Five-spice Pork Belly with Caramelised Chilli Sauce

There’s no better way to describe this pork belly than being dangerously good. I know it’s not a healthy meal, but hey everything in moderation right? – including moderation sometimes!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Drying Time 1 hour
Course Main
Servings 4
Calories 614 kcal
Dairy Free


Pork belly

  • 1 kg free-range pork belly
  • 1 tablespoon chinese five-spice
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Caramelised chilli sauce

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 large shallot finely chopped
  • 4-5 large red chillies sliced (remove some of the seeds if you want a milder sauce)
  • 2 inches ginger cut into thin matchsticks
  • 1 cup white wine
  • ¼ cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • ½ cup water or chicken stock
  • ¼ cup brown sugar


  • Put the pork in a colander and pour boiling water over the skin (the skin will tighten up). Dry the pork well and score the skin with a sharp knife at roughly 1cm intervals (scoring the skin will help the fat render out to create crispy crackling). Be careful that you do not cut too deep as to cut through the meat. Turn the pork over and slash a few shallow cuts in a criss-cross pattern into the meat side (so the five spice can be rubbed in to get more flavour into the meat).
  • Mix the five spice and oil together to form a paste. Rub the paste into the meat side only, getting well into the cuts. Do not get any paste on the skin (the skin should be kept as dry as possible). Place the pork in a dish or tray and rub salt into the skin, getting into the score marks. Place in the fridge, uncovered, to allow the pork to dry overnight or for at least 1 hour. Drain off any liquid that may have seeped out and pat the skin dry with a paper towel.
  • Preheat oven to 220 degC/430 Fahrenheit. Place the pork on a rack in a tray, skin-side-down, and roast for 15 minutes, then turn pork over so it is skin-side-up, and roast for 25-30 minutes, or until the skin crackles. Turn the oven on to grill for a few minutes to give the crackling a final blast, watching carefully that it doesn’t burn. Rest the meat in a warm place for 15 minutes while you prepare the sauce.
  • To make the sauce, heat oil in a fry pan and add garlic, shallot, chilli and ginger. Sautee garlic and shallots for 3-4 minutes, then add wine and allow to bubble rapidly before adding the remaining ingredients. Stir together and simmer sauce for 5-10 minutes to reduce down until it is slightly sticky.
  • To serve, cut pork belly into 4-5 slices, divide between plates and soon over some sauce. Serve with rice and stir-fried bok choy or broccoli.


Cook and serve this for a special occasion dinner and wow your guests with melt-in-your-mouth succulent pork belly, crispy crackling and flavours to die for. At the tiny chance of any being left over, cut the pork into bite sized pieces and serve with toothpicks and the caramelised chilli as a dipping sauce the next day – yum! Use free-range pork for best results – you will end up with a much tastier dish! I like to serve this with some rice and stir fried bok choy or broccoli.