I had the opportunity to witness the preparation and roasting of a piglet, a dish that enjoys a special place among Chinese diners at the Dragon Food Court along Jalan Mohd Akil.
The piglet has to be about one and the half kilograms in weight. The piglet is first split in half with the back bone supporting both halves. The underside of the piglet is first marinated with a thin layer of Chinese five spice powder and then brushed with a thin layer of honey. It is then put out to dry.
The roasting is a relatively simple process. The piglet is impaled on a double pronged metal skewer and it is roasted over a bed of glowing charcoal. The piglet is roasted slowly and evenly by rotating the skewer until the skin turns a golden brown. Periodically the owner's son would brush oil on the skin and underside.
Roasting the piglet over charcoal fire
Rotating the skewer to ensure that roasting is done evenly
The golden brown skin is crispy and the meat juicy. The secret is in the roasting procedure. Too long over the fire and the skin becomes hard. It has to be just right.
The final result. The rich golden brown texture of the skin
Unfortunately, no garnishing to give it more colour!
The skin is usually eaten with sweet plum sauce. In more elaborate preparations, the skin and a stalk of spring onion bulb are wrapped in a thin skin of fried egg batter spread with a thin layer of sweet plum sauce.
We were fortunate that day as the owner was about to roast a few piglets to supply to a restaurant.
Advanced notice has to be given to order the roast piglet.