Crispy Pork Belly

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5 from 10 votes
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This mouthwatering crispy pork belly is encrusted with an irresistible caramelized and crackly skin. Lightly seasoned and slow-roasted to perfection, it’s the ultimate pork recipe that always impresses family and friends!

crispy pork belly.

Feast your eyes on this show-stopping slab of perfectly cooked crispy pork belly! I consider myself quite the pork belly expert (it’s my favorite cut, and I’ve been cooking it for years!), so trust me, it’s a winner.

Like my air fryer pork belly, sous vide pork belly, and pork belly burnt ends, this recipe promises tender and juicy meat with a satisfying crunch in every bite.

The secret? I swear by slow roasting it. Don’t let the slightly longer cooking time deter you- it’s worth every single minute.

Table of Contents
  1. Why I love this recipe
  2. Ingredients needed
  3. How to make crispy pork belly
  4. What to serve with this
  5. Recipe tips and variations
  6. How to store leftovers
  7. Frequently asked questions 
  8. More impressive pork recipes
  9. Crispy Pork Belly Recipe (Recipe Card)

Why I love this recipe

  • Ideal juiciness and crackle. My slow roasting method results in a tender pork belly with a crunchy and flavorful skin every time. My family literally begs me to make this once a week.
  • Only 4 ingredients. Besides the pork, all you need is sugar, salt, and pepper. That’s it! It’s almost as easy as a classic pork butt roast or Lechon Asado (Cuban pork roast).
  • Mostly hands-off. Like pork belly burnt ends, with just a few seconds of prep time, the oven does most of the work. Easy peasy!

What we love about this recipe is how perfect the meat turns out every time. I know some of you may be worried that the skin won’t be crispy but don’t fret- I’ve also included my tried and true tips to guarantee perfection every single time.

Pork side vs. pork belly

These two pork parts may seem alike, but they’re actually two different cuts with very different uses. Pork belly is an unprocessed cut known for its high fat content and natural succulence. On the other hand, the pork side, AKA pork side ribs, contains meaty sections attached to the rib bones. 

Ingredients needed

The ingredient list is brief, thanks to pork belly’s natural, mouthwatering goodness. This is everything you’ll need:

  • Pork belly. Pick up a slab of pork belly, preferably skinless and boneless. The best kind for roasting will have a good balance of lean meat and fat marbling. If you can, try to g
  • Salt and pepper. For seasoning. 
  • Sugar. As it cooks, the sugar caramelizes and hardens around the outside, giving you that amazing crackled pork skin. Yum!
  • Water. Roasting the pork in a pan filled with a small amount of water keeps it from drying out in the oven. 

How to make crispy pork belly

I’ve included step-by-step photos below to make this recipe easy to follow at home. For the full printable recipe instructions and ingredient quantities, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Step 1- Season the pork: Rub the sugar, salt, and pepper all over the pork.

seasoned pork on a plate.

Step 2- Roast: Place pork belly skin side up in the baking tray. Roast until it’s cooked through. 

Step 3- Finish under the broiler: If the skin isn’t crispy, broil the pork until the skin is crisp and crackling.

broiled pork belly in roasting pan.

Step 4- Rest, slice, and serve: Set the pork aside to rest before slicing and serving warm. Enjoy!

pork belly.

What to serve with this

Your crispy pork belly recipe is only as good as the dipping sauce it’s served with. That’s why I always like to pair it with katsu sauce, hot honey sauce, or eel sauce (think Asian-style BBQ sauce)! On the side, you can serve it with cauliflower mashed potatoes, a fresh arugula salad with a citrus vinaigrette, and a medley of roasted vegetables, like roasted carrots and potatoes, balsamic roasted brussels sprouts, and broccoli.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Dry the skin. Do you want crispy skin? Then you HAVE to take the time to pat the skin dry before adding the dry rub! I usually pat dry it with a paper towel to soak extra moisture.
  • Season in advance. To infuse more flavor, I like sprinkling the salt rub over the meat a few hours before cooking or the night before. It’s not necessary, but it does take it up a notch.
  • Score the skin. Use a sharp knife to make shallow cuts all across the pork skin. It’s an optional step but will help render the fat out of the skin, leaving you with crispier results.
  • Play with the seasonings. To change things up, I like to rub the crispy roast pork belly with Chinese five-spice powder, a sweet and spicy dry rub, or white pepper for a little extra flavor.
  • Brush with a glaze. Use my 3-ingredient ham glaze, pork tenderloin marinade, or even a simple mix of soy sauce and white vinegar as a glaze. Brushing the pork with a glaze during the last 2 to 3 minutes of cooking adds more flavor and preserves the crackly skin.  

How to store leftovers

To store: Once cooled, refrigerate the leftovers in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days.

To freeze: Let the leftovers cool before wrapping them in plastic or aluminum foil. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge before reheating. 

To reheat: Reheat the pork on a baking sheet covered loosely with foil at 350°F for 10 to 15 minutes. Spoon the pan juices over the pork periodically to keep it moist and juicy. 

roasted pork belly.

Frequently asked questions 

Does this recipe work with bone-in pork belly?

Yes, you can use bone-in pork. Remember that bone-in cuts typically take longer to cook, so you’ll need to adjust the roasting time as necessary. 

Is pork belly better with or without the skin?

I prefer to cook skin-on pork belly, but this ultimately comes down to personal preference. Skin-on results in that coveted crispy, crackling skin, while skinless is a better choice if you want a more tender, less fatty dish.

More impressive pork recipes

pork belly recipe.

Crispy Pork Belly Recipe

5 from 10 votes
This mouthwatering pork belly is encrusted with an irresistible caramelized and crackly skin. Lightly seasoned and slow-roasted to perfection, it’s the ultimate pork recipe that always impresses family and friends! Watch the video below to see how I make this in my kitchen.
Servings: 12 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 40 minutes
Total: 1 hour 45 minutes

Video

Ingredients  

  • 2 pounds pork belly skin-on
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup water optional

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 240C/460F.
  • Pat dry the pork belly skin with a paper towel.
  • Combine two teaspoons of the salt, the sugar, and the pepper in a small bowl and season the flesh of the pork belly on all sides.
  • Place the pork belly in a baking dish or roasting pan skin side up. Add enough water to cover 1/3 of an inch. Sprinkle the rest of the salt over the pork belly skin.
  • Roast the pork belly for 40 minutes, then lower the temperature to 140C/280F and roast for another hour.
  • If the skin is not crispy enough after that, turn on the broiler and cook for another 5 minutes until it gets an even crispy layer.
  • Remove the pork belly from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes, then slice and serve.

Notes

TO STORE. Once cooled, refrigerate the leftover pork belly in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days.
TO FREEZE. Let the leftovers cool before wrapping them in plastic or foil. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge before reheating. 
TO REHEAT. Reheat the pork on a baking sheet covered loosely with foil at 350°F for 10 to 15 minutes. Spoon the pan juices over the pork periodically to keep it moist and juicy. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 295kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 14gFat: 22gSodium: 800mgPotassium: 142mgFiber: 0.04gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 8IUVitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 6mgIron: 0.4mgNET CARBS: 1g
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    The orange cake is fabulous ‼️‼️‼️‼️ Can I use seedless lemons with same recipe ?

  2. 5 stars
    My son-in-law gave me 10/10 for the crackling. I have not managed above a 9/10 from him my cooking until your recipe! So thank you