How to Cook Sliced Pork Belly (4 Side Dishes to Pair With)

Gabriel Woods
Published by Gabriel Woods
Last Updated On: December 5, 2023

I have a genuine passion for exploring the diverse flavors you can achieve with pork meat.

My professional chef career allowed me to create mouthwatering dishes by employing various cuts of pork.

When it comes to pork belly, I've spent countless hours experimenting to ensure that each bite is a harmonious blend of taste and texture.

Here you will find my pork belly slices recipe that perfectly balances the tender meat and crispy crackling.

Quick Summary

  • Pork belly is best baked in the oven but can also be made in an air fryer or a pan on the stovetop.
  • Pork belly is a fatty cut and can become tough if overcooked.
  • Achieving crispy skin requires properly preheating the oven or pan and avoiding crowding the slices.

What Are Pork Belly Strips?

Pork belly strips

Pork belly strips are a flavorful and popular type of pork cut originating from the belly of the pig.

The most distinguishing feature of pork belly is its marbling – fat streaks that run through the meat, which results in an incredibly juicy and tender texture when cooked properly.

Pork belly is used in various recipes, including stir-fries, tacos, sandwiches, and salads.

It is frequently served as bacon or pancetta after it has been cured to add flavor to dishes.

Asian-inspired dishes like katsu curry or ramen often use pork belly strips to bring out its delicious flavors.

You can find them fried and served with vegetables or added to ragu sauces for a hearty meal in Italy.

Where to Buy Pork Belly?

You can buy pork belly at various places, including grocery stores, butcher shops, and specialty meat markets.

Look for fresh or frozen pork belly in the meat section. It is the same cut as bacon but has not undergone the curing process with nitrates and other spices.

When selecting pork belly, choose cuts with even marbling and an even fat-to-meat ratio.

Look for fresh meat that is pinkish in color and avoid any cuts with a strong odor or discoloration. Ask the butcher for assistance in finding the best quality cuts.

If you're looking for high-quality pork belly slices, try this recipe or explore more of your favorite pork recipes. Check out our meat delivery service review article for recommendations on the best providers who deliver premium cuts right to your home.

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How to Store Pork Belly

Pork belly in the fridge

To store pork belly, keep it in the refrigerator if you plan to use it within a few days. For longer storage, you can freeze it for 3 months.

Wrap the pork belly tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil before placing it in an airtight container or freezer bag to prevent freezer burn.

Label the container with the date for easy reference.

Thaw frozen pork belly in the refrigerator before cooking.

"Pork belly is a chef's playground. It's a cut that never fails to deliver luscious and unforgettable dishes."

- Thomas Keller, American Chef

Oven-Baked Pork Belly Slices Recipe

Pork belly in the oven

Recipe Overview

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Servings: 4

Ingredients

Pork Belly

  • 1 lb chilled pork belly slices (cut strips if not already sliced)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • BBQ sauce (for serving)
  • Fresh fruit (for serving)

Rub

  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to your spice preference)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

Crispy sliced pork belly
  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
  2. Mix the garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, brown sugar, soy sauce, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl to create a flavorful rub.
  3. Place the pork belly slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Carefully drain any excess liquid from the pork belly slices. Pat them dry with a paper towel.
  5. Use a sharp knife to score the skin side of the pork belly slices, making diagonal cuts about 1 inch apart. This will help to create crispy crackling during baking.
  6. Rub the marinade evenly over the pork belly slices, ensuring they are well-coated on both sides. Drizzle the soy over the slices.
  7. Place the baking tray in the preheated oven for about an hour, flipping halfway through cooking until the slices are golden brown and the skin is crispy. The internal temperature should reach 145°F on a meat thermometer [1].
  8. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the oven-baked pork belly slices rest on the baking paper for a few minutes before serving. If desired, save the rendered fat in a glass jar for future use.
  9. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve pork belly strips with BBQ sauce and fresh fruit as a delicious appetizer or main course.

Recipe Notes

Pork belly sliced
  • For extra crispy meat, you can use the broil cook mode for the pork belly slices for a few minutes at the end of cooking.
  • Pork belly slices can be purchased pre-sliced, or you can buy a whole pork belly and slice it yourself using a sharp knife.
  • You can use an air fryer instead of the oven for a quicker cooking time. Air fry pork belly slices in the air fryer at 375°F for about 20-25 minutes, flipping them halfway through. Serve immediately.
  • If you prefer a pan-fried method, use a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat with a tablespoon of oil. Cook pork belly slices in a single layer in a large skillet for about 4-5 minutes per side. They should be golden brown, cooked through, and crispy.
  • For extra tender and juicy meat, you can make slow-roasted pork belly at 325°F for about 2 to 2.5 hours, depending on the thickness of the slices.
  • Leftover pork belly slices can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days [2]. Reheat it in the oven or a frying pan to maintain its crispiness.
  • Feel free to adjust the smoked paprika, brown sugar, and other seasonings according to your taste preferences. Add spices like chili or adjust the cayenne pepper for more heat in the pork slices.
  • You can substitute minced garlic for garlic powder. Use salt and pepper to taste.
  • Note that about 50% of the fat in pork belly on your baking sheet is monounsaturated fat. Another 40% is saturated fat, leaving only about 10% polyunsaturated fat [3].
  • When buying pork belly, look for a cut with even marbling for the juiciest and most flavorful result. Thick slices of pork belly work best for this recipe, as thinly sliced pork strips are easy to overcook.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 400
  • Total Carbs: 4g
  • Protein: 25g
  • Fat: 32g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Net Carbs: 3g

What to Serve With Pork Belly?

Asian slaw in a bowl

Here are some side dishes that pair well with pork belly:

  1. Asian Slaw: The fresh and crunchy Asian slaw complements the rich and fatty pork belly slices perfectly. The tangy dressing of rice vinegar, soy, and sesame oil contrasts with the pork's savory and sweet brown sugar flavors.
  2. Coconut Lime Rice: The coconut and lime flavors in the rice add a tropical twist to the meal. The coconut rice's creaminess complements the pork belly's fat, and the lime juice brightens the dish.
  3. Grilled Pineapple Slices: Grilled pineapple brings a delightful sweetness and smoky char to the plate, creating a refreshing balance with the savory pork slices. The pineapple's natural sugars enhance the overall taste experience.
  4. Charred Corn on the Cob: Grilled corn on the cob with a sprinkle of chili powder and lime juice brings a smoky and slightly spicy element to the plate. The natural sweetness of the corn complements the savory pork belly.

FAQs

Why Are My Pork Belly Slices Tough?

If your pork belly slices are tough, it may be due to overcooking. Pork belly is a fatty cut, and when overcooked, the fat can render out excessively, leading to dry and tough meat. To avoid this, cook pork belly slices until they reach the desired internal temperature so they will maintain their juiciness.

Do You Rinse Pork Belly Before Cooking?

It is not necessary to rinse pork belly before cooking. Rinsing could spread bacteria from the meat to other surfaces. Instead, pat the pork belly slices dry with a paper towel before seasoning or marinating.


References:

  1. https://www.fsis.usda.gov/food-safety/safe-food-handling-and-preparation/meat/fresh-pork-farm-table
  2. https://ask.usda.gov/s/article/How-long-can-you-store-pork
  3. https://discover.grasslandbeef.com/blog/pork-belly-the-worlds-most-popular-food/
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About the author

Gabriel Woods
Chef/Food Editor
Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management, Major in Culinary Entrepreneurship Summa Cum Laude. With a deep passion for the culinary arts and a keen business acumen, Gabrielle is set to embark on a journey that promises to leave a lasting impact on the world of the culinary industry. Growing up in a family where food created memories and bonds, she sustained an interest in cooking and baking. She earned her Culinary Entrepreneurship degree with a summa cum laude distinction from the University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines. Gabrielle then served as an assistant private chef – she helped clients achieve specific fitness goals by prepping protein-based meals and healthy side dishes. At Carnivore Style, Gabrielle has honed her strategic leadership by analyzing the trends in meat consumption preferences. This guides our team in producing engaging content, such as recipes featuring popular cuts or cooking techniques. She envisions a community where individuals follow their culinary dreams, making every delectable dish with love and soul for people to relish. In her free time, Gabrielle loves to travel to new places, study their culture, and dine at diverse restaurants and cafes.
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