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Where Can I Buy Pork Belly?

sofagrass Sep 8, 2009 07:44 PM

Any Idea where I can buy pork belly in Manhattan? I am in the chelsea area of town for a few weeks. I am planning on going to lobells because I have heard it is the best butcher in town, but now sure they will sell this specialty item. The local whole foods does not carry it. Thanks for your time!

  1. c oliver Sep 8, 2009 07:55 PM

    I hope that when people reply to your thread that they'll give mail order recs also. I'm dying (not really) to cook it myself also.

    1 Reply
    1. re: c oliver
      Caroline1 Sep 9, 2009 11:50 AM

      Wherever you live, if there is a Chinese (preferably) or any Asian market near you, that's the best place tol ook for it. The prices will be good too. When I wanted pork belly, I had to order a minimum of nine pound at a local non0Asian market, or only as much as I wanted at my Chinese grocery, but they didn't call it pork beblly. I forget what they did call it, but y ou'll know it when you see it.

    2. r
      rrems Sep 8, 2009 08:28 PM

      Flying Pigs Farm at Union Square Greenmarket.

      1. s
        sofagrass Sep 8, 2009 09:13 PM

        Just another reason to visit that great market! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer for me.

        2 Replies
        1. re: sofagrass
          JeremyEG Feb 23, 2010 08:47 AM

          Dickson Farmstand Meats on Chelsea Market had it yesterday. You could call ahead and check or even ask him to put some aside for you.

          1. re: sofagrass
            wew Feb 24, 2010 08:23 AM

            To aviod a wasted please contact flying pig via their web site first. They told me that they don't usually bring many pork bellies.

          2. d
            Da Vid Sep 8, 2009 09:30 PM

            Why not just go down to Chinatown? Get on the 6 train and get off Canal. There's a butcher on Mulberry just off Canal Street. I've gotten pork belly there and it's probably cheaper than Lobel's. You might also try Jeffrey's in the Essex Market.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Da Vid
              parki3n Feb 22, 2010 04:20 PM

              I took this suggestion and tried the Mulberry Meat Market a few weeks ago. There were signs in English for everything and I found pork belly for $2.50/lb. Three pounds of pork belly came out perfectly for my Momofuku cooking adventure. I recommend going here for clean, cheap pork belly.

              Mulberry Meat Market, Inc.
              89 Mulberry Street
              New York, NY 10013
              (212) 267-0350

            2. u
              UES Mayor Sep 9, 2009 03:42 AM

              This is an easy one-Chinatown!! all the meat markets sell for a fraction of what others charge. Other places include Schaller and weber and the Korean market on 32nd between 5th and bway has it-can get it thinly sliced as well-always in stock.

              1. scoopG Sep 9, 2009 04:37 AM

                I don't know that Lobell's is the best butcher in town but it certainly is one of the most expensive. Just about any local neighborhood butcher can get one for you or as noted, in the Chinese butcher shops of Chinatown.

                1. JungMann Sep 9, 2009 06:50 AM

                  I don't think of pork belly as a specialty cut and bristle at the mark-up placed on once "humble" foods because the trendy have suddenly discovered them. I am quite satisfied with the pork belly I get in Chinatown, occasionally at Western Beef.

                  1. h
                    Hurner Sep 9, 2009 07:21 AM

                    Since you are staying in the Chelsea area, you need go no further than Western Beef,
                    which is located at 431 W 16th St. (between 9th & 10th Avenues)

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Hurner
                      Yaxpac Sep 9, 2009 07:32 AM

                      I have purchased pork belly at Whole Foods in Chelsea. I would check again.

                      Flying pigs has great pork belly but $10/lb for pork belly is kind of ridiculous in my opinion.

                      1. re: Yaxpac
                        MMRuth Sep 9, 2009 07:47 AM

                        Yes, I've bought some from Flying Pigs as well, but it ended up being far too thin a slab for what I needed it for.

                    2. s
                      sofagrass Sep 9, 2009 06:26 PM

                      Thanks guys and gals- sounds like Western Beef it is! I do need to check out chinatown while I am here. I am making mock momofuku buns appetizers. Found a steamed bun dry mix at an asian grocery in Florida and it tastes pretty good!

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: sofagrass
                        c oliver Sep 9, 2009 06:36 PM

                        OMG, those pork buns at momofuku are wonderful, aren't they? That's one of the things I want the pork belly for. Thanks for the tip re the mix - I'll look for it.

                        1. re: c oliver
                          KTinNYC Sep 9, 2009 07:23 PM

                          C, here is the recipe http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/printerfriendly/Pork-Belly-Buns-240258 and here is a thread about people making them at home http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/543857 .

                          Good luck if you try making them at home.

                          1. re: KTinNYC
                            c oliver Sep 9, 2009 07:59 PM

                            Bless your ever lovin' heart, KT. I still *feel* them in my mouth.

                      2. r
                        ren Sep 9, 2009 10:11 PM

                        jeffrey's(i believe that's what it's called) in the essex market on essex above delancey has excellent belly that we buy in our restaurant if we run out of the regular order we get from schaller & weber

                        1. k
                          kobetobiko Sep 10, 2009 09:27 AM

                          Pork belly at Chinatown is cheap but it isn't the best as they don't have great flavor like Berkshire pork. I was able to get Niman Ranch pork belly at Whole Foods in the past to make Momofuku's pork buns and the result was great!

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: kobetobiko
                            rrems Sep 10, 2009 08:20 PM

                            I agree. The object should not be simply to find the cheapest pork belly. Quality matters. Flying Pigs Farm raises Tamworth pigs. These heritage breeds such as Berkshire and Tamworth are so far above the standard factory-raised pork as to make it well worth paying a premium for.

                            1. re: rrems
                              JungMann Sep 11, 2009 08:27 AM

                              Quality certainly matters, but for most of my recipes, red-cooked pork, vindaloo, adobo, the subtlety of premium pork is lost in the heavy seasonings and even in a simple preparation like lechon kawali, there is an unpalatable irony in serving a very rustic dish at a premium cost. My tita certainly wouldn't approve!

                              1. re: JungMann
                                kobetobiko Sep 11, 2009 08:48 AM

                                I won't consider $4.99 / lb of Niman Ranch pork belly as premium price at all!

                                1. re: kobetobiko
                                  JungMann Sep 11, 2009 08:58 AM

                                  That's not at all the price I expected! My friend paid something I thought atrocious at Ottomanelli or Jefferson Market for a braise I made (especially given the little improvement in flavor over my butcher) and I assumed Whole Foods would be nearly as expensive. I'm glad to have that on my radar for my next batch of home-cured tocino! Do they have deboned belly as well or will I have to do that on my own?

                                  1. re: JungMann
                                    kobetobiko Sep 11, 2009 09:58 AM

                                    Mine was deboned!

                          2. t
                            TryThis Sep 10, 2009 02:37 PM

                            The Florence Meat Market located @ 5 Jones Street in Greenwich Village is an old time butcher shop who will take your order and hand cut the meat to your exact specifications while you wait. It is a very small shop and not much on display....so you need to tell the butcher what you need and they will get it our of the refridgerator in back or down stairs. For the high quality meat I would consider them reasonable priced. I have gotten short ribs and t-bones in the past and plan to go back often for other meats (beef, pork, chicken, duck, etc).

                            1. CantStopEating Feb 23, 2010 08:55 AM

                              I can't believe nobody mentions Esposito's Pork Shop in Hell's Kitchen. Just north of Chelsea. Great butcher shop. Great friendly people. I actually just went there to get some pork belly for myself! $4 per pound and you can get any size you want.


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