5 Ways to Eat Pork Belly

Posted: 03/13/2017 02:59:00 PM
We know: just reading the words “pork belly” has you salivating. And you’re about to get even hungrier after checking out these pork belly recipes. But before we get to the various ways to cook pork belly, let’s go over the basics. 

First, what exactly is this delicious cut of meat? Pork belly is boneless cut of fatty meat from—big surprise—the belly of a pig. You can find pork belly in East Asian, North American, and European cuisine, but it’s especially popular in Korean, Chinese, and Filipino food. 

In China, pork belly is usually diced, browned, then slowly braised with skin on. In Korea, pork belly is often cooked on a grill with garlic; this is called samgyeopsal and it’s often eaten with the alcohol soju. In Italian cuisine, pork belly is called pancetta. And in the Philippines, pork belly, or liyempo, is often marinated in a mixture of crushed garlic, vinegar, salt and pepper and then grilled; it’s served with soy sauce and vinegar (called toyo’t suka) or vinegar with garlic (called bawang at suka). Lechon kawali is pork belly that’s seasoned, deep-fried, and served chopped into pieces

And these dishes are just the tip of the deliciously meaty iceberg. There are a number of ways to cook and eat pork belly. Here are five to get you started. 

1. Crispy Chinese Pork Belly

pork belly filstop 

Photo credit: recipeineats

The Chinese make an insanely delicious crispy pork belly that has a puffy, crispy, crackley skin. Check out a recipe from Nagi at Recipe Tin Eats

2. Samgyeopsal

filstop pork belly 

Photo credit: commons.wikimedia.org

According to a 2016 study, the average Korean consumes 21kg (46 pounds) worth of pork belly meat every year. There is even a national day to celebrate this beloved dish: March 3rd is Samgyeopsal Day. This should give you an idea of how delicious it is. Try Sue’s recipe at My Korean Kitchen

3. Classic Spaghetti Carbonara


Our journey now takes us west to Italy. Traditional spaghetti carbonara uses pancetta, which is made from pork belly. Make your own using this delicious recipe from La Bella Vita Cucina. Buon appetito! 

4. Pork Belly Bánh Mì

 filstop pork

Photo credit: hungryhuy.com

Oh yes, it gets even better. Bánh mì are often made with pork, but they’re usually made with hả lụa (meat loaf), thịt nướng (grilled pork), nem nướng (ground and grilled pork), (shredded pork skin), or combinations of these. 

However, you can also substitute these types of pork with pork belly. Check out Huy’s recipe for pork belly bánh mì at Hungry Huy

5. Lechon Kawali 

 lechon filstop pork belly

Last but certainly not least is the classic Filipino dish lechon kawali, which is seasoned pork belly deep-fried and served chopped into pieces. Ann from Ann’s Filipino Food Diary gives us this great recipe. 

And there you have it! Try out one or two of these pork belly recipes and we guarantee you’ll become a pork belly aficionado in no time. Happy eating!