Crispy Roast Pork (Thit Heo Quay)

This no-fail recipe for Crispy Roast Pork (Thit Heo Quay) makes a perfectly puffy and crispy pork skin atop well-seasoned and juicy meat. I find most animal skins to be rather slimy and too fatty for consumption and so am not a fan.  However, I break all the rules for this delectable dish.  With its thick, crispy skin and juicy, savory meat roasted to perfection, Crispy Roast Pork is truly unique tasting.  The recipe is simple with an easy-to-make and flavorful marinade.  You can use any marinade you like but to get that distinct Asian roast pork flavor, be sure to use a little 5-spice powder and some soy sauce.  To achieve the deliciously crispy and bubbly pork skin, there are numerous techniques with some yielding better results than others.  So in this recipe, I’ve eliminated all of the guesswork.  This is a no-fuss, no-fail recipe!  The only work you have to do is to watch the timer and adjust the oven temperature as needed.  It’s hardly work at all 🙂  Enjoy!!

Watch the video for instructions.

Notes on the Crispy Roast Pork (Thit Heo Quay) Recipe, Tips and Tricks

When buying pork belly, try to find a piece that has the same thickness all around.  Also, examine the skin and make sure it doesn’t have any abrasions, markings or imbedded hairs.  If frozen pork belly is all you can find, no worries, just make sure the pork is completely thawed before prepping.

The red food coloring is optional.  It gives the skin a nice rich color as does the roast pork seasoning mix used in the marinade.
The super crispy skin is so unique and so tasty!

The marinade is enough for up to 3 lbs of pork belly.  It’s ok if you don’t use all of the marinade so don’t drench the meat.

Avoid getting the marinade on the pork skin.  It will prevent the skin from getting crispy.

The longer the meat is refrigerated, the drier the skin will be and the crispier the results after roasting.  For even better results, let the pork rest in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Level the meat using folded pieces of foil placed underneath the meat.  This helps the skin to brown and crisp evenly and you don’t have to stress if the pork belly isn’t perfectly even.

Position the roasting pan in the oven so the meat is about 6-8 inches away from the top heating element.

When the meat is fully cooked the internal temperature is approximately 160 degrees Fahrenheit.


My oven has a Broil High and a Broil Low option.  For this recipe, I use the Broil High setting.  If your broiler is particularly hot, use the lower setting.  Be careful with the second round of broiling.  The skin has a tendency to burn during this stage if left unattended.  If certain sections of the skin are browning up faster than others and you fear they will get burnt, tear off small sections of foil and cover up these areas.  It’s perfectly normal to have some charred spots.  If you don’t like these extra crispy areas, you can scrape them with a knife like you would with over-toasted bread. 🙂

Cut up only the portion you plan to eat right away.  Wrap up any uneaten amounts and store in the refrigerate for up to 1 week.  To reheat, warm the Crispy Roast Pork in the toaster oven at 325 degrees for 10 minutes.  You’ll notice the skin will continue to crisp up when reheating.  If you love super crispy skin, you’ll really enjoy these leftovers as the pork reheats really nicely. Freeze for up to 3 months.

If you enjoy this Crispy Roast Pork (Thit Heo Quay) recipe, you may also like:

Crispy Roast Pork (Thit Heo Quay)

Hot and fresh from the oven. Look at that bubbly, crispy skin. You can almost hear the CRUNCH!


1 tsp white distilled vinegar
2 drops red food coloring

2 1/2 lb pork belly
2 tsp salt

1 tsp 5-spice powder
1 tsp roast pork/char sui/Chinese BBQ seasoning
1 tsp oyster sauce
1 tsp Hoisin sauce
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp Vodka 5-Spice Marinade

1 tsp vinegar


In a small bowl, combine 1 tsp of vinegar with 2 drops of red food coloring and set aside for now.

In a measuring cup, add 5-spice powder, roast pork seasoning, oyster sauce, Hoisin sauce, soy sauce and Vodka 5-Spice Marinade and stir together.

Sprinkle each side of the pork belly with 1 tsp salt and then rub into the meat.  Rinse the pork with cool water washing off the salt.  Pat the meat dry with paper towels.  Place the pork skin side down on more paper towels.

Make vertical cuts in the meat about 1/2-inch deep and 1-inch apart being careful not to cut to the skin.  Trim if any loose or excess fat.

Use a brush to coat the meat with the marinade making sure to work the marinade into the cuts made earlier.  Apply the marinade to the meat only and avoid getting the marinade on the pork skin.

Place the pork with the skin side up into a large baking dish or plate.  Brush more marinade onto the sides of the pork belly, again, being careful not to get any on the skin.  Sprinkle salt and gently rub into the skin.  Brush the skin with the vinegar and red food coloring solution prepared earlier.

Place the uncovered baking dish into the refrigerator and allow to marinate for at least 8 hours.

Remove from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature for at least 30 minutes before roasting.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pour 1 cup water into the bottom of a roasting pan.  Place the pork belly skin side up onto the roasting pan.

If the pork belly has an uneven thickness, place folded pieces of foil underneath the meat to level it.

Brush the skin with a thin layer of vinegar.

Place the roasting pan into the oven and roast for 30 minutes.

Brush the skin with another thin layer of vinegar.   Set the oven to Broil and roast for 10 minutes.  (At this point, you’ll see bubbles forming on the skin.)

Adjust the temperature to 325 degrees Fahrenheit again and roast for 15 minutes.

Turn the oven to Broil again and roast for 5-10 minutes until the skin has lots of crispy bubbles and is golden brown.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Cut the Crispy Roast Pork into strips following the cuts made earlier.  Chop the meat into bite-sized pieces.

Wrap up any uneaten amounts and store in the refrigerate for up to 1 week.  Freeze for up to 3 months.

Yields: 4-6 servings

Serve the Crispy Roast Pork with Fine Rice Noodles, Fresh Herbs, Carrot and Radish Pickles and Fish Sauce Dipping Sauce for a truly delicious Viet meal!

Tools I Love and Use in My Kitchen

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12 Responses to Crispy Roast Pork (Thit Heo Quay)

  1. Michelle Bui December 18, 2017 at 8:25 pm #

    Dear Trang,
    I wonder what happen if I skip the roasting pan and water and just put the pork on a baking tray instead? Thank you!
    I love your recipes!

    • Trang December 22, 2017 at 9:09 am #

      Hi Michelle,
      You can give it a try. Sometimes the drippings get burnt in the pan. The water helps to prevent the smoke detector from going off and making the pan easier to clean. Enjoy the recipe!

      • Michelle Bui December 28, 2017 at 8:24 pm #

        Makes sense. Thank you!

        • Michelle Bui December 30, 2017 at 9:53 pm #

          Hi Trang,
          I made the roast pork today for a party and it was so good. I tried other recipes before but yours is the easiest, tastiest, and crispiest. Everyone was so impressed. Thank you!

          • Trang January 13, 2018 at 3:17 pm #

            Hi Michelle,
            I am so glad to hear you enjoyed this recipe and it was a hit at your party. Great job and thanks for taking the time to share your results! 🙂

  2. Trang Nguyen January 29, 2015 at 6:27 am #

    Thanks Trang, I made it yesterday with your recipe 😉 It came out good! Thank You. But when you have a chance, please try this:
    1 t salt
    1 ½ t roast pork/char sui/Chinese BBQ seasoning
    ½ t 5-spice powder
    1/4 t bot ngot (optional)
    Season the meat only (I use my hands and I think it’s better that way)

    Bake: 400F 45’, lowest rack. Brush the skin with mixture of vinegar + water (1T vinegar + 3 T water). After 10′ brush one more time.

    Change to broil & move it to the middle rack until the skin turns to crispy & golden brown.

    Happy Cooking 😉

    • Trang January 29, 2015 at 9:23 pm #

      Hi Trang,

      Is this your personal recipe? If so, I would love to give this a try. Thanks for sharing!! 🙂

      • Trang Nguyen January 31, 2015 at 4:44 am #

        Yes, it passed down from my aunt. I made a few times but your instructions of baking is so clear.
        I just noted that if I used only vinegar, it seems to crispy at first but it gets harder in an hour, so we always mixed with water.
        I only lightly pad the skin last with whatever left of the seasons on my glove without brushing the vinegar before overnight the meat.
        Also, before baking, use a needle to punch the skin (about 1/2 inch a part), this helps it to get crispier.
        Thanks Trang & Happy Cooking 😉

        • Trang February 2, 2015 at 7:32 pm #

          Thanks Trang. I appreciate you sharing your aunt’s recipe with me. I will give it a try the next time I make this. I use to prick the skin but one time I forgot and the skin was still crispy so now I skip the step altogether. I’ll be sure to share my results with you. Thanks again 🙂

    • Cindy July 24, 2016 at 12:48 am #

      Bake: 400F 45’, lowest rack. Brush the skin with mixture of vinegar + water (1T vinegar + 3 T water). After 10′ brush one more time.
      Can you please explain, how. Many times you brush the vinegar? What does after 10′ mean?
      Thank you

  3. Trang Nguyen January 27, 2015 at 12:46 pm #

    Dear Trang,
    First of all just want to thank you for you for your great energy! Really admire your effort and passion!
    I really like the way you thought about the vertical cuts of the meat. It was an excellent idea Trang!
    Again, Thank You!

    • Trang January 27, 2015 at 9:49 pm #

      Hi Trang,

      It’s always very nice to hear from you and thank you for your kind comments. I am glad you found my little tip helpful and I hope you’ll give this recipe a try. Happy Cooking! 🙂

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