Siew Yok 烧肉

11 Nov

It’s funny how it takes a stay out of Singapore to make me get off my butt to actually cook stuff like 烧肉.  Back home, one of the aunts does a mean 烧肉 and I was under the impression it was quite a feat to do so.  The blogs all around didn’t make it sound too easy either – there was either a secret method that wasn’t revealed or the techniques sounded a tad dodgy to say the least.  But I was missing it much and with an appreciative (or non picky) “audience”  I figured that there would be no harm in trying.  Afterall, Chubby Hubby’s recipes have never failed me yet!

The whole process was not difficult.  Just tedious!  Lots of actions and it sure doesn’t fit my”1 pot dish” style of cooking!  But the result was out of this world!  I tried out the recipe on the “spare pieces” of pork that the hubby got on clearance from the market.  No point spoiling an entirely good chunk of meat on a recipe that doesn’t work, right?  The result was a tad too salty for my liking.  I didn’t do the crackling as the pieces of pork were probably what they used to make bacon rashers and were cut impossibly thin so I couldn’t stand them up.

Today was the best day to give it a shot: 1. I remembered to take the pork out of the freezer 24hours before.  2.  I had space in the tiny fridge to store the pork overnight to dry.  3. I had enough time to marinate and leave the marinate to settle in. 4. I could do it when the kid was asleep.

I was chicken and tried with only a 0.5kg piece of pork.  No point having to force yourself to eat 1kg of ruined pork or having to throw it away.

Siew Yok 烧肉

Adapted from Chubby Hubby



1 clove of garlic minced

1 tbs salt

1 tbs sugar

1 big cube of nam yee

1/2 tbs five spice powder

1 tbs rice wine vinegar


  1. Wash the piece of pork and remove the hairs with a pair of tweezers.  I prepared my meat at night so I thought there were no hairs.  Lesson learnt – I need to get better lights.  I only found out the next day when I had to marinate.  At least I found out.
  2. Using a needle, poke many, many holes in the skin.  I thought I had some needles around but I didn’t and ended up using satay sticks.  It worked.
  3. Boil 1L of water and prepare a large bowl of ice cold water while that is boiling.
  4. Pour the boiling water over the skin side of the pork to blanch it.  Follow this with the ice cold water to stop the cooking process.
  5. Dry the pork with paper towels and pop it into the fridge to dry further.
  6. Prepare the marinate by mixing all the other ingredients together (except the vinegar) and rub it into the meat part of the pork, avoiding the skin and pop it back into the fridge overnight.  Being a bit pressed for time and the piece being a tad small, I didn’t bother with scoring the meat or rubbing it in.  But I think I may just do those in the future coz the inner layers of meat while tasty may be even better if I did that.  Remember to keep the skin dry!
  7. Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius.
  8. Fill a roasting pan with water to about 1/3 and place a rack above it.  The pork goes on the top.
  9. Bake the pork for 20 minutes at 220 degrees Celsius and then turn down to 180  degrees Celsius and bake for another 40 minutes.
  10. Take the pork out and brush the skin with the vinegar and pop it back into the oven at 250 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes.  At this point, I was a smart alec and I turned on the grill.  That resulted in the pork charring a lot faster.  But the skin was so CRISP!
  11. Scrape off the charred parts with a serrated knife and chop the meat immediately.

2 Responses to “Siew Yok 烧肉”

  1. Elaine N November 13, 2010 at 4:17 pm #

    Can’t believe you actually MADE this. Way to go!

  2. brainybairn November 13, 2010 at 9:51 pm #

    I never thought I’d do it either! But it was a lot easier than what people make it out to be. You should try it one day. Straight out of the oven, it was so sinfully good! PLUS you can control the amount of salt.

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