Crispy pork belly is one of my new favorite foods for a variety of reasons:
- The crunchy skin
- The salty skin
- The ungodly tender meat
- It’s usually dirt cheap
- Its low-maintance
These are all the reasons that I’m sure you’re going to love it as well. If you’ve never had it before, pork belly is the same cut of pig that bacon is made from. Cooked low and slow, the fat slowly melts into the meat, leaving behind tender meat that practically melts in your mouth.
It’s incredibly easy- all you do is marinate it for awhile, sky the skin, top it with salt and then slow roast it for a couple hours. Not only does this make it a great dinner option, it makes a FANTASTIC party appetizer- you have the ability to prepare a lot of it at once without a lot of hands-on muss and fuss, leaving yourself open to do other things.
As far as meat goes, it’s also on the cheaper side- about $3/lb or less. When shopping for your meat, make sure that you ask for a piece that has a decent amount of meat on it- some pieces can be mostly fat, not leaving you with much to eat when you’re done.
Now let’s talk about the salt crust. I’ve prepared this a few different ways over the past couple of years- you can score the skin (a necessity, or the skin will pucker while cooking and be very difficult to cut) or do a salt crust. Although perhaps a salt crust sounds as though it might be complicated or leave your food crazy salty, I’m here to assure you that neither is true. Doing a salt crust simply involves spreading a large amount of salt over the surface of your meat, then removing it after a couple of hours. It will lift off in one nice, solid piece, leaving behind a nicely seasoned skin. If you have any salt stragglers, just brush it off. Both methods work; in fact, I cut my pork in half and prepared each half differently. Both pieces turned out deliciously, but I think I may have preferred the salt crust preparation just a little more. If you’re uncomfortable attempting the salt crust, you’ll have perfectly fine results with by scoring the skin. If you’re scoring the skin, rub it with a little sesame oil and season with salt before baking.
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- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup sauce rice wine
- 2 T oyster Sauce
- 2 T dark brown sugar
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1 tsp sesame oil, plus more for rubbing
- 2 lb pork belly
- 1 cup salt
- Combine the soy sauce, rice wine, oyster sauce, sugar, garlic, and oil; stir to combine.
- Pour the marinade into a Ziploc bag. Add the pork belly and remove as much air as possible. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Heat oven to 300F. Line a half sheet pan with foil and set a wire rack inside the pan.
- Remove the pork from the marinade and dry the skin well. Spread the cup of salt over the skin. Cook in the oven for 2 hours. Remove the salt crust and any salt that remains behind.
- Increase the oven temperature to 450F. Return to the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the skin is golden and crispy. Slice and serve.