This recipe for Braised Pork Belly has the ultimate combination of sticky, sweet and sour umami flavors for a dish that will melt in your mouth and tantalize your tastebuds.
Pork belly is a very versatile dish and can be eaten alongside your favorite beans or added to a pot of beans like in these Black Beans With Smoked Kielbasa, with ramen noodles or on top of fried rice.
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Pork Belly Around The Globe
Pork belly is particularly popular in Chinese, Korean, and Filipino cooking. Though each culture will have different ways of preparing the pork belly, the result is often a combination of sweet, sticky, and savory umami flavors.
In Chinese cuisine, the pork is often seasoned with a spice mix containing soy sauce, five-spice powder, garlic, and sugar. It is then roasted so it has a crispy skin on the outside with soft and tender meat on the inside.
The Korean version of pork belly also has a spice combination that can include soy sauce, sugar, garlic and sometimes spicy gochujang paste. Once seasoned it is typically grilled and served with an assortment of sauces and vegetables.
For the Filipino version, the pork may be boiled and then fried with salt, pepper, and may also include soy sauce, vinegar and other various spices.
This unique recipe for braised pork belly, with a short list of easy ingredients, provides the same international umami flavors so you get a sticky, sweet, and sour tasting pork belly without all the steps or potentially difficult to find ingredients.
Pork belly is a very versatile dish and can be eaten alongside your favorite beans or added to a pot of beans like in these Black Beans With Smoked Kielbasa, with noodles or on top of your favorite rice dish. Or you can cut it, dice it or slice it and add to wraps, dip in a dipping sauce or simply eat it on its own.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Unique flavor combination: This pork belly has the perfect balance of sweet and umami flavoring.
Simple: No hard-to-follow instructions, just a few simple steps to make this pork belly.
Easy to find ingredients: Your local grocery store most likely has all the ingredients you need for this recipe. Some ingredients are linked below for your convenience.
Add on: this pork belly is the perfect add on to broths, ramen noodles or fried rice!
Ingredients For This Recipe With Pork Belly
- Pork belly – This boneless, fatty meat works well with these sweet and savory flavors.
- Coconut sugar – Coconut sugar caramelizes for a sweet flavor but you can also use brown sugar.
- Molasses – Molasses adds a sticky sweetness to the pork.
- Coconut aminos – Coconut aminos add a savory flavor. If don’t have any you can use soy sauce or for a gluten free option use tamari.
- Chicken broth – The pork belly simmers in the chicken broth but you can also use beef broth.
- Smoked maple rub – This rub provides a unique flavor so don’t leave it out. You can also use it in this seasoning in this Slow Cooked Oven Roasted Beef Brisket so it won’t go to waste.
- Salt and pepper – Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Green onions – Use sliced green onions for garnish.
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How To Make This Pork Belly Recipe
Step 1: Cut the pork belly into strips and then into equal sized cubes and then place in a bowl.
Step 2: Combine salt, pepper and smoked maple rub and coat the pork belly evenly with the mixture.
Step 3: Simmer coconut sugar and water over the stove in a Dutch oven until bubbly.
Step 4: Add the molasses and coconut aminos, whisk until bubbly and then remove from heat.
Step 5: Mix in the pork belly and make sure it is evenly coated with this sticky and sweet mixture.
Step 6: Pour the chicken broth over the pork, cover, and cook for 2 and 1/2 hours. Garnish with sliced green onions.
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Tips and Variations
Evenly cut the pork belly pieces. To ensure all the pork pieces cook up at the same pace, make sure to cut them the same size.
Don’t burn the sugar. Watch the pot carefully when simmering the sugar as it can burn quite quickly.
Give the pot a stir. About halfway through the baking process, give the pork belly a stir so it cooks evenly and doesn’t stick to the pot.
Add some spice. For a spicier dish, add gochujang paste, red chili flakes or your favorite chili paste.
Make sure you are using a sharp knife! When a knife blade is dull it requires more pressure to cut, making it more likely to slip with the increased force behind it and cause an injury. These are my two favorite Chef’s knife and knife sharpening tool:
How long it takes to braise pork belly depends on how thick your cuts of meat are. In this recipe, I estimate the pork should be soft and tender with in 2 and 1/2 hours. Test yours for doneness and add more time if necessary.
Braised pork belly involves simmering the pork in broth so that the fat and skin melt and soften. What you end up with is a melt in your mouth piece of meat.
Yes, allowing the pork to cook at a low temperature for a long period of time makes it very tender.
Make ahead and storage
Make ahead: This pork belly is perfect to make ahead if you like to meal prep. Once prepared it can be eaten a few days later. Due to it’s lengthy hands-off time, you’ll be able to tackle the rest of your meal prep meals while the pork cooks.
Storage: Leftover pork belly will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. In the freezer, the pork belly will keep for up to 3 months.
Reheat: Reheat refrigerated pork belly over the stove, in the oven or in the microwave. Thaw frozen pork belly overnight in the fridge and then reheat over the stove, in the oven or in the microwave.
Kitchen tools needed
Looking for more pork recipes?
Braised Pork Belly
- Dutch Oven Pot
- Cut pork belly into strips and then into cubes that are equal in size so they cook evenly. Transfer pork belly to a bowl
- Mix salt, pepper and smoked maple rub with the pork belly. Coat evenly.
- On stovetop using an oven safe dutch oven over medium heat simmer the coconut sugar and 2 tbsp of water until bubbly (about 2 minutes)
- Stir in molasses and coconut aminos (see substitutions). Whisk until bubbly (about 2 minutes). Remove from heat.
- Toss in pork belly. Coat evenly.
- Pour in chicken broth. Cover and cook in oven at 350F for 2 and 1/2 hours. Garnish with green onions.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.