■ 1 tsp five-spice powder
■ 1 tsp Sichuan pepper
■ 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
■ 1⁄2 belly of pork, bones removed
■ 1 tsp sea-salt
This is incredible and moreish and was taught to me by my first accountant. Bizarre but true.
Start by mixing together the spices, Sichuan pepper and soy sauce. Take a Stanley knife and adjust the blade so only 1⁄8in is protruding. Score the skin every 1⁄4in along the belly. This will be our uber crackling. Turn the belly over and place on a trivet. Rub the underside with the spice mix and leave it in the fridge for four to six hours.
After this time, turn the pork over again and return it to the trivet, skin-side up. Rub the skin with some of the marinade and sprinkle it with sea-salt. Roast it at 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6 for 45 minutes, then turn the oven down to 170°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3 for 90 minutes to cook the pork gently and allow the fat to run off. Finish the belly at 220°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7 for the last 20 minutes if you need to crisp up the crackling. Allow it to rest for 20 minutes while you cook some pak choi.
Carve with a serrated knife into 1⁄2in thick slices, each with a rib of crackling. Serve with pak choi and a drizzle of sesame oil and soy sauce.