It might seem counter-intuitive that punching tiny holes into pork epidermis (skin) would yield incredibly crisp skin. But it does. The chinese have known this for centuries(?) and aggressively prick their roast pork all over, before deep-frying, to achieve this amazing, blistered, crisp and caramelized skin. This method was the inspiration for my version of “accupunctured” lechon where we pin-pricked (yes, with single large needles) the entire pig before roasting it. And we loved the results and have prepared our Zubuchons in the same manner ever since. Many folks and apparent expert lechoneros thought we were nuts, evil sadists released from the asylum…
A few months ago, on a trip to Hong Kong, I finally found the implement I was looking for the past several years, and which I absolutely had to acquire. Sister had pointed me in the direction of a much larger and far more expensive version in the U.S. years ago, but I never bought it, knowing the chinese would have a far more economical solution. This wood handled implement, the “turbo pricker” I would call it, is fitted with several sharp pins/nails that make pricking the pork a much easier task. When I found it on the “restaurant street” in Hong Kong (sorry, don’t ask me for the name), I was giddy with excitement, and bought 6 of them! At just USD4-5 each, they were a bargain. We now have one at home, at the beach and four of them at the roasting pits of Zubuchon. We use them on crispy pata, roast pork, porchetta, and of course, lechon. :)
This post in answer to Bettyq and Footloose’s comments regarding the implement used to prick the pork.