? Anyway, mommy mixed 3.5 teaspoon of kosher salt, 2 teaspoon of sugar, and a half teaspoon of Five Spice into bowl B.
Step 7: Mommy only needs to rub one teaspoon of Shaosing cooking wine onto the meat, but she used 1 Tablespoon instead because I get to brush the wine onto the meat and much of the liquid will absorb onto the brush.
Step 8: This looked so fun! I tried putting on a latex glove and tried to rub the stuff in “Bowl B” onto the meat. Be careful not to rub it onto the pork skin because it will darken the skin. Mommy helped rub the stuff on the sides.
Step 9: Mommy flipped the pork belly over so that the skin is showing on top. I tried my best to help mommy fold the foil. Mommy puts the pork belly in the fridge to marinate overnight.
Step 10: The next day, the pork skin is a bit tougher. so mommy tenderize it again for another five minutes by poking more holes and rubbing a pinch of salt evenly on the skin.
Step 11: I got to put something in the oven for the first time! I helped put a large baking tray on the bottom rack just in case things get messy while baking. Mommy baked the pork belly for about 20 to 25 minutes at 435 degrees.
Step 12: After baking the pork belly, broil it on high for 15 minutes to form the crispy and crunchy layer of pork skin. Mommy actually broiled it for 18 minutes total.
Step 13: Mommy sliced the pork belly sideways. She did her best.
Enjoy! I did not like this because I only like to eat SOFT pork skin, but my little girlfriend sure loves eating this version of Chinese roasted pork so I guess you can say it’s ‘toddler-approved’.
Enjoy my little friends! Oh! Remember the reserved pork bone broth that mommy had from blanching the pork belly? Well, while I crashed in bed, she made me a nice pot of Japanese udon noodles with my favorite dried pork skin. I was not happy to know mommy didn’t wait for me to cook.”
To be continued…