Top 21 Pork Belly Recipes - Chef's Pencil (2024)

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by Chef's Pencil Staff


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  • Pork Recipes
Top 21 Pork Belly Recipes - Chef's Pencil (1)

Pork belly, that underrated cut of meat, defies expectations by delivering some of the most delicious and memorable meals. From Asian-inspired creations with sweet and savory twists to timeless European classics, there are so many outstanding choices. Here we have a selection of must-try recipes that show just how versatile pork belly can be.

1. Honey Glazed Fried Pork Belly with Carrots

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Glazing is a culinary technique that adds a glossy, flavorful coating to cooked meat, typically during the final stages of cooking. Our Honey Glazed version is a simple yet remarkable recipe that combines sweet, salty, and savory flavors for a delicious dining experience.

Perfect for a special dinner or a comforting weekday meal, this dish will become a favorite in your culinary repertoire.

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2. Roast Pork Belly with Apple Sauce

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This classic Sunday roast features a beautifully seasoned, soft and juicy pork belly with crispy skin accompanied by a velvety apple sauce. The twist is in the homemade sauce, which strikes the ideal balance – not too sweet, not too citrusy, but incredibly aromatic and with hints of vanilla.

While the recipe was designed with Kurobuta pork in mind, which has a slight added richness, you can be sure that any type of pork belly will create an equally delectable dish.

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3. Swedish Pan-fried Pork Belly with Onion Sauce/ Fläsk med löksås

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Embrace this cozy, heartwarming, traditional Swedish recipe that’s great for the cold seasons. The pork is crisped up in butter, becoming almost as crunchy as bacon, and it is served with steamy potatoes and an amazing creamy onion sauce.

A generous spoonful of lingonberry jam makes it even more authentic.

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4. Pork Belly With Baked Radish, Carrot Puree and Caramelized Apples

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“A bit of effort and a dash of patience makes flavors truly shine.” And that’s certainly true in this case. There are several components to work on in this recipe, but each one serves a purpose and contributes to making this a culinary delight.

While the roast is undeniably the star, it comes to life when paired with the creamy carrot purée, the earthy radishes, the zesty apple cider, and the crispy onion sheets. They bring depth and texture to the dish, making it a well-rounded and satisfying meal.

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5. Braised Pork Belly with Chilies

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For those who enjoy a bit of a kick (but not too much), we’ve got an awesome recipe. After searing the meat, it is lovingly braised in a mildly spicy yet extremely flavorful sauce, resulting in a succulent, rich, melt-in-your-mouth bite of pork. Presented alongside fragrant steamed jasmine rice, this dish offers an enjoyable balance of heat and flavor that’s sure to please your palate.

6. Swedish Pork Pancake/ Fläskpankaka

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What do you get when you combine pancakes and fried pork? That’s right, another Scandinavian classic, a Fläskpankaka. This oven baked pancake has a crispy exterior that gives way to tender, flavorful pork, delivering a gratifying and comforting morsel.

Spread some lingonberry jam or sugar on top and the kids will absolutely love it.

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7. Masas de Cerdo Frita (Cuban Fried Pork Chunks)

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Cuban cuisine is full of delicious pork recipes, but no other as popular as this one. Juicy fried pork chunks are covered with mojo, a mix of onions, garlic, and sour oranges that provide a taste of true Cuban aromas. It is fresh, zesty, and just so tasty. Plated with sautéed onions and moros y Cristianos (black beans and rice), it is true, customary Caribbean style.

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8. Pork Adobo

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Creating this beloved Filipino dish is a breeze, and you don’t need to be a professional chef to do it. Our pork adobo recipe delivers the genuine flavors of the Philippines straight to your kitchen. Plus, most of the cooking is handled by the spices (and your oven), making it very, very easy. The hardest part? The anticipation while it broils to perfection.

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9. Pomana Porcului: Romanian Pork Stew

Top 21 Pork Belly Recipes - Chef's Pencil (10)

Christmas is a special time of year, cherished by many for its festive spirit and heartwarming traditions. It’s also a culinary celebration, where families come together to prepare and share time-honored dishes that have been passed down through generations.

Among these, pomana porcului, or pig’s alms, holds a special place as a traditional Romanian feast, symbolizing abundance, unity, and the joy of sharing good food with loved ones.

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10. Pork Belly Burnt Ends

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Some say burnt ends are the best way to enjoy pork. Why? Because fat = flavor.

For this recipe, you only need a sweet rub – something with brown sugar, smoked paprika, and chili powder – combined with Jack Daniels BBQ Sauce for a tangy-smoky-spicy aroma. Small tip: baste with a light coating of sauce before smoking, otherwise the meat might char.

11. Homemade Pancetta (Italian Pork Belly)

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Homemade authentic pancetta can be a delightful culinary project. You’ll need a bit of patience because the process of curing, seasoning, and drying the pork belly takes a while, but it’s definitely worth it. Plus, you’ll be learning a method that can be applied to other cuts as well.

Whether you’re enriching pasta or soups, or savoring it as an appetizer, homemade pancetta brings the heart and soul of Italian cuisine to your table.

12. Smoked Pork Belly

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Who doesn’t love barbecues? Smoked pork belly isn’t just a delicious recipe, it’s also a wonderful reason to host a gathering and an opportunity to bond with friends and family. Fresh air, a cold drink, tasty meat on the grill…sounds like a great afternoon.

13. Instant Pot Braised Pork Belly

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When you don’t have hours to invest in slow-cooking, the Instant Pot becomes your trusty assistant, shouldering all the hard work so you can relish a quick and appetizing meal.

Even more, this recipe is Asian inspired, using ingredients such as sake, tamari, and ginger.

14. Bulgogi Pork Belly Bao

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Sometimes, you try a new dish and it captivates so much, you are left craving more, determined to master it yourself. This is exactly how this recipe came to be.

Try these fluffy dough balls filled with the most tantalizing marinated pork and find out for yourself. A little warning, though: they’re thoroughly addictive.

15. BÁNH XÈO (Savory Vietnamese Crepes)

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These Vietnamese savory crepes have got it all: they’re crispy, tender, and burst with flavors. Turmeric in the batter gives a distinct yellow tone and earthy flavor, and the coconut milk provides a lovely creamy consistency. The filling includes shrimp, mung beans, and beansprouts along with the savory pork belly, all staples in Asian cuisine.

Pair them with the iconic nước mắm dipping sauce, and bánh xèo will become a delectable slice of Vietnamese culture right on your plate.

16. THỊT KHO (Vietnamese Braised Pork and Eggs)

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Speaking of Vietnamese classics, here’s another fantastic recipe that embraces the country’s rich culinary heritage. So good is it, it is served for weeknight meals and at special celebrations such as weddings and birthdays.

Thịt kho brings together succulent braised pork, soft eggs, and a unique caramelized sauce, created from a blend of fish sauce and aromatic spices.

17. Glazed Teriyaki Pork Belly Recipe with Jasmine Rice

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While this well-known Chinese dish is often a favorite takeout option, making it right at home is surprisingly easy. Once you’ve rendered the fat, cook for a few more minutes to get the pieces crispy, then pour over the sweet and spicy glaze. Plate over steamed jasmine rice, and you’re done!

Enjoy some Chinese food without leaving your home.

18. Pork Belly Ramen

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This popular Japanese dish takes on a wonderful twist when homemade. While making your own ramen noodles is an option, the real magic lies in the crispy oven-baked pork belly. Add a delicate, fragrant broth with hints of ginger, soy sauce, and sesame oil, and you’ve got an amazing fusion of flavors.

19. Vietnamese Pork Belly Simply Braised and Caramelised

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This recipe proves that authentic Vietnamese cuisine can be both easy to prepare and incredibly tasty. Just brown the pork in a wok and then toss in the rest of the ingredients. While some of the ingredients can be left out or replaced with alternatives, the fish sauce and MSG are a must for they the umami profile.

20. Pasta Carbonara

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For Chef Ele Troise, who runs the best Italian restaurant in the Melbourne area, this is a signature dish.

The choice of fettuccine pasta ensures maximum infusion of flavors, as the wide noodles have more surface to embrace the creamy sauce made of fresh eggs, genuine parmesan, and salty pancetta (i.e. Italian pork belly).

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21. Spaghetti Amatriciana

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Amatriciana pasta, made in the traditional fashion, is a true Italian classic that pays homage to the flavors of Rome. This iconic Italian pasta recipe uses spaghetti, a vibrant tomato sauce, pecorino cheese, pancetta (i.e. Italian pork belly) or the savory touch of guanciale, cured pork cheek.

It originated in the small town of Amatrice and continues to charm pasta lovers worldwide.

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When pork belly takes the lead in your recipe, disappointment simply isn’t on the menu. Try any or all of these dishes and you will be convinced.

Top 21 Pork Belly Recipes - Chef's Pencil (23)

Chef's Pencil Staff

Our editorial team is responsible for the research, creation, and publishing of in-house studies, original reports and articles on food trends, industry news and guides.

Top 21 Pork Belly Recipes - Chef's Pencil (2024)


Should you score pork belly before cooking? ›

Score the pork belly using a very sharp knife. Lay the pork, skin-side up, on a rack in a roasting tin. Rub with oil and season with salt. This process helps the fat run out and skin to crisp.

How to smoke pork belly at 225? ›

  1. Get your fire going in your smoker and preheat to 225 degrees F.
  2. Using a sharp knife, score the top layer of fat on the pork belly in 1 inch squares. ...
  3. Place the seasoned pork belly on the grill and smoke until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F (about 6 hours).
Feb 28, 2020

How to crisp a smoked pork belly? ›

Once the meat is 175F internal and the skin is a light red color, brush some white vinegar over the top. Heat up your oven to 400F and place the pork belly on a baking sheet with a wire rack. Place in the oven to cook for 8-12 minutes or until the skin has bubbled up and is very crispy. Pull out and let cool.

Why do you pour boiling water on pork belly? ›

boiling water trick

This helps to prep the skin to crackle as its now "pre-cooked" so to speak. Make sure to pat dry with paper towel to further dry afterwards.

Does pork belly get more tender the longer you cook it? ›

Slow roast 1 1/2 hours – Roast the pork in a 140°C/285°F oven (120°C fan) for a total of 2 1/2 hours. Keeping the temperature this low allows the meat to become tender, for the fat to render (melt) so we get the “confit” cooking effect, and also to dry out the pork skin yet keep it supple.

How do restaurants cook pork belly? ›

We soak the pork in water for about 20 to 25 minutes to wash away excess fat. Then we steam it for about 15 to 20 minutes until it's about 70% done. After that, we take it out of the water and poke holes in the pork with a needle and then rub it all over with salt and spices. Then we air dry it with a fan for 12 hours.

Why won t my pork belly get crispy? ›

The skin wasn't dry enough. Make sure to pat the pork completely dry before rubbing in the salt and oil as excess moisture will stop it from crisping up. It's important to score the skin if you want it really crisp. You'll need a sharp knife for this, or ask your butcher to do it for you.

Should I wrap pork belly in foil? ›

The key to moisture retention and ensuring a supple result is wrapping the pork belly with foil when you cook it. Doing this helps trap moisture that cooking evaporates from the cut during cooking, allowing it to stew in its own juices.

Should you brine pork belly before smoking? ›

If you want to give extra flavour to your pork belly, you could brine it or marinate it beforehand. In this pork belly recipe, the meat is brined, which enhances its natural flavour. Afterwards, the pork belly is slowly cooked on the Big Green Egg, and the addition of smoking wood gives it even more flavour.

Why is my smoked pork belly tough? ›

If smoked at too high of a temperature or for too long, then the meat will become tough and rubbery. Remove the meat from the heat once it reaches 190-195°F to prevent overcooking, plus don't add too many wood chips and overdo the amount of smoke. Do you cook pork belly fat side up or down? Fat side up!

How do you get good bark on pork belly? ›

Arrange the pork belly cubes on a wire cooling and baking rack, then place on the smoker and smoke between 225°F and 250°F for 2 ½ to 3 hours until dark red and a nice bark starts to form.

How do you know when smoked pork belly is done? ›

Once done, place the pork belly into the smoker. You have to wait until the internal temperature of the meat hits 165 °F (74 °C). This should take around 6 hours. Spritz with apple juice about every hour or so—it helps!

Should you score pork? ›

“When that fat gets hot and it starts to render, it pulls taut and causes the pork chop to curl,” he says. To prevent this, all you have to do is take a small, sharp knife — a paring knife will work well — and score the fat, cutting through it about every half inch or so all the way down the chop.

Do you have to score pork skin? ›

It's important to score the skin if you want it really crisp. You'll need a sharp knife for this, or ask your butcher to do it for you.

Should you score pork fat? ›

There's no debate on this: everyone tells you to score the rind, usually using a Stanley knife, in vertical lines about a finger's width apart. This is to allow the heat to penetrate the fat, and, as it bubbles up through the cuts, to baste the top during cooking.

What does it mean to score pork belly? ›

Scoring the pork rind allows the heat to penetrate to the fat and to baste the top during cooking as it bubbles up through the cuts – which means added flavour. Scoring your rind proves easiest at this stage as the rind has not dried out and will still be relatively soft and easy to cut into.


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