Crispy Pork Belly

It’s a well known fact that Chinese people love their pork and this crispy skinned, tender pork belly gives credence to the other white meat addiction. I’ve searched the world for great pork belly dishes and recipes, finding but a handful of people who have an enviable mastery of this delicacy. From a toothless grandma on the outskirts of Shanghai to a middle-aged restaurant owner in Bali to Chef Greg Cole at Celadon Napa, I’ve traveled far and wide to arrive at this home version of one of my sinful indulgences. It does require quite a bit of time but it’s a super easy recipe that you can prepare and leave for awhile unattended. The results, well, just make sure to make more than enough. This dish goes fast.

Serves 4

1 3/4 lbs pork belly
1 heaping teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons Vegetable oil
Generous sprinkling of sea salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum. Rinse pork belly under cold water then place on baking sheet. Dust pork belly evenly with the Chinese five spice powder and garlic powder on both sides. Make sure that the skin side is facing up. Bring the sides of the aluminum over to cover the pork belly so the pork remains moist during the roasting time.

Cook the pork belly in the oven for 2 hours. (If you have the time, you can even go for an extra hour for extra tender meat). Remove from the oven.

In a wok or skillet, heat the oil on medium high heat. Carefully place the pork belly skin side down into the hot oil. Be very careful and prepared with a wok cover or oil guard as there will be violent splattering as soon as the pork belly hits the oil and throughout the cooking process. Allow the skin to cook for approximately 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Drain on paper towels and allow to cool for a few minutes before chopping into bite sized pieces.

Serve immediately with Apricot Plum Sauce.