Crispy Chinese-Style Pork Belly

Jun 22, 2020 | meat, Recipes

Pork belly, you’ve probably heard of it and you’ve absolutely eaten it whether you know it or not. It is surprising how many people are turned off by the idea of pork belly when it is called “pork belly” but have no problem with it when it is called “bacon”. That’s right, bacon is pork belly that has been cured and smoked. So, if you like bacon, you are probably going to like pork belly. If you like pork, you are probably going to like pork belly too.

Pork belly can be cooked and prepared in a variety of ways, however, because it can be fairly tough I prefer it to be braised or slow roast. If it is braised, I find it is best, and it is common to fry it afterwards. The braised pork belly is cut into pieces then pan-fried or deep-fried. The result of this double cook, is pork that is very crispy on the outside but tender and soft in the middle. In my opinion, and I mean this whole heartily, a piece of pork belly that is well prepared is likely to be one of the best bites of food you will ever taste. There is nothing that compares to it. As a side note, pork belly and scallops paired together with an element that is slightly sweet and slightly acidic is pure culinary magic.

Today we are going to look at a version of pork belly that I love, which is heavily influenced by Chinese-Style pork belly, though I would not call this authentic Chinese by any stretch. Of course, authentic Chinese or not, it is delicious. Let’s take a look.

This is how to make…

Crispy Chinese-Style Pork Belly

Getting Started

To get started we have to make a marinade for the pork belly. It starts with a bit of sliced onion, chopped garlic, and grated ginger. Next up, Chinese 5 Spice, honey, tamari (gluten-free Soy Sauce), rice vinegar, crushed red pepper flakes, and Thai fish sauce. All these ingredients get mixed, then the sliced pork belly gets added in. Cover the bowl with plastic and put it in the fridge for 2 hours.

I find it’s best not to let this marinate overnight unless you are using one large piece of pork belly. It may just be me, but I find that pork that has been marinated in soy sauce for more than a few hours often takes on an unpleasant flavour. To avoid this off-taste, limit the marinating time.

Braising the pork belly

After the pork has marinated in the fridge for two hours, it goes into a pot along with the marinade and 1 cup of water or chicken stock. The pot goes on a high burner until it starts to boil at which point the heat is turned down to low and a lid is put on the pot. At this point, the pork is left to simmer for about 35 minutes or until it is tender. To be clear, the pork should not be “falling apart” tender. It should be just tender enough to easily push a fork through it.

Once the pork is tender it gets removed from the braising liquid and set aside to dry and rest. The temperature of the marinade is turned back up to high and brought back to a boil. Boil the marinade until there is only about 1/4 cup left in the pot. Once the liquid has reduced remove it from the heat and set it aside.

Finishing the pork

The final step in preparing the pork is to heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add in a teaspoon or two of oil (canola, peanut, corn, or vegetable) add in the pork belly and cook it until it is crispy on the bottom, then flip it and cook it until it gets crispy on the top side. This should take 4-5 minutes per side depending on the heat.

Once the pork is crispy on both sides drain off the excess oil then add the reduced braising liquid into the pan. Toss the pork belly in the liquid until it gets sticky then serve it.

Serving the pork belly

I like to serve this dish with steamed sticky rice, steamed or stir-fried vegetables, and garnished with sesame seeds.


This pork belly recipe works just as well with large cubes of pork belly, as it does with strips. You can also skewer and grill the pork belly after it has been braised. If you were to grill the pork belly, you would do so over medium heat for about 4 minutes per side, then brush the sauce on and cook for 1-2 more minutes per side. In this case, the pork would make a great appetizer as well as a great meal when paired with rice and vegetables.

Where can you find pork belly?

I should say really quickly that most grocery stores now carry cut strips of pork belly. I think the main reason for this is that it is cheap compared to most other cuts of meat. The thing is that you have to know what to do with it which you now do. Look for it with the other fresh pork at the butcher counter.

Thanks for reading and remember to like and share this post! See you Wednesday when we will take a look at how to make Lemon Mousse Cups. See you then!

Crispy Chinese-Style Pork Belly

Crispy, sweet, salty, and a little spicy. You'll love this delicious pork belly recipe.
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Chinese
Keyword: Pork Belly
Servings: 2 servings
Author: Chef Ben Kelly


  • 1 lb Pork Belly Strips
  • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 1 tbsp Chinese 5 Spice
  • 4-5 drops Fish Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 cloves Garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup Onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp Ginger, grated
  • 1 cup Water or Stock


  • Combine all the ingredients except the water and marinate the pork for 2 hours.
  • Put the pork and marinade in a medium pot and add in the water.
  • Bring to a boil then turn the heat down to low and simmer the pork for 25-35 minutes or until the pork is tender.
  • Remove the pork from the pot and continue to simmer the liquid until there is only about a 1/4 cup left.
  • Let the pork cool to room temperature on a cooling rack.
  • Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add in 1 tsp sesame oil and 1 tbsp canola or corn oil.
  • Place the pork strips in the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes per side or until crispy.
  • Take the pork out of the pan, toss in the reduced marinating liquid and serve with rice and vegetables.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


  1. Micheline Chevret

    I am an old lady in my 80 . I read your story and realize we all have a dream in life that at most time we realize too late but it is ok to figure it out eventually. I intend to follow your recipes because you people always have new ideas and I love it. Good luck

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