Monday, September 7, 2009

Pork Roast Singapore Hainanese Style

I believe that I have been able to make kiam chye (Chinese preserved vegetables) that are as good as the ones bought from the Asian stores in Chinatown and I have been able to duplicate most dishes I have had in many restaurants, but making Hainanese roast pork is always a challenge. I have always wanted to make this dish at home to rival the quality of those crispy crackling and succulent meat of the Hainanese roast pork, available only from those famous shophouses in Seah Street (commonly known as Hainam Quei or Hoinam Kai when I was a child) in Singapore. I know it is possible to make very good roast pork usually for more superior to the suburban Chinese BBQ shop but it wont be as good as the roast pork make by a Hainanese Ah Ko (cook) in Singapore.Last Sunday's roast dinner was a close second but nevertheless, I post the recipe and a photo for you to judge.

Roast Pork Hainanese Style Ingredients:

2.5kg boneless pork loin roast
1 cup sherry
1 cup soy sauce, light
1/2 tsp Chinese Five Spice ( See below for recipe)
5 cloves garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup oil
1tbsp 5-spice powder

Chinese Five Spice

star anise
Szechuan Peppercorns

Stir fry until fragrant and grind fine.

Score the pork skin with a sharp knife at regular interval and rub salt, pepper and five spice powder into the pork all over.Combine all ingredients, except pork roast.Put pork roast in large plastic bag (or plastic container). Pour marinade over pork. Marinate at least 6 hours in refrigerator, or overnight. Preheat the oven to very hot 250 C. Rub in oil and salt to ensure a crisp crackling. Place the pork with the rind side uppermost on a rack in a large baking dish lined with aluminium foil. Add a little water to the baking dish. Roast for 45 minutes, or until the skin begins to crackle and bubble. Reduce the heat to moderate 180C. Roast for 2 hours. The pork is done if the juices run clear when the flesh is pieced with a skewer Do not cover the pork or the crackling will soften. Rest the pork for at least 10 minute before cutting .


  1. I've never tried Hainanese roast pork, but I love the Hong Kong style one in Chatswood.

  2. Hi HW,
    I have forgotten to mention that they come with a Hainanese pickle vegetables and a dark sweet soya dipping sauce.


  3. I think "Ah Ko" literally is "elder brother" in Hainanese.

  4. Oop, I'm sorry.Thanks for sharing the info. That was meant to be an honorary title just like we use the salutation of "uncle" and "auntie" when we greet our seniors (like me)Hehe.

  5. Hi Uncle Phil
    On top of those marinate state above, You need to rub some mashed up 豆腐乳 (Fermented Bean Curd) on the meat side to marinate it.

    Not sure what style this is, maybe Hokkien ^__^.


  6. Hi Notti,
    I understand that is Cantonese style. I'll have a go with your recommendation when I do pork roast again.

  7. Hi Uncle Phil
    How much salt do you use for this recipe?

  8. Hi Anne,
    I used about 2 tbsp of salt to produce a beautiful crackling for this recipe