Crispy Pork Belly

put an egg on it

Hey guys. Guess what? I’m feeling better! I still have a nagging cough, but I can sleep and breathe, so that rules. I’m really excited to rejoin humanity. I went to the doctor and got a nebulizer treatment, which really kicked my ass into gear, or so it seems. I also got an inhaler. I’m ready to go! Not much to update, other than that. I’ve just been trying to take it easy. I’ve been taking lots of vitamins and hoping that this is the only time I get sick this winter. I read that the flu is already seriously taking its toll around the US, and with my compromised immune system, I’m terrified of going from this respiratory problem to the full-blown flu. I will continue to chug vitamin-c supplements and eat my vegetables, but there’s no avoiding the fun cooker that is the subway during this time of year. I can see the fear in everyone’s eyes when I’m on the train. Whenever someone coughs or sneezes, everyone in the car seems to take a collective step back and stare daggers into the back of their head, as if to accuse them of trying to infect everyone on purpose. What can we do? We use public transportation and need to get to work. You may or may not catch what I’ve got. Welcome to New York.

Crispy Pork Belly

If there’s one thing that can lift my spirits, though, it’s pork belly. Sweet, sweet pork belly. When I first moved to the city, it was one of those things that you didn’t really see on many menus around Phoenix (at the time, anyway) and I couldn’t get enough of the stuff. The crunchy, crispy skin juxtaposed with the juicy, melt-in-your-mouth fat is truly addictive, and you can get it in a variety of different ways. In buns, on sliders, in soups, stir-fries…I’ve even seen it in tacos! Pork belly madness has officially swept the nation, and I am happy to be on board. My favorite spot to order pork belly is a tie between the ‘pork betty’ dish at Bozu in Williamsburg and the always trusty (and overfilled) buns with pickled veggies at Momofuku Noodle Bar (with lots of sriracha on top). Honestly, though, I’ve never had pork belly that I didn’t like. The key to making perfect pork belly is wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap with a generous amount of salt and sugar and refrigerating it for 24 hours. This takes a little planning ahead, but the results are completely worth it. My favorite way to eat pork belly is with a fried egg, otherwise known as nature’s perfect sauce, and some simple white rice, but I wouldn’t mind a side of sauteed bok choy or some other greens to off-set my indulgent meal.


Crispy Pork BellyJust casually hanging out at the doctor’s office.

Crispy Pork BellyJoel checking out our new lightsaber.

Crispy Pork Belly
Unwrap your marinated pork belly (and drool a little bit).

Crispy Pork Belly
Pat it down, place on your roasting rack, and roast until crispy.

Crispy Pork Belly
You’ll need to flip the pork belly halfway through, then flip it again. And drool again.

Crispy Pork Belly
Serve with your sauce over rice and with a fried egg, if you are so inclined.

Crispy Pork Belly

4.3 from 4 reviews
Crispy Pork Belly
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 servings
 
Juicy, crispy pork belly roasted in a sweet sauce and served over rice with a fried egg.
Ingredients
For the Brine:
  • 2 pounds pork belly
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup kosher salt
For the Sauce:
  • ¼ cup soy sauce (I used Kecap Manis, which is basically a thicker, sweeter soy sauce - add more honey if using regular soy sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • sliced scallions (for garnish)
Instructions
  1. First, you want to lightly brine your pork belly. Combine the salt and sugar and rub it all over the pork, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight (or for at least 4 hours, but really, overnight is best).
  2. When you're ready to cook, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Rinse the pork belly of any brine mixture and pay dry. Score the skin or fat on the pork belly if it looks thick. Place the pork on a rack in a baking sheet lined with foil (or a roasting pan), then cover the pork in foil and roast for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  3. While the pork roasts, combine your sauce ingredients in a small pot over medium heat, bring to a simmer, and cook until just slightly thickened, about 6-8 minutes. After the pork has roasted for 1 hour and 30 minutes, remove it from the oven and raise the temperature to 450 degrees F. Brush the pork with the sauce and put it back in the oven, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Remove the pork again, flip it, brush with the sauce, and roast for another 10 minutes. Finally, flip the pork again, brush it with the sauce again (make sure to reserve a bit to serve the pork with later), and roast for 15 minutes, until the top is very crispy. Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt and serve over rice (and, hopefully, a fried egg) with any remaining sauce and a sprinkle of scallions.

 

36 Responses

  1. So glad you’re on the mend! I’ve still got the deep hacking cough too. At least it’s good for scaring birds…

    And this pork belly looks spectacular. I’ve not dared to try cooking it yet, but this may have just convinced me. Off to the Asian grocer I go!

    ps. Taco Tour Extravaganza got posted today – enjoy!

  2. Pork Belly and Fried Egg… I think I just died of pure happiness! I’m going to have to try your technique… I love pork belly but haven’t been successful at getting it perfect at home yet. This looks pretty foolproof!

    Feel better! This winter is brutal for colds. :(

  3. Chelsea says:

    Thanks for posting this! Ive been hoping to find a decent recipe for pork belly to make for my boyfriend. He’s a sceptic and has yet to relish in its crispy and juicy glory. I recently just moved from Phoenix to Seattle, and cant be more happy to now be living in a city that is so food centric. Especially compared to Phoenix. It’s like my inner fat kid’s dream come true.

  4. Stacey Evans says:

    I am so glad you posted this recipe. My friend that we spent Thanksgiving with in Tucson, always makes homemade bacon. He was wanting to know if I had a good pork belly recipe. I don’t, but I’m sending him your link, and can’t wait to try this myself. Thanks for sharing, Stacey

  5. Steve says:

    Thanks for passing this on Stacey. I happen to have some pork belly I have not yet curred and smoked into bacon. Can’t wait to try this!

  6. Anthony says:

    This looks really tasty, and pork may well be my favorite meat. :)

  7. Katrina says:

    perhaps this will be my next cooking adventure!! i have no idea where to get pork belly though… i guess i’ll have to find a real butcher?!

  8. Pork belly can surely cure anything. It is such a treat and yours is making my mouth water. I am totally freaked out by all the talk of the flu and surely would go nuts on a subway. It is not too late to get a flu shot. It didn’t even hurt this year and will help keep you healthy.

  9. I totally thought about starting another blog called “Put an Egg On It” with all recipes that have an egg on ‘em, because it’s the best way to eat anything. This looks awesome!

  10. Jenn says:

    This is amazing! I love how you mix soy sauce and eggs together. Most people are turned off to this combo. I even wrote a post about it (sorry to sound so spammy). –> Eggs and Soy Sauce

  11. “funcooker.” love it.

    I am new to the pork belly scene; I just had it this year for the first time, and I am totally smitten. I’ve been a little intimidated to try it myself, but thanks for breaking it down to look so easy. Now I’ll easily be able to gain that 10 pounds I was hoping to gain this year.

  12. Oh my god I’m weeping. This looks amazing and you’ve got me craving pork belly way past my bedtime. Plus a fried egg? Absolute heaven!

    Anyway, enough of my drooling. it was really great meeting you at the BlogHer Theater event this week! And get well soon!

  13. […] a diet of solely pizza and Oreos, and let’s be real, we’ve all been there. I posted my crispy pork belly recipe on Wednesday, and today I’m bringing you a dish that is about balance, not any sort of […]

  14. Rachael says:

    I need to tackle pork belly some time this year ~

  15. Brent says:

    Made this tonight for dinner. Loved the sauce and the pork with rice and fried egg. But…

    Would you mind altering, or adding to, your instructions to make sure you tell people to roast the belly SKIN-SIDE DOWN. It’s in the pics, but not the directions.

    I think this is a key step missing in the recipe, that I didn’t realize until after following the instructions as written. Unless you roast it skin-down, I don’t think the skin will gelatinize properly and then skin turns into “pork flavored bubble gum” that’s almost inedible when it should be luscious and crispy instead.

    • Sydney says:

      I’m sorry that happened to you, Brent! I actually would recommend starting skin side up, then flipping it according to the instructions, because you want the skin to get super crispy. Maybe you just needed to roast it longer? Or maybe at a higher temperature for your oven? All ovens and cuts of meat are different, so sometimes the temperatures and time can change. That’s the only thing I can think of to change, as the instructions are exactly what I did to get the pork crispy. Again, my apologies that it didn’t turn out.

  16. AH-MAZING! I’m all for pork belly, and it’s even better with a fried egg and an oozy egg yolk :)

    Oh and I really need to get myself a lightsaber.

  17. sky says:

    hi!!!

    “cover the pork in foil”
    does it mean I wrap the pork up in foil? including the rack or just the pork and place it on the rack? or just a sheet of foil on top of the pork?

    Thanks for the clarification and I am gonna try it!!!

    • Sydney says:

      Hi Sky! Sorry about the confusion! I meant cover the pork and rack – so just wrap the baking tray itself in foil and cover the pork.

  18. Lynna says:

    I`m drooling at every single picture! Ugh,I love pork.

  19. justin says:

    You say “brine”, though you dont mention water for the brine. Is there water involved in your brine? Is that supposed to be a given? ..

  20. Chris says:

    I was looking for a simple recipe for my first pork belly attempt. Think I found it. I’ll post back with my findings…wish me luck!

  21. […] *Recipe adapted from Crepes of Wrath […]

  22. […] along, but I’m too excited about this pork belly to keep quiet!! I found a great recipe from http://crepesofwrath.net/2013/01/09/crispy-pork-belly/ . Pork belly is brined and chilling in the fridge. Will be back tomorrow with the […]

  23. Evan says:

    Trying this recipe with my first pork belly. I’m confused though, you mention skin but the pictures seem to have the skin or ‘rind’ removed. The pork belly I bought still has the rind attached and I’m not sure if I should remove it first?

    • Sydney says:

      Hey Evan – mine didn’t have a rind, but it had a thin layer of skin. If you’ve got a lot of skin, just make diamond shaped cross cuts in it so it crisps up and gets delicious!

      • LBell says:

        I’m guessing that’s why my attempt at this didn’t work, at least in terms of getting the crispy skin. Every other recipe I’ve read for crispy pork belly says you should cut slices or poke holes in the skin. I didn’t do that (following your recipe) and the skin was largely inedible. However, because the meat itself came out great, and the sauce was delicious (I made extra and have been using it instead of salt to top off veggies), and the combination of meat and fried egg is heaven, I’m going to try this again…

  24. Greg Egle says:

    Do I cut the 2lb pork bellie into 2 pieces before brining? In the pictures it looks like the pieces are about 1 1/2 inches wide when roasting and then are cut when serving. Do I have this correct?

    • Sydney says:

      Hey Greg – mine were about a pound each, so cutting them is probably good! If it’s bigger you can just adjust the cooking time.

  25. Monty Liss says:

    I am in the last steps of cooking my pork belly. I had a 3# dry rubbed belly. I decided to make the baste adjusted to what I had in the pantry. Sauce is quite tasty, but I din’t think to increase my volume of sauce for the larger belly. In order to crisp the skin, I pierced the skin which let’s the fat out. Just needs to cool down and I’ll have a taste. Thanks for the post and recipe.

  26. Kevin O'Lena says:

    This recipe sounds absolutely delicious and so I will attempt it this weekend. I would like to share this dish with a few friends at a gathering and would like to partially prepare, then finish at our meeting place. Do you think I could perform the 90 minute roast at my home then package and transport (40 minute commute) to our meeting place and do the final three short roasts without changing the final product too much?

  27. Wonder Rogue says:

    I came across this recipe through a Google search and tried it out because cooking pork belly is usually a much longer process. I feel compelled to write about how this recipe doesn’t deliver. Should have known from the few comments from people who actually tried making it that there would be problems. I’m always amused when a lot of positive comments come from people who salivate over the photos and don’t actual try the recipe.

    First, I agree with the comment from Evan–there’s no way the photos of the raw pork belly has the skin on. I’ve cooked enough belly to know it just doesn’t look like that. There’s no such thing as a “thin layer of skin beneath the rind.” That thick rind *is* the skin. It appears that the skin in these photos has been removed and what is actually happening is that the top layer of fat is being rendered and crisped. My particular cut of pork belly came with the skin, which I left on and scored like I would with a roasted duck, following the advice above. I was really doubtful it would turn out, and sure enough, after roasting according to these instructions, the skin was inedible with consistency tougher than beef jerky.

    I let my pork belly brine for 24 hours in the salt and sugar mixture and rinsed it off according to the directions. The final product was extremely salty and made the meat nearly inedible. Roasting this way also makes the meat itself really tough. Really unpleasant taste and texture.

    The glaze was a disaster. The sugar content from the mirin and honey plus the high temp of the oven at 450F made any glaze that dripped on the pan scorch and burn. Smoke filled my oven and and nearly set off my fire alarm. (This was not a problem of ventilation as I’ve had things roasting over 500F in my oven without smoke.)

    Pork belly is a cut that needs to be cooked low and slow–think around 250F for 2-3 hours. This method is just too much heat and too short a cooking time to get good results. If you’re looking for a shortcut like I was, it’s not worth ruining a usually delicious cut of pork.

    • Sydney says:

      I wrote exactly what I did and it turned out beautifully for me. Perhaps there was some user error involved. Thanks for the comment, though!

      • I think that calling this user error over and over again is irresponsible as a blogger. It’s obvious that there is a problem, that might just be an error omission.

        It’s obvious that the “skin” on your pork bellies is almost non-existent or very thin. It looks like many people do not have access to pork bellies that are this closely trimmed of skin. In fact, I have never seem one trimmed out that way.

        Inconsistencies in butcher at the meat market would explain this problem easily. Calling this out in the recipe, and telling people how thick of a skin layer is needed, would probably go along way to making user experiences consistent.

        • Sydney says:

          I just don’t feel the need to change the recipe when I have made it this way many times and it always turns out well. I feel as though every cook has different habits in the kitchen that can make written recipes turn out differently. Nothing I write can change that. I am a human being and it honestly just hurts my feelings when people get upset at me or act as though I’ve deliberately misled them because I haven’t done that at all. I’ve been told I should have thicker skin (ha) if I want to blog but I just don’t accept that. This is a great recipe and I stand behind it. I don’t appreciate being told that it’s a “disaster” or that it was objectively too salty (which is fine but that depends on a person’s taste, it’s not a statement that can be made objectively) or whatever.

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