Slow-cooked Crispy Chinese Pork Belly




About: Food and music obsessed. I also post my recipes and food thoughts on my blog. My recipes are inspired by my mixed up cultural heritage of Polish, Latvian and English ...

I love pork belly. It's a great cut of meat with lots of flavour and is also one of the cheapest you can get.  I love it so much we're even serving it at my upcoming wedding. This recipe uses Chinese flavours to complement the richness of the meat and is great served with simple stir-fried greens and some steamed rice. There are no complicated techniques here or hard to find ingredients but you do need the time to allow the marinade to work and for the pork to slow cook.

Don't worry if you end up with some left over meat. Why not make your own egg-fried rice and add in the left over meat shredded.

If you like this recipe don't forget to stop by my blog for more food ideas.

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Step 1: Ingredients (serves 3-6 People Depending on How Greedy You Are)

1kg (approx) bone-in pork belly with the skin scored (you can use boned instead if you prefer)
1 onion cut into large slices
2 carrots peeled and cut into 2 or 3 pieces
2 sticks of celery cut into 2 or 3 large pieces
100/200ml cold water depending on method

1/2 tsp ground white pepper
1 tsp chinese 5 spice powder
3 cloves garlic, finely minced/grated
thumb sized piece fresh, peeled ginger minced/grated
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 stick lemongrass
2 dried red chillies, finely chopped

Step 2: STEP 1 - Marinade

  1. Make sure the meat is completely dry and pat away any excess moisture with kitchen paper.
  2. Mix together the marinade ingredients then spread evenly over the flesh side of the pork belly, working it into the meat.
  3. Place the meat into a sealable plastic food bag. Bruise the lemon grass with the back of a knife or rolling pin then add to the bag with the meat.
  4. Put the pork belly in the fridge making sure it is safely away from cooked food and that no juices will drip from the meat then leave for at least a couple of hours or overnight to allow the flavours to develop.

Step 3: STEP 2 - Slow Cooking

Slowcooker Method
  1. Put the onion, carrots and celery in the bottom of the slow cooker put the pork belly, skin side up, on top of the veg and pour in 100mls of water.
  2. Put the lid on the slow cooker then cook the pork belly for around 6-8 hours on medium. You may need to adjust the cooking times depending on your slow cooker model.
Oven Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 150C. Put the veg in the base of a roasting pan or casserole dish and then place the meat on top with the skin facing upwards. Pour in 200ml water then cover over the pan with either foil or the lid if you have one.
  2. Put the meat in the oven and cook for around 3 hours or until you can insert the blunt end of a spoon all the way through the meat.
It's up to you what you do with the veg after cooking. I chose to discard them as they were too soft to eat and they had already shared their flavour with the meat anyway.

Step 4: STEP 3 - Crisping Up

  1. Once the meat has cooked using your chosen method you can either continue with the whole piece of belly and cut to serve later or cut into portions now. If you decide to portion it before crisping make sure you allow it to cool enough so that you can handle it. As you can see from the pictures I decided to keep the piece whole. I enjoy cutting through the crispy crackling when I serve it.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200C then transfer pork to a roasting pan then put in the oven to finish off for about 30 minutes or until you've got a nice crispy crackling top.
  3. Serve with stir-fried broccoli, pak choi or similar and some steamed rice. I served mine with broccoli and carrots stirfried with garlic, ginger and chilli and some oyster sauce. 

Don't forget to stop by my blog for more food ideas.
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    20 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I have just cooked and eaten this meal and it was fantastic!
    I put the pork on while I was at work (slow cooker method) and then finished it off in the oven while I did the rice and stir fry. I struggled to find dried chili so I used a small amount of cayenne pepper and it worked well. I would recommend this meal and I will cook it again.

    3 replies

    That's awesome - I'm so pleased it worked for you. the marinade is fairly flexible and a great way to make the recipe your own. I'm tempted to try it again and put a couple of sticks of minced/finely chopped lemon grass in with it.


    6 years ago on Step 4

    This is one of the best looking recipes I've ever seen! Although pork belly was popular not too long ago, I've never seen it in a US store. Does it have a different name, or is there a good substitute cut?

    2 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for liking the recipe. It also tastes better than it looks if that's possible :D As far as I know pork belly is called pork side in some places but it's also the same cut that is used for (streaky) bacon but you could use any cut if you wanted, it would still be pretty awesome.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for responding. If that is what your bacon looks like, you're getting way better stuff than we are! Our slab bacon is about 75% fat. Luckily I shop at smallish market so I'll ask the butcher to cut me something. Our bacon is fatty but roasts usually have all the fat trimmed off, with only about 1/4" remaining. Finding good meat is a challenge!

    david beach

    6 years ago on Introduction

    really appreciate the idea of focusing on eating properly. your recipe sounds splendid. apparently our distant ancestors knew how to eat properly. in that regard, would like to introduce you to Weston A. Price..... and Sally Fallon's book, 'Nourishing Traditions'.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    So nice to see an instructable that does not need a 3D printer or Arduino!


    belly pork is great. It's cheap compared to other cuts and its got so much flavour. well worth a try if you get chance. :D


    6 years ago on Step 4

    I love red cooked pork belly and will definitely try this. I got hungry just reading and looking at the great pictures. Well done.

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Step 4

    Thanks remag1234. Glad you like it. Let me know how the recipe works out for you :D


    6 years ago on Introduction

    It may be a good idea for solar cooking. I'll try it! Thanks for sharing.