Why?Monday, April 13, 2015
If you have been following my blog, you will know that I have done a few posts on Sio Bak, Siew Yoke or Cantonese Roast Pork.
I have even claimed that I have perfected the techniques.
- There has been times when the skin won't crisped. This is especially so when I have pricked the skin, using some forks.
- There has been times when I decided not to prick the skin. The skin was crisped, but only partially. The inner skin can be chewy.
So, when someone who worked in a popular Cantonese restaurant chain explained to me why recently, I was all ears. As I have said before, I am a keen learner.
He said that the skin need to be pricked to ensure that the skin is crisped throughout, from the top to the bottom. This way, the skin won't "chi ngah" (he was speaking Cantonese, what else?) i.e. parts of it won't be stuck to your teeth. You need to prick the skin lightly so that heat can reach the bottom layer of the skin. This way, when you bite through it is a crispy crunch all the way through the skin.
But you must not prick through the skin into the fat layer below it, or else, the liquid from the fats will flood the skins, making it difficult to crisp.
It was an important piece of the puzzle and as I look back, I now understand why some batches did not turn out right.
And using any sharp instrument won't do. And so, I finally bought myself this nail thingy. I am not sure what to call it. It only cost $3.
I hope you find this tip helpful.
If you are using the Sous Vide method, the skin will be cooked and it is easy to prick it before you oven it. If you are using the conventional all-oven method, blanch the skin first before you prick. Or, you can prick it half way through the roasting.
Have fun, *crunch* and enjoy. Sio Bak is indeed one of our culinary wonders.