10 Mouth-Watering BBQ Pork Belly Recipes You Must Try Now

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bbq pork belly recipes, pork belly burnt ends, pork belly air fry recipe, pork belly tacos, crispy pork belly, pork belly ramen, pork belly slices recipe, pork belly bites, korean bbq pork belly (samgyeopsal), pork belly sandwich, pork belly skewers

When you think of pork belly recipes, what comes to mind? Bacon, right? 

Don’t get me wrong, I completely agree that bacon is — and always will be — a crowd favorite. But there’s more to pork belly recipes than just bacon.

From melt-in-your-mouth classic crispy pork belly to rich and flavorful pork belly ramen and everything in between, there are many ways for you to enjoy this ingredient.

So, here are 10 of my go-to BBQ pork belly recipes.

1. Pork Belly Burnt Ends

The name may sound a little suspicious, but don’t worry, this recipe isn’t actually burnt. 

On the contrary, pork belly burnt ends are bite-sized chunks of pork belly that are smoked until tender, coated in a sticky, sweet barbecue sauce, and caramelized to perfection.

Start by cutting three pounds of pork belly into small pieces, season with salt and pepper. Then, smoke the meat low and slow. 

As the pork belly starts to cook, brush a fourth cup of BBQ rub over it and let the flavors come together.

You’ll know when it’s ready to eat when the color of your meat becomes reddish-brown, and the sweet aroma of barbeque fills your entire house. 

If you want to make your dish a little crispier, you can leave your pork belly to cook in the pan for another minute or two to char even more. 

I tend to take this extra step because I like how the crunchiness from the skin and the softness of the fat create a more dynamic texture.

2. Healthy Pork Belly Air Fry Recipe

If you’re looking for something simpler, it doesn’t get easier than this pork belly air fry recipe.

Simply pop a pound of pork belly inside the basket with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper. 

Leave it in for about 30 minutes at 250°F, and wait until your meat becomes crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. 

While this air frying method gives you the same result as frying your pork belly in oil, it takes away all the unnecessary fat that usually comes from the conventional approach. 

That said, if your goal is to cut down your calories without giving up on some tasty dishes, try air frying. It’s a total game-changer.

3. Pork Belly Tacos

Is it Taco Tuesday already? What better way to celebrate the day than by making homemade pork belly tacos? It’s not as complicated as you think.

Start by braising or slow-cooking a pound of pork belly with a tablespoon of olive oil and a teaspoon of salt, black pepper, cumin, smoked paprika, garlic, and onion powder until it becomes tender. 

Once you’re happy with the texture of your pork, slice it as thin as you want and set it aside.

In the meantime, grab a warm corn tortilla shell, fill it with your pork, and top it off with salsa, seasoned cabbage, caramelized onion, and cilantro. 

If you like your tacos spicy like me, add a dash of chili garlic and a squeeze of lime. These ingredients can take your pork belly tacos to a completely new level. 

4. Classic Crispy Pork Belly

While I do like experimenting with my pork belly now and again, there are times when I like to keep it simple and classic. For me, there’s nothing more classic than the crispy pork belly. 

Here’s how I do it.

I start by scoring the skin of my 2-pound pork belly and seasoning it with a drizzle of olive oil, rock salt (or sea salt), and pepper. This helps the meat absorb as much flavor as possible. 

After this step, I roast the meat on high heat, gradually lowering the flame as the pork starts to cook. The result? Perfectly crispy skin with soft and tender meat that just melts in your mouth.

5. Decadent Pork Belly Ramen

I know that ramen is typically a comfort food you eat when it’s rainy, chilly, or gloomy outside. But, there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t eat it on a sunny day. 

So, in a pot, add two cups of pork broth (for that umami Tonkotsu flavor), two tablespoons of soy sauce, one teaspoon of sesame oil, and a tablespoon of miso paste.

Then, add about four cloves of minced garlic and a pack of instant ramen noodles before simmering for five minutes. 

While your ramen base is cooking, prepare your toppings. You can customize this however you want.

But I like to add soft-boiled eggs, sautéed mushrooms, a pack of seaweed, and grated ginger to my soup. 

I also can’t eat ramen without the meat which — in this case — is pork belly. 

Culturally, pork belly is known as Chashu, which is originally from China but later on adapted into Japanese cuisine. 

To make Chashu, first, roll your pork belly into a log. Then, braise it over low heat in a mixture of one tablespoon of sake, two tablespoons of soy sauce, and a tablespoon of sugar. 

After braising, cut your pork log into small strips and put around two to three strips in your ramen bowl.

The umami flavor of the soup mixed with the fattiness of the pork belly makes this dish so rich that you won’t be able to resist giving it a taste.

6. Pork Belly Slices Recipe

If you’re not in the mood for ramen, why not try this pork belly slices recipe? It’s a satisfying, savory meal that pairs perfectly with a cup of rice and grilled vegetables. 

All you need to do is slice one pound of your pork belly into half-inch pieces. Then, season the slices with salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs, such as five-spice, garlic, and black pepper.

Lastly, cook your pork belly with one tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium-high heat until it becomes crispy and golden brown. Simple enough, right?

When you have a good ingredient like pork belly, you really don’t need much to make it work. With the help of some spices and herbs, you can make a delicious dish like this in a flash.

7. Pork Belly Bites

While we’re on the topic of making delicious dishes quickly, here’s a recipe that you might want to try if you’re in a rush. It’s called pork belly bites.

Simply, cube a pound of pork belly into small pieces and season with your go-to spices. I typically reach for salt, pepper, and a teaspoon of Chinese five-spice.

Then, bake or fry the seasoned pork belly in a tablespoon of vegetable oil until it becomes crispy. 

Toss the bites with a sweet and spicy glaze of a tablespoon of honey, two tablespoons of hoisin sauce and soy sauce, and two cloves of minced garlic before serving.

You can have pork belly bites as an afternoon snack or you can serve it as a party appetizer for your next gathering.

8. Korean BBQ Pork Belly (Samgyeopsal)

Samgyeopsal is a well-loved Korean pork belly dish that’s traditionally served with a variety of dipping sauces (like ssamjang, salt and pepper, and sesame oil) and wrapped in lettuce leaves or perilla leaves. 

The pork belly can be prepared in a lot of different ways. For instance, you can have pork belly strips with just salt and pepper, or you can marinate them in your favorite sauces. 

What makes this such a stand-out dish for me is that, unlike other items on this list, samgyeopsal is a social experience. 

The ingredients are typically laid out on the table with the grill placed in the middle, where everyone can reach. 

You can set the raw pork belly strips with the rest of the side dishes and grill them on the spot. 

Additionally, Koreans usually pair this meal with soju or beer. But if it’s not happy hour yet, sodas should do just fine to quench your thirst.

9. Pork Belly Sandwich

For our ninth recipe, we have the pork belly sandwich. 

While this recipe is quick to assemble, it takes quite a while to prep the pork belly. So, be sure you have the time to oversee this dish from start to finish.

Begin by slow-cooking a pound of your meat in a mixture of two tablespoons of soy sauce, and a tablespoon of honey, hoisin sauce, and rice vinegar for five hours.

If you want to really enhance the flavor of your mixture, add a teaspoon of grated ginger, two cloves of garlic, and salt and pepper.

After cooking your pork belly, let it rest for about 10 minutes. Then, you’ll be ready to stack your sandwich.

Layer your buns with some meat, pickled veggies (like onion and radish), fresh greens, and your favorite condiments. 

The amount of ingredients you want to put in your sandwich is completely up to you, so go nuts!

10. Pork Belly Skewers

As we wrap up this list, I’m curious, who’s fired up for the grilling season? I know I am. And if you’re as excited as I am, this last recipe is for you. 

Pork belly skewers are bite-sized treats you can serve to kids and grown-ups alike. It’s a crowd favorite among BBQ gatherings, so I always make sure I have this on my party menu.

Start by cutting a pound of pork belly into tiny cubes. Then, submerge these cubes in a marinade of equal amounts of soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and honey. 

Next, add a drizzle of your favorite spices, like salt, pepper, and five-spice into the marinade to get the best flavor. 

After seasoning your pork belly cubes, thread them onto wooden skewers before grilling them. They should come out sizzling, crispy, and caramelized.

Enjoy These Insanely Good BBQ Pork Belly Recipes

If there’s one thing you need to remember after reading this list, it’s that pork belly is a well-rounded ingredient. 

You can cook it in several ways, add it to a mixture of different sauces, or pair it with any side dish you want. 

There’s a lot of room for experimentation, so I encourage you to be creative in the kitchen and make your version of any recipe on this list.

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