2lb piece of pork belly, skin on
1/2 cup light soy
3/4 cup water, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp honey
1/4 c oyster sauce
3–4 star anise
1 tbsp sichuan peppercorns
1.5–2 cups kosher salt
- Combine 1/4 cup water, soy, oyster sauce, honey, star anise, peppercorns and garlic in a shallow dish large enough to fit the belly.
- Using a papertowel, pat down the skin of the belly. You want to keep it as dry as possible from this point on, ensuring no moisture or liquid touches it again. Place the belly carefully in the marinade mix, which should come up to the sides of the meat, but not touch the skin. Place in refrigerator, uncovered, overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350f, and line a roasting pan with foil (for easy cleanup). Place a rack on top of the foil, and pour remaining water in the bottom of the pan. Remove belly from marinade, brushing off any stuck peppercorns or anise, and place on the rack, skin up. If the belly is not even, use some bunched up foil to raise it and make it as level as possible.
- Carefully pour the salt onto the skin, forming a thick layer. Spread all the way to the edges, making sure the skin is not visible. Add a little extra salt if necessary – it will turn into a solid crust during cooking. Place the pan in the oven and cook for 40 minutes.
- Remove from pan from oven and increase oven temperature to 460f . Carefully lift off solid salt crusts and discard. Use a pastry brush to brush away any stray granules. Return the pork to the hotter oven to allow the skin to crisp, 35-45 minutes.
- If the skin hasn’t completely transformed to crisp crackling, turn on the broiler and blast it for a further 10 minutes, keeping a close eye to make sure it doesn’t burn.
- Remove cooked belly from oven, place on a board. Use a cleaver or roast slicer to cut into chunks and serve immediately.