Pork belly has been a delicacy in many Asian countries for decades.
The pork belly is one of four primal cuts of pork and its where bacon comes from, once cured, smoked, and sliced.
Cesar Herrera, chef instructor at Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in McHenry, Illinois says that pork belly blends well with an array of other flavors or can hold its own as the star ingredient of a dish.
Kitchen Ratings describes the pork belly as one of the most flavorful cuts of pork you can find.
They say that the belly has the perfect amount of both fat and meat so that neither feature overpowers the other.
Dr. Stuart Farrimond author of – the Science of Cooking, writes that when raw fat is tasteless, but when cooked turns to oil carrying flavor and giving a moist mouthfeel.
Know Your Pork Belly
The optimal ratio between meat and fat is about 50/50 for oven roasted pork belly.
If it has too much meat, your pork will come out of the oven dry. On the other hand too much fat and it will be greasy and heavy tasting.
Remove the skin called a fat cap before cooking pork belly. A butcher can do this for you, but it is easy if you choose to do so.
Buy pork belly cut into strips that are 3-5 inches thick.
Pork belly has juicy fat layers that run through the meat. Once cooked it becomes tender, similar in texture to a pork loin.
And the fat is melt-in-your-mouth with deliciously yummy flavor.
Pork belly is an ethnically diverse product.
Whatever your ethnicity there is likely a pork belly dish in your heritage.
Spicy & Sweet Roasted Pork Belly
3 pounds pork belly, skin removed and cut into 2 inch cubes
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar, lightly packed
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
4 stalks green onion, chopped
Remove the skin from the pork and cut into 2-inch cubes. Set aside.
In a large bowl whisk together all ingredients, except the sesame seeds, pork belly, and green onions.
Once marinade is made, add the pork pieces and toss to coat.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for one hour.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Remove pork from fridge and arrange pieces on a baking sheet loosely. Roast for 20 minutes.
Remove baking sheet from oven and carefully turn each piece over, and roast for 10 minutes more.
Remove from oven, sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions. Return to oven for an additional 5-10 minutes, or just until you smell the fragrance of the onion.
Plate and serve immediately with your favorite side dish.
Enjoy the flavor of pork belly with this recipe – Pork Belly Sharp Cheddar Broccoli Bake.