Effortless Crispy Pork Belly Recipe

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Effortless Crispy Pork Belly

Star Anise and Cinnamon Crispy Pork Belly

Crispy Pork Belly With Pumpkin Ginger Puree, Salad Of Coriander, Carrot, Mung Beans, Yellow Capsicum, Fresh Chili, And Chinese Black Vinegar Vinaigrette.

15 years ago, the pork belly was hardly ever used on menus in New Zealand. It all went into making streaky bacon. It’s only in the last 10 years that it has become a sort after cut of pork with its rich fat and crispy skin. The term “nose to tail cooking” has become trendy again. Chefs and cooks started creating crispy pork belly recipes on mass.

While the pork belly is often thought of as a challenging dish to prepare. With the right tips, it can be easy and effortless. In this blog post, I’ll show you how to get crispy skin on your pork belly without any stress or fuss. So read on and learn how to cook the perfect pork belly! Trust me, after reading this post, you’ll be a pork belly expert in no time!

If you’re a cook or chef, you know that pork belly is a delicious and versatile ingredient. I’ve been using it in my cooking for about eight years now. It has become one of my favorite ingredients to cook with, It’s full of flavor and relatively easy to cook homemade crispy pork belly.

I’m doing a variation of a Chinese crispy pork belly dish. There are so many Chinese pork belly recipes out there this is mine. I cooked the belly in a stock flavored with star anise, tsaoko, cinnamon sticks, allspice berries, and apple cider vinegar.

  • Tsaoko is a flowering plant in the ginger family. It has a subtle ginger flavor and is used in Chinese medicine and Chinese cuisine as well as Vietnamese cuisine. It looks like black cardamom, but much bigger with harder seeds inside. Also known as big black cardamon, Chinese black cardamon, and Cao Guo.

Pumpkin is a fantastic fruit to cook with, and ginger goes really well with it. The Chinese black vinegar vinaigrette has enough acidic notes to cut through the rich pork belly. My wife and sons love this style of food I create. The inspiration for this crispy pork belly dish came from my family, I created this for them.

Pork Belly Spices
Top to Bottom: Garlic cloves, Allspice berries, Tsaoko, Star Anise, and Cinnamon sticks

How does crispy pork belly actually work?

How does crispy pork belly actually work? It’s a good question. Crispy pork belly is a dish that is made by cooking pork belly until the skin is crisp and the meat is fork-tender and juicy.

There are a few different methods for achieving crispy skin on a pork belly, but the most common method is to score the skin and salt the skin for at least 12 hours before cooking, by salting the skin, helps draws out any access moisture.

Before cooking wipe off the salt with disposable paper towels dipped in vinegar, preferably apple cider vinegar. Lightly rub rice bran or cooking oil onto the skin. Preheat the oven to 140ºC or 284ºF, and place into the oven for 4 – 5 hours. This allows the fat to render out and the skin to become crisp.

You’re most probably thinking about how long to cook pork belly. You should work on weight, per lb (½ Kg) for 40 minutes – plus 40 minutes over, you have a 5 lb or 2.3 Kg pork belly it should take 4 – 5 hours, including resting time.

Why is my pork belly skin not crispy?

There are a few reasons why your pork belly skin might not be crispy. One possibility is that you didn’t cook it long enough. Pork belly skin needs to be cooked until it’s crisp and golden brown.
Another possibility is that the skin wasn’t scored properly. If the skin isn’t scored, the fat won’t render out properly and you’ll end up with tough, chewy skin.
Finally, make sure you season the skin well in advance to remove any access moisture as damp or wet pork skin won’t crisp up.

Home Grown Chilies
Home Grown Chilies

Birds Eye Hybrid Chilies

I grow these chilies, and they are hot! They are commonly found in New Zealand. I love chilies, I use them a lot in my cooking, If you want to know more about these chilies and other varieties.

There are health advantages that come from eating chili peppers. They improve digestive health and metabolism, alleviate migraines, provide joint pain relief, and help fight inflammation, colds, and flu. These are just some of the healthy advantages of eating chilies.  

Free Range Pork Belly

I always use free-range pork. There are specialized suppliers that deal in these products. In New Zealand, we are lucky to have free-range pork producers that take care and pride in the pigs they raise. I get my pork from  Poaka Free-Range Pork Farm their pork is amazing. Their pigs are heritage breed Tamworth’s, Berkshire’s, and Wessex saddleback pigs.

Slow grown on their open pasture and finished on a diet of acorns and sweet chestnuts, these are truly free-range farmed.

The pork belly starts out from the underside of the belly of the pig. But don’t think of the word “belly” as in the stomach, rather it’s the flesh that runs on the underside of the pig. Pork belly is what is used to make streaky bacon. Pancetta is an Italian pork product, where the belly is used and cured with salt, pepper, and spices.

You should be able to buy whole pork belly from your local butcher. This will be one long cut of meat, weighing anywhere from 3 – 6 kg or 6.5 – 13 lbs sometimes even bigger. Pork Belly is no joke, the meat may be thinly spread but the fat is so juicy as it melts in your mouth!

Korean Pork Belly Dish
Korean Pork Belly Dish

In South Korea, pork belly (Samgyeopsal-gui) is used in a different way.  Cut into thin slices and cooked over a charcoal or gas barbecue. This is absolutely amazing

Larder Stables And Must Have Kitchen Tools

  • I’ll make it easy for you. stock your kitchen with these basic ingredients – Butter, milk, Himalayan pink or quality sea salt, whole peppercorns, sugar, vinegar, virgin olive oil, and plain flour.

Essential Kitchen Tools – Must Haves

You can’t be at a professional level in the kitchen unless you own a variety of high-end tools. Genius kitchen gadgets are an essential part of any home cook’s or aspiring chef’s arsenal. From some of the best chef knives, and kitchen cookware, to wooden cutting boards. These will set you apart from others and get you ready with what you need to start making meals like a chef.

My Professional Recommendations

Seasoning Food

Maldon Sea Salt Flakes
  • As a chef the most underrated ingredient in the kitchen is salt. When my recipes call for salt and pepper I use a variety of different salts and freshly ground black pepper.

Many chefs, including myself, prefer sea salt like Maldon salt flakes or Himalayan pink salt. Both can be used for cooking and finishing. They have a refined flavor that brings out the natural taste of food.

Effortless Crispy Pork Belly

Crispy Pork Belly

I’ve Been Cooking Pork Belly For Over 8 Years, When Done Properly It Is A Pleasure To Eat
4.67 from 3 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Course Lunch
Cuisine Fusion
Servings 4 People
Calories 755 kcal


Crispy Pork Belly

  • 1 kg Pork belly - free range
  • ¼ cup Vinegar - apple cider
  • 4 cups Water
  • 6-7 cloves Garlic - crushed
  • 3 each Star anise
  • 2 each Cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tbsp Allspice berries
  • 3 each Tsaoko seeds

Pumpkin Ginger Puree

  • ½ each Buttercup pumpkin - peeled and seeds removed
  • 1-2 cm Ginger root - peeled and grated
  • ½ tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • ¼-½ cup Double cream

Salad Ingredients

  • 2-3 each Coriander plants - washed roots removed and cut into pieces
  • 1 each Carrot - peeled and cut Julienne
  • 50 grams Mung beans
  • 1 each yellow pepper aka capsicum
  • 2 each Red Mexican cayenne chilies - thinly sliced


  • 3 tbsp Chinese black vinegar
  • 5 tbsp Olive oil - extra virgin
  • 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt and freshly ground black pepper


Crispy Pork Belly

  • Salt the skin for at least 12 hours before cooking, by salting the skin, it draws out any access moisture.
    Before cooking wipe off the salt with disposable paper towels dipped in vinegar, preferably apple cider vinegar.
    Preheat oven to 140ºC or 284ºF. Firstly, cut slits into the pork skin.
    Heat water in a wok, a flat bottom wok will do, when the water is at a rolling boil place in the pork belly for 2 minutes.
    Blanching Pork Belly
  • Remove pork from the wok and into an ice water bath, remove the water from the wok.
    Add the garlic cloves, allspice berries, Tsaoko, star anise, cinnamon sticks, apple cider vinegar, and water, bring to a boil.
    Pork Belly Stock Spices
  • Take the pork belly from the ice water, pat dry, and lay it on a baking tray, I run a blow torch over the pork skin to dry it slightly.
    When the stock has started to boil, remove it from the heat, pour hot liquid into the baking tray with the pork, and place in the oven.
    Guide to cooking pork belly 2 hours per 1 lb (500 gm).  When the pork belly is done turn off the oven, open the oven door ajar and let the belly rest for 30 minutes.
    Pork Belly Ready To Slow Cook

Pumpkin Ginger Puree

  • Place the pumpkin and ginger in a pot of boiling salted water, Bring to the boil and simmer until the pumpkin is soft.
    Strain pumpkin place into a blender, bring the cream to a boil in the same pot, and, add to the blender, blend the pumpkin into a puree. Keep warm until required.  
    Get The Best Fresh Ginger Flavor, finely grate the ginger on a micro-plane and squeeze out the juice. Discard the dry pulp, mix the juice into the pumpkin puree. This will give you that awesome ginger hit and everybody will want to know how you did it.

Chinese Black Vinegar Vinaigrette

  • In an airtight container or jar add the black vinegar, virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper.
    Place on the lid and shake until emulsified. Mix into the prepped vegetables.

Plating Your Crispy Pork Belly

  • Place the coriander, mung beans, julienne carrot, and yellow capsicum into a bowl. Mix in the vinaigrette.
    Asian Salad Ingredients
  • Remove your rested pork from the oven and slice it into even pieces.
    Crispy Skin Pork Belly Sliced
  • Spoon the warm pumpkin ginger puree onto your plates.
    Add the sliced crispy pork belly. Mix half the vinaigrette into the salad and place it on your plates. Add the fresh chili, as much or as little as you want. 
    Crispy Skin Pork Belly Completed Dish
Keywords Chinese Black Vinegar, Fresh Chili, Pork Belly, Pumpkin Ginger Puree

Serving Size: 100g Cripsy pork belly, pumpkin ginger puree, fresh vegetables, coriander, chili, and vinaigrette.
Calories 755 | Total Fat 68.7 g | Carbohydrates 22.1 g | Fiber 6.4 g | Protein 14.4 g | Iron 2.8 mg

Delicious Crispy Pork Belly
Delicious Crispy Pork Belly
Effortless Crispy Skin Pork Belly With Pumpkin Ginger Puree
Crispy Pork Belly Recipe Closeup

You, Will, Want To Make Crispy Pork Belly Now

I hope you’ve enjoyed this foray into the world of crispy pork belly. It is a dish that I enjoy making and, more importantly, eating. After spending so much time cooking in high-pressure environments, it’s nice to come home and cook something leisurely and relaxing like this dish.

If you do give it a try, be sure to let me know how it turns out in the comments below. And if you have any other favorite recipes that you would like to see featured on my blog, don’t hesitate to share those as well. I always love hearing from my readers.

So if you are looking for a delicious and easy meal to make at home. Look no further than my crispy pork belly and give it a try, I promise you will not be disappointed!

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