Whether I make Perfectly Crispy Belly Pork (Siu Yuk) or a Sunday pork roast, you can never get enough of the crispy crackling that sits on the wonderfully soft meat. The kids often fight for the last pieces of broken crackle but with the amount of salt and fat, this is an occasional treat. My personal favourite method of eating the crackle is scooping a dose of hoisin sauce or apple sauce to balance the saltiness of the crackle.
Pork crackling is often used for many Chinese dishes too. My parents would get pork rind from the local butchers, clean them and then hang dry. They would resemble wrung out chamois cloth all twisted and brittle. The dried skin would then be fried and stored in dry place where it would be soaked back in water and chopped up and used for soups, braises and stir fries.
In the UK, pork crackle or scratchings its often called, have long been popular as an accompaniment to a pint of beer. Despite them being seen as little bites of ‘heart attack’, they are soo addictive! …in moderation I say.
What you need to make this great snack:
500g Pork rind
1 1/2 tbsp sea salt
1/2 tsp sichuan pepper
6 bamboo skewers
Firstly you want to get the rind as dry as possible but first you have to soak in hot water. It may sound counter intuitive but you want to poke some holes with ease later using some bamboo skewers.
Place the rind in hot water and boil for 10min. Remove from the pan and cool. Transfer onto oven trays.
Hold the bamboo skewers and pierce the rinds. This will make the rind lighter and crispier rather than brittle and hard.
Rub salt onto the rind and spread evenly. Place into the fridge and leave for 24hrs to dry out.
Place in the oven at gas mark 6 or 180 degrees for 30 minutes and then turn down to 150 degrees and leave in the oven for a further 1 hour.
Note: there will be lots of oil. My mistake was i was too eager to make crackle. Use a rack if you have one so you can drain the fat away.
Whilst the pig rind is roasting, grind the salt and pepper in a pestal and mortar to a find powder. If you don’t have one, you can use a salt grinder.
When the pig rinds are bubbly and crisp they are ready. In a mixing bowl snap the warm crackle into shards and sprinkle the salt and pepper mixture. Serve with hoisin sauce and apple sauce.
Hope you enjoy them.