Thursday, 15 November 2012

Attempt #20: Roast Pork (‘Siew Yuk’)

‘Siew Yuk’! With a couple of friends over for dinner, I decided to attempt ‘Siew Yuk’.

Firstly, I have never had a whole chunk of 3 pound pork loin in my house before this which means that I have never handled a whole piece of meat of such mass before this either!
The Buying Experience:  
When I asked the butcher for 3 pounds of pork loin and as she was trying to slice the measured pork for me, I was getting an anxiety attack and started to tell her not such a big piece. She gave me a 'please-make-up-your-mind' look and confirmed that I wanted 3 pounds. So, I just simply nodded since the recipe did ask for 3 pounds and I wanted to ensure that I follow the recipe accurately for this one. A good Siew Yuk is not an easy task hence I didn’t want to risk it by getting a smaller piece of meat.

The Preparation/Cooking Experience:
Recipe asked for a box cutter or a very sharp knife to score the skin. The recipe reminded that we  need to make sure that we are to slice just the skin and fat and not the meat underneath. Do this all the way along at ¼ inch intervals. 
Now for this task…the knife must be really, really sharp. I thought my knife was sharp enough… I mean, it works smoothly with watermelons and melons are huge. But the ‘ah ha’ moment is when you realized that in the culinary world, size doesn’t matter but density. Lesson learnt: Ask the butcher to do this for you.

Once the pork loin is scored, the drizzling of the virgin olive oil and massaging salt and freshly ground black pepper onto the meat was quite manageable. But I now know what my masseuse has to go through - she has to massage more than 100 pounds of flesh daily. And I am here trying to massage this 3 pound meat on my chopping board which was already a handful!

The Result:

All diners gave a whopping ‘Not Bad!” feedback! The skin on top was really crispy but a little too tough to the teeth. Leaving it in the oven for 1 hour 20 minutes was 10 minutes too long.  But overall, it was juicy and fragrant.
The roasted pork was served with the horseradish sauce (see Attempt #19) and the roast pork gravy (see attempt #21 for the recipe for the gravy).  


  1. Definitely a difficult dish to attempt and to get good results. I have the same problem with the skin. Well done indeed. Bravo.

  2. Thanks Rod!!Yeah, I guess with this dish..just got to practice and attempt many times to get the right balance! :)