Recipe by Matthew Mai of Mai Little China in Greenwood, Mississippi
3 pounds pork belly with skin
18 grams salt
1 teaspoon chinese five spice powder
8 grams sugar
In a pot of boiling water, cook pork belly until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes. Score underside of slab with knife at every 1½-inch interval. Mix together salt, five spice powder, and sugar. Rub mixture into the underside of the slab. Cover and marinate for at least 2 to 3 hours in refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Uncover belly and, with skin side up, use a fork to poke holes in skin. Pat skin dry using paper towels and place on a sheet of aluminum foil. Pull sides of foil up to wrap the sides of the slab, while exposing only the skin. Place on sheet pan and bake until skin is golden brown and crispy, about 45 minutes. Watch closely to make sure the skin doesn’t burn. Turn down baking temperature a little if needed.
When done, remove from oven and let rest 10 to 15 minutes before cutting. Cut into bite-sized pieces being careful to leave the skin intact. Serve immediately.