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Thin Pork Belly - How to Best Use?

MMRuth Jan 26, 2009 12:39 PM

I have one pound of pork belly, about an inch thick, that I bought to use in the Ssam pork buns, before I realized that a thicker piece was better. My piece is boneless, and defrosting in the fridge for use this week. I'm wondering what might be the best way to use it - most recipes I've found seem to call for thicker pieces.

Thanks!

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  1. beetlebug RE: MMRuth Jan 26, 2009 01:49 PM

    There is a recipe in Land of Plenty with sliced pork belly and do ban jian and scallions. There may be other things in there as well. But, it's a quick and easy recipe if you want to cook Chinese.

    I know I posted to the appropriate thread for this dish. I've also put the sliced pork bellies over noodles. The fatty sauce is delicious.

    1 Reply
    1. re: beetlebug
      MMRuth RE: beetlebug Jan 26, 2009 01:53 PM

      Thanks - I'll take a look. I don't have that book but do have the other one. I seem to recall not really enjoying the pork belly I made from that book - too fatty for me!

    2. h
      Harters RE: MMRuth Jan 26, 2009 02:16 PM

      You could roll it and roast it as a joint (or first roll it round some stuffing). This works really well if you cook it long and slow - much of the fat runs off and you're left with a roast that has a similar-ish texture to American pulled pork.

      Or, in amongst your vast collection of Elizabeth David books, have you her Summer Cooking? There's a fab recipe for rillettes which Mrs Harters did just before Christmas using a similar thickness piece.

      John

      1. k
        kobetobiko RE: MMRuth Jan 26, 2009 02:32 PM

        I will try to slice it to even thinner pieces (about 1/4 inches) and make a quite stir fry with any vegetables or noodles. For instance, green beens, kimchi, tofu, egg noodles, etc.

        Or a kimchi stew!

        1. hannaone RE: MMRuth Jan 26, 2009 09:12 PM

          Fry, broil, or grill it. Simple S&P.
          Cut into bite sized pieces.
          Mix sesame oil, salt, and pepper to taste (Dipping Sauce #1)
          Mix soy sauce, a touch of sugar or honey, ground dried red chili pepper, and a touch of miso or Korean doenjang. (Dipping sauce #2)
          Dip the pork belly pieces in either sauce and wrap in red or green loose leaf lettuce with steamed rice, sliced raw garlic, sliced green chili pepper, and a bit of kimchi.
          Some other good items to wrap with:
          Tomato strips, cucumber pieces, bell pepper chunks, pickled or fresh radish, green onion......

          1. Robin Joy RE: MMRuth Jan 29, 2009 08:00 AM

            If it's skin-on, then score the skin and lay it, skin-up, flat in a roasting dish. No oil, no salt. Pour boiling water into the dish to come half way up the meat, add a couple of garlic cloves, and roast at 400 for two hours. I find that long and low just does not produce decent crackling, so it has to be this hot. You may need to top up the water, which helps protect the meat in what may sound like a long cook for just one pound. 2 or 3 pounds would also cook like this in only a very little longer.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Robin Joy
              MMRuth RE: Robin Joy Jan 29, 2009 08:22 AM

              Thanks - it's actually still in the fridge. What do you do with it after that?

              1. re: MMRuth
                Robin Joy RE: MMRuth Jan 29, 2009 09:28 AM

                Well, call me old fashioned, but it's traditional to eat it!

                Sorry. Couldn't resist that.

                You prompted me to buy some on the way home tonight ( it's now 6:25 p.m. here in London) and mine went in the oven a little while ago. At about 8 o'clock we'll have it with a green salad and a little dijon mayo, which is great with the crispy skin. Maybe I'll try posting my first CH photo!

            2. JungMann RE: MMRuth Jan 29, 2009 11:30 AM

              A very simple and popular preparation involves boiling the bellies with aromatics, thoroughly drying them and then deep-frying them. You end up with unbearably tender innards and crisp crackling all around the outside.

              2 Replies
              1. re: JungMann
                MMRuth RE: JungMann Jan 29, 2009 11:32 AM

                Ooh - I really like that idea - which aromatics do you use, and how long do you think I should boil it for? Do you then slice up the belly before deep frying?

                1. re: MMRuth
                  JungMann RE: MMRuth Jan 29, 2009 12:37 PM

                  Normally I use a sliced onion, 3 cloves of smashed garlic, a couple bay leaves, some peppercorns and a generous splash of sherry vinegar. I simmer until tender, which is about 40 minutes. All you have to do is dry the pork (which can rest in the fridge over night), slice into smaller pieces and then fry.

                  I could also see going a little more aromatic, a la carnitas, perhaps with some cinnamon, cumin, chiles arbol or chipotles. I prefer the simpler seasonings as I like to pair my pork with a simple pepper vinegar or sweet and spicy lechon sauce that would otherwise be drowned out by the Mexican spices.

              2. h
                Harters RE: MMRuth Jan 30, 2009 02:17 AM

                A Jamie Oliver recipe, shown last night on "Jamie Saves Our Bacon".

                http://www.channel4.com/food/recipes/...

                1. k
                  keencook1 RE: MMRuth Jan 30, 2009 10:22 AM

                  In Cooking with Jamie (Oliver) there's a lovely recipe for pork belly with fennel. I adapted it for a smallish piece of pb I got through my meat CSA. Slash the skin, rub with a mix of salt, pepper, crushed fennel seeds. Place in dish on a bed of sliced fennel. Pop into really hot oven for 15 minutes, reduce heat, add white wine, and cook slowly until done. At a midpoint stage, take out fennel and keep warm until pork is done. You do end up with some lovely crackling.

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