Having a few easy pork belly recipes in your cooking arsenal is very useful. Especially if you like to entertain.
As the name suggests, pork belly is the cut of meat from a pig in the belly area near the loin. This part of the pig was once inexpensive. However, as chefs have made it more popular, its price has risen. Pork belly is a popular ingredient in Asian and northern European cuisines.
It is a surprisingly versatile cut of meat. You can get spareribs from this area of the pig. Alternatively, belly pork can be made into bacon when the skin is removed, is salted, cured, and smoked. In contrast, if the cut goes through this process without being smoked then it is Italian pancetta.
Many fans of pork belly prize it for its tenderness. To get meltingly soft, succulent pork belly, you need to cook it low and slow. This also makes the fat soft which is important as there are seams of fat in the meat and covering it. Some people are worried by the fat content, but slow cooking renders it down. And remember: fat is flavour!
There are three layers that are visible in a cut of belly pork, the skin, the thick layer of fat in between, and the meat.
The beauty of pork belly is that it can be tender and soft if slow-cooked. However, if you want crispiness then you can leave the skin on and sear it in a pan or under a broiler to make crackling.
The flavour of the pork belly itself also goes with a lot of different foods as it has a mild taste. The pork fat itself gives many of our easy pork belly recipes a richness. This richness pairs really well with fresh ingredients such as fresh herbs, citrus and green vegetables. And of course, 2 classic flavour pairings with pork belly are apple and spiced or pickled red cabbage. Yum!
With a cut of meat so versatile, there are a lot of recipes that you can try.
Here are 21 easy belly pork recipes that you can cook at home without the skills of a professional chef.
Using thin strips of pork belly, this recipe requires marinating the pork for at least 24 hours which. The result is bite-sized pieces of pork that burst with flavour.
The texture of the pork should be crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside. It might even remind you of a candied meat due to the honey and spices.
The rub for this pork is made up of smoked paprika, cumin, garlic, kosher salt, and cayenne. Most people find that this is just hot enough. Feel free to experiment with the spices to find a blend you like.
This is a fantastic way to give your burgers a bit more substance. The pork is tender and the barbeque sauce used makes it nice and sticky. You can also grill it as a finishing touch to give the pork that extra bit of texture.
Most, if not all of the ingredients that you will need for this recipe can be found in your kitchen. All you need to add is the pork belly.
These pork belly slices pair very well with fries and coleslaw on the side of a burger. Alternatively, serve with a side of rice and broccoli to make it a bit healthier. The choice is yours.
Crispy pork belly slices are a perfect banh mi filling. For more Vietnamese food ideas, see here.
You don’t need to spend a fortune to serve good food at a dinner party that will impress your guests.
Since pork belly is a relatively cheap cut of meat, it makes it a great choice. Just keep in mind that this dish isn’t a smart last minute dinner idea. You need to slow roast it for three and a half hours with an extra blast of heat every 20 minutes, so some organisation is wise.
As the pork cooks, you should to be around to bast it occasionally. That way, the pork gets a golden glaze that caramelises nicely.
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This recipe is great if you’re looking for moreish treats to serve at a party. It is delicious and easy to eat as you just need a cocktail stick, and you’re ready to go. These canapes have a satisfying crispy outside and a tender inside which is marinated in sweet whiskey, anise, soy, and honey.
These pork belly chunks are best served with a mixture of sour cream and chives on the side. The dipping sauce is very easy to make and gives the pork an extra bit of oomph.
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If you are in need of a hug in the form of food, try this pork belly ramen.
The most important part of this recipe is the broth. You will need to simmer it for two to three hours until it is deeply aromatic and has a lovely golden-brown colour. It takes a bit of time, but is totally worth the effort.
The broth in this recipe calls for quite a few ingredients such as miso paste, chicken stock, and fish sauce.
A good tip with this recipe is to slice the pork belly so that it heats through in the broth five minutes before serving. Even though this meal takes a bit of time to make, it’s not too difficult and is too delicious to rush.
Over all, it’s one of our favourite easy pork belly recipes.
Are you sat on the couch in Perth, pining for a bowl of ramen? Our Best Ramen Restaurants post might be the answer to your prayers.
This recipe makes the fat of the pork belly melt in your mouth. This is great news of those that aren’t usually a fan of fat.
The spices give it a kick and this dish goes very well alongside a serving of rice for a balanced, tasty meal.
And for some great Korean BBQ Restaurant suggestions in Sydney, see here.
If you’re looking for a dish that is both hearty and healthy then you should look no further than this Korean pork and red pepper strew.
The colours alone should make your mouth water. You have flexibility on how thick you want the stew. Most people make a lighter version for lunch and a heavier one for dinner. Either way you will only be having 300 calories per serving.
Craving Korean food in Melbourne? We’ve got you covered.
For this recipe buy a cut of pork belly that still has the ribs attached as this helps to keep the pork moist. After the pork has been roasted, you can take out the ribs and have them as an extra snack on the side.
However, bear in mind that if you leave the ribs in, it will make it harder for the pork to cook evenly. You may need to adjust the temperature slightly, but you should be fine.
Another great thing about this recipe is that you only need Shaoxing wine, sugar, salt, white pepper, five-spice powder, rice wine vinegar, and pork belly. Top tip: if you haven’t got Shaoxing wine (Chinese cooking wine), dry sherry will do.
See here for some help finding a good Chinese restaurant in Melbourne.
And if you’re curious to learn more about Shaoxing wine, see here.
Teriyaki is a delicious way to cook meat. The combination of the rich pork belly and sweet soy sauce glaze is a match made in heaven. Serve it with jicama slaw you have just met your new favourite meal.
The first step in this recipe is to place the pork belly in a marinade of ginger, garlic, soy sauce, mirin, and vinegar. Then place it in an oven to cook for an hour and a half.
You’ll know when the pork is ready if you can easily pull bits of it away, but it isn’t quite falling apart. To serve, cut it into cubes that are easy to skewer.
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This is a very versatile dish as you can serve it with naan bread, rice, as a filling for a pie, or whatever else you fancy. It’s flexibility makes it one of our best easy pork belly recipes.
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The casserole is full of flavour, soft, and very easy to make. With this casserole as you can be a bit creative and cook it in a slow cooker instead of in the oven which will make it nice and thick – perfect for the winter.
Have you tried the convenience of Hello Fresh? See our top recipes from the meal delivery service.
If you like crackling, you will love this dish. The skin of the pork becomes golden and crispy (hence the name) and will stay like that for hours.
The marinade makes the pork nice and juicy. However, if you put the skin in the refrigerator for a few hours, it will make it extra dry and crispy. I like to do this whilst the rest of the meat marinates.
This is one of our go-to easy pork belly recipes. You only need pork belly, salt, soy sauce, Shaoxing rice wine, brown sugar, and garlic to make it all come together.
You need to marinate the pork overnight in the refrigerator so this isn’t the best recipe option if you are short on time.
If you’re lucky, you might find pork belly cubes on the Yum Cha trolley at one of these spots in Sydney.
You may be surprised but pineapple and pork work very well together. And if you add some chipotle into the mix you are left with a lovely Mexican-inspired dish that can be served in tortillas, burritos, or with a side of rice.
If you fancy a bit more of a kick, you can add a teaspoon or two of some ancho chilli powder to the marinade.
For some of the top places to eat Mexican in Sydney, see here.
This may be a bit hefty in the calories but that will be the last thing on your mind as you get stuck into this pork belly sandwich. It plays homage to the classic BLT with the only difference being that the bacon is replaced by pork belly.
You need to slow roast the meat for about three hours. But the result is pork with a delicious flavour that makes it all worth it. For some added sweetness, you can add some peach slices onto the sandwich. Apple or persimmon also work well.
And for more winning Persimmon Recipes, see here.
There is nothing much cuter than mini burgers. But don’t be fooled. These sliders have a lot of personality despite their little package.
It takes a bit of time to do this recipe but if you plan ahead, it will be plain sailing.
Even if you are spending 30 minutes prepping and nearly five hours cooking, these are worth it. The reward is sliders that melt in your mouth. You will wish they came in jumbo size.
If you love pork belly but are not looking for anything heavy, then you should try this pork belly salad recipe. This salad is known as Larb salad and originates in Lao but traditionally uses minced meat instead of pork belly.
The crunchiness from vegetables such as cucumbers, carrots, lettuce, and spring onions creates a great balance of texture with the tender pork belly. Every bite is as satisfying as the last.
For added texture, you can also add crushed cashews and some fresh mint for added fragrance.
This salad goes really well with a fragrant Mango Dessert. Here are some recipe ideas.
If you have been waiting for the opportunity to get your grill out, this is it. But if you don’t have a grill then you will do just as well with using the oven by slightly adjusting the recipe.
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As with most pork belly recipes, you have to start the process a day in advance to give it time to marinate. You want the mustard powder, crushed garlic cloves, paprika, anise, chilli powder, and dark brown sugar to do their magic.
You may have to wait three to four days for the pork to finish marinading, but you will get pork belly that is moist and aromatic. It’s the perfect reward for your patience!
Pastrami can be used in lots of different ways such as sandwich fillings, with potatoes, as canapes, salads, and more. The three-hour smoking process leaves the pork belly nice and tender but without falling apart which makes it great for slicing.
Tasty, filling, and messy, what more could you want from nachos? This combination of crunchy tortilla chips, sweet and sticky pork belly, and melted queso make for a whole new nacho experience that will make you never want to turn back.
It takes a bit of effort as you will need to make your own pickled red onions but it’s easy enough and you can eat them as a snack or add them to other dishes.
The pork belly is brined and put in the refrigerator overnight with pickled onions and water, vinegar, and spices. Then you use a sweet and savory seasoning to evenly coat the pork belly before smoking it for two hours.
Does all this talk of nachos make you hungry for a Mexican meal? Check out our guide to the Best Mexican Restaurants in Melbourne.
The pork belly in this recipe is poached before it is cooled, sliced, and fried which makes each bite nice and crispy.
There is a handy technique that you can use for this recipe which is called the ‘wok clock’ which means that you set out the ingredients in an order of the clock so that it helps you add the right ingredients at the right time.
This means that you need to prepare in advance so if you are an organised person then you will feel right at home in this recipe!
Want to continue the theme with a Traditional Chinese Dessert to go with your pork Belly? See here.
Some love them, some hate them, but those who love them REALLY love them!
If your teeth aren’t rooted firmly in your mouth then pork scratchings may give you a hard time. But if you find yourself in a bar with a bowl of pork scratchings in front of you, who’s to judge when you can’t resist?
However, if you’re not one for bars, then you can make your very own pork scratchings at home. You’ll be happy to know that it’s pretty easy. The secret to the wonderful crackly skin is to dry it out completely and leave it in the refrigerator overnight uncovered.
You can also make some applesauce to have on the side which is great for dipping and adding a bit of sweetness to your savoury pork.
For me, pork scratchings bring back memories of English pubs and sunny afternoons spent outdoors. With this in mind, here are some of the Best Beer Gardens in Melbourne
For this dish, you have to spend just 15 minutes preparing it and four hours cooking it. This is actually much less time than you might spent on other pork belly recipes. You can even use the leftover pork to stuff tacos with the next day.
Are you eager to find a great Indian Restaurant in Adelaide? See our recommendations.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Pork Belly Unhealthy?
Having looked at the above easy pork belly recipes, you’re probably eager to get stuck into chowing on some pork belly. But. There may be a concern holding you back. Are you wondering if what they say is true and pork belly is unhealthy for you?
As with most things, if it is eaten in moderation then you should be fine. Indeed, you may actually experience some health benefits as pork belly is rich in protein and is filling which means you don’t have to eat a lot of it to feel satisfied.
Pork belly contains vitamins such as thiamine, pyridoxine, niacin, and cobalamin. It’s also a source of the minerals zinc, selenium, iron, and phosphorus, which are all essential for the overall function of the body.
There is a high amount of healthy fats in pork belly like Omega-3 which is known to reduce inflammation.
Despite the high content of fat, pork belly can be good weight loss for some people. This is because it makes you feel satisfied without having to each much of it, therefore decreasing the intake of calories. The high-fat content also helps to decrease your appetite and the hunger signals after the meal.
However, the risk that comes with eating too much pork comes with the amount of saturated fat it has as it can cause weight gain and heart disease.
One of the wonders of pork belly is that it is very versatile. Depending on what you marinade it in, how you cut it, and how you cook it, the texture and flavour can vary dramatically.
So, if you invested in a particularly large cut of pork belly, who’s to stop you from having it for every meal for the rest of the week?
However, don’t have too much pork belly as your cholesterol levels won’t like it. But in moderation, it is the perfect treat to have whatever the occasion.