Anise-infused pork? Tick. Crackling? Tick. Fighting over the last sliver of roast? Tick.
1.5kg-2kg pork belly
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 cup Shaoxing wine
4 star anise, ground
1 tbsp Chinese five spice
1 tsp white pepper
1/2 tbsp rock salt
1/2 Chinese cabbage
Juice of 1 lime
Score pork in lines 2cm apart crossways (you can ask your butcher to do this).
In a dish that will fit pork, combine all ingredients, except pork and salt. Marinate pork, being careful to keep skin clean and dry, in fridge for 3 hours or overnight.
When you're ready to cook it, bring pork to room temperature and pat skin dry with kitchen paper.
Preheat oven to 220°C. Transfer pork to baking tray, discard marinade and roast for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven, sprinkle pork skin with salt, decrease oven temperature to 180°C and cook for another 30 minutes.
Turn oven grill to high, cook pork for about 20 minutes or until skin crackles and blisters (make sure it doesn't burn). Set aside to rest for 20 minutes, then carve along lines to serve.
Sichuan cucumber salad
Finely shred ½ Chinese cabbage and toss with juice of 1 lime and ½ tbsp sea salt. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Peel, halve lengthways and slice diagonally 2 Lebanese cucumbers.
In a frying pan, heat 2 tbsp rice bran oil and fry 2 cloves garlic, chopped, ½ chilli, finely sliced, and 2 tsp Sichuan pepper until fragrant.
Set aside to cool.
Drain cabbage; toss with cucumbers.
In a bowl, combine 2 tbsp rice vinegar and 1 tsp sesame oil. Add garlic mixture and toss into salad.
1/2 bsp sea salt
2 Lebanese cucumbers
2 tbsp rice bran oil
2 cloves garlic
1/2 chilli, finely sliced
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil