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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Thịt Heo Quay (Roast Pork)


Within a month, I have made thit heo quay (roast pork) 4 times! You would think I would have gained a ton of weight from consuming all these food, right? The truth is I've actually lost weight because I was so consumed with my recipes that I would sacrifice my meals. Well, at least the sacrifice pays off.

So after 4 experiments on the roast pork, I finally achieved the crispiness and flavor that I wanted by using various methods utilizing lime juice, vinegar, and sea salt. Additionally, I have figured out a way to eliminate the smoky, porky smell of roast pork from lingering all over the house.



Thịt Heo Quay might look hard to roast but after a few tries, it's duck soup. For me the most exciting part of roasting the pork is anxiously waiting to hear the sound of the pork skin crackling out loud like fire crackers toward the end of the roasting process. The minute I hear it pops my heart is filled with the joy, and I know my family doesn't have to eat tough chewy roast pork that day. 

Now,  it's your turn to have some fun and try out the recipe. Hope your first time is a charm!
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RECIPE: ROAST PORK
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Ingredients


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 (very inexpenvise at Asian markets)
2 teaspoons Vinegar or Lime Juice
1 teaspoon Salt
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Directions
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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, and broil on medium heat (my oven has broil number setting at 1 low to 3 high) 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. 


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Presentation


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!

33 comments:

  1. Amazing ! Your recipe is so detailed. Thank you so much ;-)

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  2. Do you prefer the lime juice or vinegar?

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    Replies
    1. Both lime juice and vinegar work fine. I use whatever I have on hand. In this recipe I used vinegar since the price of lime has gone up to $1 each. LOL.

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  3. How do you get rid of the smell after roasting?

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    Replies
    1. I have explained in the recipe. Beside that, I also opened the windows while roasting it.

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  4. Hi Loan,
    The Roast Pork looks amazing. Can you please share your fresh Bún recipe. I am pregnant and when I saw your roast pork, I crave a bowl of bún heo quay.
    Thanks heaps.

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  5. I have everything but kosher sea salt. Can I use regular fine sea salt and still achieve the same success as yours?

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    Replies
    1. Fine sea salt is fine. I did try it with fine sea salt too. It's also ok to not using salt at all. Just mix 1 teaspoon regular salt with 2 teaspoons vinegar. Brush the mixture all over the skin then roast it.

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  6. Thank you for all the experiments and posting this recipe! It's simple scrumptious. I will try this in the near future.

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  7. Hi Loan, is it ok for me to use the regular kosher salt instead of the kosher sea salt like you have mentioned in the recipe? Thanks for sharing another great recipe :D

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  8. Kosher salt is fine. It's also ok to not using salt at all. Just mix 1 teaspoon regular salt with 2 teaspoons vinegar. Brush the mixture all over the skin then roast it.

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  9. This looks amazing!! Will try next :D will you please post a recipe for bun rieu too?? Thanks!!!

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  10. Should I move the rack to upper third of the oven when I turn on the broiler?

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    Replies
    1. When broil the meat, move the rack to the lowest level toward the bottom of the oven

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  11. Hi Loan!
    When you say, "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.", what temperature are you roasting at?

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  12. Hi Chị Loan,
    Im gonna roast mine in about an hour! Cant wait to see the result!! I will try it with vinegar and salt this time since i forgot to buy sea salt! Btw, how often do i have to brush the vinegar/salt to the meat chị? just the initial time? Thanks Chị a bunch for such a descriptive recipe! I used to hate cooking b/c my mom is a great cook and she does all the cooking but since i found your site thru FB! I am now an everyday chef chị! My mamma is so proud of me tehehe..been trying out most of your recipes already and Oh God, i did gain weigh!! :(( who cares rite? as long as yummy in my tummy first!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Btw, get the sea salt at Asian Supermarket. It's really cheap. A big bag costs about $2. This sea salt made in Korea

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  13. Hi Tiffany,
    Brush the vinegar/salt on the skin for 3 times. Each time, wait about 5 minutes for the vinegar mixture to dry off then apply vinegar mixture again. At the last stage of broiling the skin, it's ok if it gets burned. Just scrape the burn layer off. Good luck!
    I need to edit the recipe soon.

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  14. I did it chị! Super tasty! My parents and siblings really enjoyed it chị! they kept complimented me tehehehe...btw, i only brushed once since i just read your comment now! will keep that in mind for future chị! thanks chị so much!! cant wait to make xôi bắp from your recipe but cant find corn maze (bắp chà) any ASIAN stores!! did you get yours at American store by chance?

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    Replies
    1. I got bap chà from Asian store. If you can't find it, just use white hominy in the can which you can find it at any American stores.

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  15. chi oi please show us how to make banh hoi please. thank you chi

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  16. chị mua bánh hỏi khô ở chợ rồi về steam lại thôi Trang.

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  17. I tried this dish twice. The first time, I forgot to move the rack to the lowest level in the oven before broiling the skin, but it came out perfectly cracked and puffed. It was a bit salty for my taste.
    The second time I tried it, I cut back on the salt, and remembered to lower the rack before broiling. The skin didn't puff at all and it became so hard that I had to cut that part out when serving. The taste of the meat though was so delicious that I received many compliments on the flavors.
    I had tried many of your recipes, and they all turned out exceptional. I want to thank you for making the effort to share them.

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    Replies


    1. I have a small oven so when broiling thit heo quay, it works better when I move the rack to the lowest level.
      Broiling on the upper rack speeds up the cracking and puffing but doesn't make the skin crunchy all the way through. However, when using the lowest rack level, it takes longer to crack and puff but it achieves a better result as the skin becomes crunchy more evenly.
      So broil at whichever rack level that gives you the best result.

      After broiling, the meat is salty and dark on the outer layer but the inside of the meat is very tasty. Before serving, I trim off the outer layer and discard it.

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  18. Hello chi. loan,

    I followed ur recipe today and it turned out delicious. Thank so much for the recipe.

    Rose

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  19. Thanks Loan for sharing the recipe . It's turned out delicious. I definitely make it again.

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  20. Thank you for this recipe however since it was a somewhat warm day, 20 F, I decided to grill the pork instead of using the oven. My wife commented that the smoke flavor from grilling really added an additional dimension and I agree.

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  21. Thank you very much, Loan, for the recipe!!! It's delicious!

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  22. Chi loan
    Em rat thich ban mi thit heo . But one thing I miss is the sauce .. Can u please show em?

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi Antoine,
    Chị không biết em nói sauce gì ? Gia vị ướp thịt là hỗn hợp của gia vị khô thôi em.

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  24. It looks so yummy. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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