Crispy Pork Belly

I love pork belly… the crispy crackling, the juicy, unctuous fattiness of the meat…  I particually like it when it is prepared Asian style. The other day I made some pork belly for dinner, and it was just delicious!  It is also a very economical cut of meat….

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This recipe is not Paleo because it does use soy and also miso, but I am OK with using them occasionally…  fermented soy products are not as problematic as unfermented soy as the fermentation process breaks down many of the anti-nutients.  And the soy sauce I buy is both wheat-free and naturally fermented.  And miso, being a fermented product will actually provide a certain amount of gut-friendly probiotics as well.  This post gives a good argument for including some fermented soy products in your diet occasionally.

You could substitute coconut aminos for the soy sauce, but there really isn’t a substitute for the miso, and it does provide a good flavour along with thickening the paste that you are going to rub over the pork.  Leave it out if you must, but use extra coconut aminos in this case.  It won’t be as thick, so you may have to sit the pork in the marinade rather than rubbing it over the meat.

If you need a Paleo or AIP Crispy Pork Belly recipe, please see my other post, Crispy Pork Belly Revisited.

This recipe does take a fair bit of advance preparation…  for best results plan on starting it the day before you want to eat it….  it is worth the wait!

Crispy Roasted Pork Belly

serves 6

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  • 2kg pork belly (for us this was 3 large pieces) – skin on
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 4 tbsp miso
  • 2 tbsp five-spice powder
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (you could substitute coconut aminos if you prefer)

Score the skin on the pork belly, cutting through the skin but not the thick layer of fat.

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Place the pork belly skin-side up on a wire rack over your sink.  Pour a kettle-full of boiling water over the pork to scald the skin.  It is this step that makes the crackling so crunchy and crispy.

Dry the skin well with paper towels and place the pork, uncovered, in the fridge for 2-3 hours to dry the skin out.

After 2 hours, remove the pork, mix the miso, five spice powder, honey and soy sauce and rub all over the flesh side of the pork.  Do not rub it into the skin.  Place the pork, skin side up on a wire rack in a roasting tin.  Place this back in the fridge for several more hours. If you can leave it overnight, so much the better.  The longer you leave it, the dryer the skin becomes and the more it will crisp up.

When the time comes to cook your pork, preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.

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Rub the skin of the pork well with sesame oil and scatter with salt.

Roast the pork, skin-side up in the oven for 1½- 2 hours until the meat is cooked and tender.  Increase the oven temperature to 220°C/425°F and continue roasting for 15 minutes until the skin is crispy

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes while you prepare the accompaniments.

Serve cut into 1cm thick slices.

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Serve on a bed of stir-fried vegetables (I used bok choy) with a chilli-garlic dipping sauce.

Chilli Garlic Dipping Sauce for Roast Pork Belly

serves 6

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  • 3 cloves of garlic – finely chopped
  • 1-2 birds eye chilli peppers – finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro

Mix all the ingredients well and serve with the pork belly

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