About This Easy and Crispy Pork Belly Recipe
Getting that perfectly cooked crisp yet tender pork belly is not as easy as it seems. While there are many ways to make crispy pork belly, most recipes result in super hard meat that is overcooked or has soggy, chewy skin. Many recipes also require oven grill trays or days of preparation in advance, like drying the skin overnight, marinating the meat, scoring the skin, or puncturing holes.
But this recipe presents a simple, easy way to make delicious pork belly at home, without any extensive preparation or special tools. All you need are a good piece of pork belly and a few seasonings.
Pork belly is a rich and flavorful cut, so simple seasonings and slow-roasting are the best way to let the meat’s flavors shine and have an excellent crispy and bubbly skin with juicy and perfectly cooked meat.
The trick? Cook the pork belly in an open box made with foil for a confit effect. It’ll keep the meat immersed in fat as it cooks first at a low temperature, and then you roast the pork belly at maximum heat to get the fantastic crackling skin.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want the skin to be so rock-hard and feel like it’s going to crack a tooth. The perfect texture would be a crispy, puffy, and bubbly crackling that shatters into a thousand porky shards when I bite into it. And the meat beneath that amazingly crumbly skin should be super tender and juicy, making each mouthful an absolute joy.
With this humble recipe, it is so incredibly easy to achieve such exceptional results!
What You Need for This Easy and Crispy Pork Belly Recipe
- Pork Belly: Look for a freshly cut piece that is even in thickness and has dry, flat, smooth skin, not wrinkled.
- Five Spice: It is a blend that generally consists of star anise, fennel, Sichuan pepper, clove, and cinnamon and is commonly used in Chinese cooking. It gives a sweet, warm, and aromatic flavor to the meat.
- Paprika: It adds a subtly sweet and peppery taste.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: A little bit of vinegar will help to take away the excess water from the skin and make it crispy.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: It helps form that fantastic crackling.
- Salt & Black Pepper: For taste.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: You can substitute it with normal white vinegar.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Any oil you have on hand will work fine.
- Paprika: You may use smoked, spicy, or sweet paprika.
What should I do with the leftovers?
This pork belly is perfectly crispy and crumbly if eaten on the same day. But you may also store it in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. To reheat it, it’s better to separate the crackling skin. Reheat the meat in the microwave and the crackling in a hot oven to maintain its crispiness. You may also slice and pan fry it or eat it on sandwiches or salads at room temperature.
Easy and Crispy Pork Belly
With minimal prep delivering maximum flavor, this pork belly recipe is super easy to make at home and delivers incredibly crispy skin with tender and flavorful meat.
Yield: 2 servings
How To Make Easy and Crispy Pork Belly Step By Step
Mix the five-spice, paprika, salt, and pepper in a small bowl, and set aside. Make some cuts in the flesh side of the pork belly and rub the mix of seasonings, including in the sides.
Using foil, make a little open box and enclose the pork belly tightly with the skin side up. Make sure the box is sealed properly and won’t leak. This is important to catch the fat as it melts, so the meat cooks almost like a confit.
Pat the skin dry using a paper towel, brush an even layer of vinegar and sprinkle salt.
Place the foil box enclosing the prepared pork belly on a baking tray and roast at 100℃ (212℉) for about 1 hour to dry the skin. After 1 hour, brush the skin with an even layer of extra virgin olive oil, increase the oven’s temperature to 220℃ (428℉) and let it roast for another hour or until you see bubbles form on the skin.
Slice the pork belly and serve with white rice, mash, veggies, or your favorite sides. Enjoy!
- When buying pork belly, always look for a freshly cut with an even thickness and dry, flat skin without wrinkles.
- For the best crackling, it is very important not to score the skin.
- Roast the pork belly at a low temperature at the beginning to dry the skin properly. Dry skin means a lovely crispy and crumbly crackling.