Sous Vide Pork Belly

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This foolproof sous vide pork belly recipe gives you perfectly moist and tender pork every time. It’s cooked with a rich Asian-inspired marinade and finished in the oven for that coveted caramelized crust.

sous vide pork belly.

I’m a self-proclaimed pork belly expert, as evidenced by my crispy pork belly and air fryer pork belly. Since my expertise with sous vide recipes, it was a no-brainer, and cooking this moreish piece of meat in the sous vide machine was next!

This easy sous vide pork belly recipe starts with a slab of meat soaked in an umami-forward, savory marinade. The sous vide bath makes the magic happen from there, yielding tender and juicy meat without having to lift a finger. I go one step further to quickly roast it before serving to give it that gorgeous CRISPY caramelized crust!

Table of Contents
  1. Why I love this recipe
  2. Ingredients needed
  3. How to sous vide pork belly 
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. How to store leftovers
  6. Frequently asked questions
  7. More sous vide recipes
  8. Sous Vide Pork Belly (Recipe Card)

Why I love this recipe

  • Consistent cooking. Sous vide is one of my favorite cooking methods because the precise temperature control ensures perfectly cooked and incredibly flavorful results every time! From sous vide egg bites to sous vide chicken breasts, it never fails me.
  • Ultimate flavor infusion. Cooking the naturally flavorful pork and a delicious marinade together in a vacuum-sealed bag gives you evenly cooked meat with incredible flavors. 
  • Minimal hands-on time. Once the meat is seasoned, sealed, and in the sous vide bath, you can sit back and relax for hours! This makes it a go-to meal for busy weeknights or hectic dinner parties.

Ingredients needed

Besides the pork belly, you’ll need a handful of ingredients to infuse the meat with an umami-forward zing! Here’s everything you’ll need: 

  • Pork belly. Look for a slab of well-marbled, skin-on pork belly with a nice pink color and no discoloration. I prefer to buy mine from a local butcher rather than a grocery store because the meat is typically fresher and of higher quality.
  • Soy sauce. As the base of the marinade, this intensifies the pork’s natural salty, umami flavor. You can use tamari or gluten-free soy sauce if you’re gluten-free.
  • Brown sugar. Its sweetness balances the savory marinade and caramelizes around the outside of the pork.
  • Garlic cloves. For a savory depth. 
  • Mirin. This is a sweet Japanese rice wine. It adds a subtle sweetness and helps balance the rest of the flavors. If you can’t find mirin, use rice vinegar instead.
  • Scallions. They add a fresh, mild onion flavor to the marinade. 
  • Fresh ginger. I love its fresh and tangy pop of flavor. 
  • Fish sauce. I added a splash of fish sauce for its distinctive salty richness.  

How to sous vide 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 and seal. Blend all of the ingredients (except the meat) into a paste. Dredge the pork belly in the paste and place it in the sous vide vacuum bag along with the rest of the paste. Vacuum seal the bag. 

how to make sous vide pork belly.

Step 2 – Sous-vide. Fully submerge the bag in the sous vide bath and cook to your preferred doneness. Remove the pork belly from the bag and discard the marinade.

pork belly vacuum sealed in sous vide machine.

Step 3 – Crisp in the oven. Transfer the pork belly to a baking pan and roast it in the oven until the skin is golden brown and crispy. 

pork belly on baking sheet.

Step 4 – Rest, then slice. Set the pork belly aside to rest before slicing and serving warm with chopped scallions sprinkled on top. Enjoy!

pork belly sous vide recipe.

Time and temperature for pork belly

Pork is safe to eat when it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F (or medium). However, some people prefer medium-well to well-done pork belly. Use the chart below to help you cook the pork to your desired doneness:

  • Medium (145°F / 63°C). Cook at 150°F (66°C) for 8 to 12 hours. 
  • Medium-Well (155°F / 68°C). Cook at 160°F (71°C) for 8 to 12 hours. 
  • Well-Done (165°F / 74°C). Cook at 170°F (77°C) for 8 to 12 hours.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Secure the bag. The sous vide bag must be water-tight, or else water will leak into the bag and derail the cooking process. My vacuum sealer was an affordable investment.
  • No vacuum sealer? Use the water displacement method instead: place the pork belly and marinade in a plastic bag. Slowly submerge the bag in the water, allowing the pressure to push the air out. Seal the bag just above the waterline.
  • Chill before finishing. For the best results, transfer the sous vide bag with the cooked pork from the water bath to an ice bath before finishing it in the oven. This will firm up the exterior and yield a better sear.
  • Consider a glaze. Brush my 3-ingredient ham glaze over the cooked pork before placing it in the oven for more flavor. You can do the same with the reserved marinade from this recipe, but you need to boil the mixture for 5 minutes to kill any bacteria left behind by the raw meat. After it thickens, brush it on the cooked pork.
  • Rest before slicing. I know you’ll be tempted to dig in, but I highly recommend letting the pork rest for 5 minutes after it comes out of the oven so the meaty juices can settle.
  • More ways to add flavor. Feel free to experiment with other flavorful sauces and marinades, like my sweet and savory pork tenderloin marinade, teriyaki marinade, eel sauce, katsu sauce, bulgogi sauce, or hot honey sauce.

How to store leftovers

To store: Store the cooked and cooled pork belly bites in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.

To freeze: Wrap the pork in foil or plastic, store it in a sealed bag, and freeze for up to 3 months. Let it thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating. 

To reheat: Place the pork belly on a baking sheet covered loosely with foil and heat in a 350°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Spoon the pan juices over the pork periodically to prevent it from drying out. 

pork belly sous vide.

Frequently asked questions

Can you sous vide pork belly from frozen?

Yes, you can sous vide frozen pork belly, but make sure you add a few extra minutes to the sous vide cooking time so the frozen meat cooks through.

Can I use bone-in pork belly?

Yes, but know that bone-in cuts generally take longer to cook and reach a safe internal temperature. Adapt the sous vide time accordingly. 

Do you have to finish the pork belly in the oven?

The pork belly is technically ready to eat when the sous vide process is finished; however, the oven really takes every bite from good to great! If you don’t want to use the oven, you can sear the pork in a hot, well-oiled pan, on a grill, or in a 400ºF air fryer until the skin is crispy.

More sous vide recipes

sous vide pork belly recipe.

Sous Vide Pork Belly

5 from 2 votes
This foolproof sous vide pork belly recipe gives you perfectly moist and tender pork without any babysitting. It's cooked with a rich Asian-inspired marinade and finished in the oven for that coveted caramelized crust.
Servings: 6 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 8 hours
Total: 8 hours 5 minutes

Ingredients  

  • 2 pounds pork belly
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1/2 cup green onions chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger

Instructions 

  • Combine all the ingredients, except for the pork, in a blender and blend into a paste.
  • Dredge the meat with the paste and place it in the bag along with the rest of the paste. Vacuum seal the bag.
    how to make sous vide pork belly.
  • Place the bag in the sous vide bath, ensuring it is fully submerged. Cook for 8 hours.
    pork belly vacuum sealed in sous vide machine.
  • Once cooked, remove the meat from the water bath and discard the spices from the bag.
  • Heat the oven to 240C/480F. Bake the pork belly for 10 minutes, until the skin browns and becomes crispy.
    pork belly on baking sheet.
  • Rest the pork belly for 5 minutes before serving with the sliced green onions.

Notes

TO STORE. Store the cooked and cooled pork belly bites in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
TO FREEZE. Wrap the pork in foil or plastic, store it in a sealed bag, and freeze for up to 3 months. Let it thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating. 
TO REHEAT. Place the pork belly on a baking sheet covered loosely with foil and heat in a 350°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Spoon the pan juices over the pork periodically to prevent it from drying out. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 375kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 15gFat: 20gSodium: 714mgPotassium: 344mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 98IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 25mgIron: 1mgNET CARBS: 13g
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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