Thịt Heo Quay

Thịt heo quay is the Vietnamese version of roast pork with crispy skin and succulent flesh.

Lastest Updated January 6, 2024
Verified by A-Z Cuisines Team
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Fact: Thịt heo quay is one of the most widespread foods for traditional ceremonies in Vietnam.

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Basic Information

Thịt Heo Quay: Basic Information


/tʰǐt hēɒ kwǎɪ/ or
/tit huh-oh quai/

Alternative Name(s)


Dish Type

Grilled and barbecued dishes


Main Course


Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Origin and Region

Thịt Heo Quay: Origin and Region



Continent’s Region

Southeast Asia

Country’s Region

Nationwide Origin

Associated Region

Vietnam Map
A Deep Dive

Popular Thịt Heo Quay Variations

Ingredients and Preparation

Thịt Heo Quay: Ingredients and Preparation

Main Ingredients

Pork and spices

Main Cooking Method


Preparation Process

Marinating the pork, scoring the skin, roasting until crispy
A Deep Dive

Thịt Heo Quay: A Deep Dive

Cultural Significance

Festive dish for many traditional ceremonies in Vietnam




Crispy skin with tender, juicy meat


Rich, aromatic


Golden brown skin

Serving Style

Sliced and served on a platter

Serving Temperature

Warm or at room temperature


  1. Starchy foods like baguettes, bánh hỏi (woven rice vermicelli), bánh ướt (thin, wide sheets of rice noodles), or bún (rice vermicelli).
  2. Fresh herbs and vegetables
  3. Dipping sauces like nước mắm tỏi ớt and mắm nêm





Special Diets



269 calories, according to data of MyFitnessPal for 3.5 ounces or 100 grams of thịt heo quay.



Popular Similar Dishes

  1. Siu Yuk
  2. Cochinillo Asado
  3. Hornado
  4. Lechón
  5. Babi Guling

Popular Dining Area


Thịt heo quay, or roast pork, is a traditional dish in Vietnam. It is famous for having crispy skin and juicy, succulent flesh.

Thit Heo Quay Infographic

Thịt heo quay is a must-have offering for lễ hỏi (a classic Vietnamese engagement ceremony), wedding feasts, and many traditional holidays in the country.

Thịt heo quay is typically marinated or rubbed with many herbs and spices. Common options are shallots, onions, ginger, black pepper, five-spice powder, soy sauce, garlic powder, chili powder, annatto powder, and vinegar.

Locals usually serve sliced or cubed roast pork with baguettes, bánh hỏi (woven rice vermicelli), bánh ướt (thin, wide sheets of rice noodles), or bún (rice vermicelli).

Vietnamese-style roast pork also goes well with fragrant herbs, fresh vegetables, and various sauces, like nước mắm tỏi ớt (a sweet and sour dipping sauce) or mắm nêm (a type of pungent fish sauce).

Thịt heo quay can also be cooked with other foods to make hearty dishes, like thịt heo quay xào dưa cải chua (roast pork stir-fried with pickled mustard greens) and thịt heo quay kho trứng (roast pork braised with eggs).

There are many ways to prepare thịt heo quay, such as roasting over a charcoal fire or in a lu (a large urn-shaped, tandoor-like oven).

You can also make this dish with an air fryer, which I will go into detailed instructions. I will also present you with facts about the advantages, disadvantages, common concerns, and similar dishes of thịt heo quay.

Key Points

  • Thịt heo quay is the Vietnamese version of roast pork.
  • Vietnamese people prepare thịt heo quay with various herbs and spices.
  • Thịt heo quay can be enjoyed with many starchy foods, vegetables, and dipping sauces.
  • You can make thịt heo quay with an air fryer.

Thịt Heo Quay Images

How to Make Thịt Heo Quay With an Air Fryer?

You can use an air fryer to roast a small slab of pork belly by following the 4 steps below:

Step 1: Parboil the Pork Belly

Boil the pork belly in hot water for 3 – 5 minutes.

Step 2: Prepare the Pork Belly for Marination

Pierce the skin with a toothpick or a fork, but don’t penetrate the fat layer. Score the meat by making shallow slashes like a grid pattern.

Step 3: Marinate the Pork Belly

Combine the herbs and spices, rub the mixture into the meat, and massage it carefully. Be careful not to let the mixture stick to the skin.

Wrap the pork belly in foil, but leave the top uncovered. Baste vinegar on the skin and refrigerate the pork belly overnight.

Step 4: Air Fry the Pork Belly

Wipe the pork belly skin dry and apply a mixture of vinegar, salt, and baking soda.

Place the foil-wrapped pork belly in a preheated air fryer and cook at 400°F (204°C) for 20 minutes or until the skin bubbles.

Reapply the vinegar-based mixture on the skin and roast the pork belly at 300°F (149°C) for 15 – 20 minutes.

This technique helps you prepare crispy roast pork belly at home. However, traditional thịt heo quay variations don’t feature air-frying and rely on more elaborate preparation methods.

What Are Popular Variations of Thịt Heo Quay?

Based on preparation techniques and regional popularity, there are 7 main types of thịt heo quay in Vietnam.

Heo Quay Mieng

Literally means “sliced roast pork”
Made by roasting small slabs of pork or cutting from a whole roast pig
Usually prepared from pork belly

Heo Sua Quay

Vietnamese version of roast suckling pigs
Made from piglets under 6 weeks old and 11 pounds (5 kilograms)
Has very tender flesh with a hint of milk
More expensive than other types of roast pork

Heo Quay Nguyen Con

Vietnamese version of whole roast pigs
Made from pigs above 7 months old and 11 pounds (5 kilograms)
Commonly used as offerings at traditional ceremonies

Heo Quay Lang Son

Specialty of Lang Son province in Northern Vietnam
Usually made from whole pigs with a weight of 55 to 66 pounds (25 to 30 kilograms)
Marinated with special condiments, such as honey and mắc mật (a local plant known scientifically as Clausena indica)
Served with a sauce made from roast pork juice

Heo Quay Duong Lam

Specialty of Duong Lam village in Hanoi
Made from slabs of high-quality pork belly
Prepared with a complex process

Heo Quay Dak Drong

Specialty of Dak Drong ward in Dak Nong province, Central Vietnam
Made from whole pigs weighing below 66 pounds (30 kilograms)
Marinated with local spices

After learning about these thịt heo quay variations, are you ready to explore the advantages and disadvantages of this roasted meat?

Pros and Cons of Eating Thịt Heo Quay

Thịt heo quay comes with the following upsides and downsides.


  • Diverse Flavor Profile: Thịt heo quay is not only rich and savory but also wonderfully aromatic, thanks to the inclusion of various spices.
  • Satisfying Texture: The contrast between the crispy skin and tender meat makes thịt heo quay stand out from many similar dishes.
  • Cultural Experience: Eating traditional dishes like thịt heo quay provides an insight into Vietnamese culture and culinary practices.
  • Versatility: You can pair thịt heo quay with many types of foods, such as bread, rice noodles, or vegetables.
  • Protein Source: Pork is an excellent source of protein, which is essential for muscle repair and bodybuilding.


  • High-Fat Content: Thịt heo quay is usually made from fatty cuts of meat, especially pork belly, so consuming it in large quantities can lead to calorie excess.
  • Dietary Restrictions: As a pork dish, thịt heo quay isn’t suitable for vegetarians, vegans, or those who do not consume pork for religious reasons.
  • Required Skill: Preparing thịt heo quay from scratch demands time, various condiments, and special cooking tools. Getting this roasted meat to achieve the right amount of crispiness can also take a lot of practice.

Now that I have provided you with the notable strengths and weaknesses of thịt heo quay, it’s time to discover other dimensions of this dish in the FAQs section.

Thịt Heo Quay FAQs

Pork belly is boiled in hot water for a brief time before being marinated because doing so helps remove excess fat and tenderize the pork belly.

To give your thịt heo quay crispy skin, pierce the skin thoroughly with a toothpick, fork, or needle. Make sure you do so all over the skin surface, but don’t go down to the fat and meat layers beneath. You may create as many as hundreds of small holes.

Yes, you can put thịt heo quay in an airtight container or heavy-duty bag and freeze it for 2 – 3 months.

Yes, you can easily find plant-based foods resembling thịt heo quay, which use ingredients like tofu or wheat flour. Feel free to serve them the same way as with authentic thịt heo quay.

Truc Tran (Kris)

Truc Tran (Kris)

Senior Food Editor


Home Cooking, Meal Planning, Recipe Development, Baking and Pastry, Food Editor, Cooking-video Maker, Vietnamese Food Evaluation Expert


  • Hospitality (Commercial Cookery) at TasTAFE
  • Culinary Arts at Kendall College (Australia Branch in Sydney)
  • Vietnamese Cuisine Head Chef at HNAAu School (Vietnam, International Joint Training Program)

Truc Tran (Kris), an experienced food writer and editor, is great at exploring and describing global cuisines, from simple street food to fancy dining. In her writing, she skillfully mixes different flavors, cooking methods, and culinary traditions, showing the unique character of various cultures through their food and drinks. On, Kris highlights her knowledge, especially in Asian cuisine and worldwide traditional dishes.

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