Introduction: 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 an…

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.

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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