Pork belly is a very versatile piece of meat. It can be smoked, slow-roasted in an oven, slow-cooked in a crockpot, pressure cooked in an instant pot, braised, or pan-fried.
Pork belly can be the star of the show and cooked and served whole, or it can be sliced or chunked and added to other meals to add a salty, meaty, hearty element to the dish.
Crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, pork belly is a popular cut of meat. Whether you are having smoked pork belly or Chinese braised pork belly with greens, you’re going to love this meat.
17 Easy Pork Belly Recipes
Pork belly can be cooked in several different ways. We are going to explore some incredible recipes using all of these methods of preparation. Enjoy these 17 easy pork belly recipes.
1. Smoked Pork Belly
Let’s start with a simple smoked pork belly. The key to smoking is letting it smoke for a long time at a low temperature using your favorite wood chips.
This smoked pork belly is scored and covered in a dry rub made from smoked paprika, chili powder, black pepper, salt, and brown sugar and smoked at 225° for 3 to 4 hours.
2. Smoked Pork Belly Burnt Ends
Pork belly doesn’t always have to be smoked whole. They will stay tender and juicy throughout the smoking process and can be served as an appetizer or in tacos or salads.
Once the skin and top layer of fat have been trimmed, cut it into cubes. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle your favorite dry rub. With about an hour left, you can add your favorite sauce.
3. Pork Belly Sandwich
This pork belly sandwich starts with oven-roasted crispy pork belly prepared the day before. Then, cut the pork into strips and crisp them in a skillet.
Assemble this flavorful sandwich by stacking your sliced meat, tomatoes, avocado, butter lettuce, a slather of sun-dried tomato mayonnaise on 2 slices of toasted sourdough bread.
4. Asian Infused Pork Belly Sandwich
This incredibly creative sandwich is full of flavor and fresh ingredients. Begin by soaking your pork belly in a brine overnight to get it ready for a slow roast the next.
The flavors will blow your mind. The bun is slathered with a chili paste, hoisin, and peanut butter spread. The meat is topped with serrano chile-infused, pickled carrots, and then fresh cilantro.
5. Salt And Pepper Pork Belly
The crispy crackling of this salt and pepper pork belly will be music to your ears. Score the skin, season generously, and roast until a meat thermometer indicates it’s done.
To get that gorgeous crackling skin, it needs to be dry and salted as it helps it bubble up and get crispy. Starting with high heat also allows it to get crispy.
6. Cider-Braised Pork Belly
This cider-braised pork belly takes advantage of your oven’s broil feature and then, as the title indicates, it is braised in a mixture of apple cider and chicken broth.
Once the meat has all of the flavor infused from the braising, serve it atop a bed of cauliflower puree, roasted carrots, and some caramelized onions.
7. Lechon Kawali
Lechon Kawali is a very very popular Filipino dish. Pork belly is boiled and air-dried. Let it rest in the fridge overnight. Once dried, cut into 1-inch square chunks for frying.
The secret to the crackling skin must be done with great care as it involves sprinkling cold water into the oil. Use a splatter screen and cover your arms and hands.
8. Twice Cooked Pork
Similar to the Lechon Kawali, twice-cooked pork is first boiled, then sliced and seared in a hot wok with a little oil to get it crispy.
In the same wok, you will combine long hot green peppers and leek with garlic and spicy broad bean paste, Shaoxing wine, sugar, and soy sauce. Combine and serve over rice.
9. Pork Belly with Honey Garlic Sauce
This is an easy appetizer that is full of flavor, crispy, and all-around delicious. Pork belly is cut into bite-sized pieces and fried in the fat it releases.
Remove the pork belly and add honey, tamari sauce, and minced garlic. Let it heat up then add the pork belly back and garnish with toasted sesame seeds.
10. Crispy Pork Belly Sliders
Perfect for appetizers, a quick and easy meal, or entertaining guests, these crispy pork belly sliders are sweet, salty, spicy, and unforgettable. This recipe fries pre-cooked pork belly.
The crispy pork belly is glazed with honey Sriracha sauce. Place the meat on slider buns, top with honey Sriracha mayo and colorful cabbage slaw.
11. Mei Cai Kou Rou
Mei Cai Kou Rou or steamed pork belly with preserved mustard greens is another popular dish in China and is regarded as comfort food.
The pork belly and mustard greens are prepared separately, then combined with the sauce and steamed for 75 minutes. Serve it with some white rice.
12. Pork Belly And Crispy Potato Stir-Fry
The beauty of this dish is the salty pork belly and crispy potatoes. To get your potatoes crispy, thinly slice them, rinse, pat dry, then fry in a single layer.
After preparing the potatoes and pork belly, cook green pepper, ginger, garlic, dried chili pepper, and peppercorn. Return pork belly and potatoes, add soy sauce and sugar, and stir-fry.
13. Shanghai-Style Braised Pork Belly
Shanghai-style braised pork belly is a very popular dish in China. With simple ingredients, it is easy to prepare. Begin by cutting it into bite-sized pieces.
Blanch the pork, then add it to a wok of oil and sugar. Make your sauce by pouring in Shaoxing cooking wine, regular and dark soy sauce, and water.
14. Braised Instant Pot Pork Belly
Pork belly can also be prepared in the Instant Pot. After sautéing the meat with oil, ginger, and scallions, add your sauce and vegetables and let the pot do the work for you.
The delicious sauce is made from combining star anise, rice wine, light, and dark soy sauce, sugar, salt, and water. Serve over rice with your favorite green vegetable.
15. Taiwanese Braised Pork Belly
This fork-tender braised pork belly is cut into 1-inch pieces and is ready in a flash in the Instant Pot and showcases a sweet and savory sauce.
The sauce is full of flavors from ginger, garlic, green onion, cinnamon sticks, star anise, whole red chili, regular and dark soy sauce, brown sugar, optional Chinese cooking wine, and water.
16. Sticky Balsamic Pork Belly
A sweet and tangy marinade makes this sticky balsamic pork belly the star of the dinner table. The best part is you can set it and forget it until dinner time.
First, crisp up the skin. Then mix up your marinade of balsamic vinegar, chicken broth, garlic, ginger, molasses, olive oil, and a sweetener, pour over the meat, and cook for 4-6 hours.
17. Pork Belly With Soy And Ginger Glaze
This pork belly with soy and ginger glaze is cooked twice. It’s slow-cooked in the crockpot until it is tender, then it’s pan-fried to get crispy skin.
The sweet and savory glaze is made from oil, salt, pepper, ginger, honey, brown sugar, soy sauce, and optional addition of Sriracha if you’re feeling spicy.
Pork belly can be prepared in so many different ways depending on what flavors and texture you’re looking for. However you choose to prepare it, it will be delicious.
From smoked pork belly burnt ends to pork belly with honey garlic sauce you’ll have a full belly after enjoying these 17 easy pork belly recipes.