Crispy Roast Pork Belly (Thịt Heo Quay)

Roast pork belly (Thịt Heo Quay) is a dish that was served mainly during celebrations in my household. It is usually eaten with Vermicelli squares (Bánh Hỏi) topped with a spring onion/scallion oil (see Note at the end of the page), large soft lettuce leaves, cucumber and a bunch of herbs such as coriander, mint, thai basil, Vietnamese fish mint (Diếp Cá), Vietnamese coriander (Rau Răm), and Vietnamese Perilla (Tiá Tô).

Fish sauce dip (click for recipe) is the sauce that is served with this dish. Some people add all the ingredients in a bowl and drizzle the fish sauce over like a salad. However, while the ingredients remain the same, I feel as though eating it as a wrap/roll with your hands makes it taste a lot better!

First you take a large piece of lettuce and lay it in your palm as the base for your wrap, add the vegetables, then the vermicelli, then the meat. Roll up your leaf with the ingredients inside, dip into your bowl of fish sauce and enjoy the different textures and flavours all-in-one!

Serves 4

Ingredients for marinade

  • 940g slab of pork belly
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 tsp oyster sauce
  • ½ tsp five spice powder
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • pepper

Ingredients for skin

  • 1-2 tsp white vinegar
  • olive oil
  • salt


  1. In a pan big enough to fit the pork belly slab, add water about 1cm high
  2. Boil water then add pork skin side down to pan for about 30sec
    You only want the water to cover the skin not meat
  3. Remove and rub dry with paper towel
  4. Prick holes into the skin with a sharp knife and score
    The colour of the skin should look like this after blanching. Make sure you don’t score past the fat into the meat.
  5. On the underside of the meat, season with garlic, five spice, onion powder, oyster sauce, sugar and pepper
  6. Rub into the meat                                                          IMG_5935
  7. Flip skin side up onto a plate and leave uncovered in fridge overnight IMG_5936
  8. Take meat out of fridge 30-min before cooking
  9. Drizzle vinegar over the skin and rub in. Then drizzle olive oil and rub in. Then sprinkle the skin with a generous amount of salt
  10. Preheat oven to 220 degrees (I use a convection oven for ease of cleaning up afterwards)
  11. Cover the surrounding edges of the pork with foil and roast for 30minutes
    Surround it with foil like a container, leave the foil like this the whole time to keep the meat moist
  12. Turn down to 160 degrees and roast for a further 1 hour. Poke the meat side with a wooden chopstick or fork to check for tenderness. If it easily pokes through then it is done
  13. Turn up to 250 degrees and roast for 5-10minutes until skin is crispy. Keep a close eye on the skin while doing this to prevent burning
  14. Rest meat for 25-minutes before carving, loosely covering the meat side with foil IMG_5943.jpg
  15. Serve with Fish Sauce Dip, Vermicelli Squares, soft lettuce leaves, cucumber, and Vietnamese herbs                                                                         Picture

Note. The vermicelli squares are always served topped with a spring onion/scallion oil. To make this, simply chop some spring onions, add olive oil and saute until fragrant (or quickly microwave for about 20 seconds)

To eat, get a piece of lettuce and place it in your palm, add herbs, a vermicelli square, add a piece of meat. Wrap and dip into the fish sauce dip!

This is the brand I use, you can get it from Asian Supermarkets in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane Australia

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