There is no argument that pork belly is a crowd-pleaser. And the fatty richness found on this boneless cut provides great comfort in frigid weather. Although braising takes time, preparation is quite easy. Here are nine melt-in-your-mouth recipes to get you through the chill.
This one-pot stew comes from Chef Paul Qui, winner of Top Chef Season 9. It is a recipe inspired by his childhood in the Philippines. This recipe features sweet kabocha squash (a Japanese pumpkin) and Filipino shrimp paste stewed with other vegetables and finished with crispy pork belly.
Pinakbet recipe and photo from CHOW
2. Beer-Braised Pork Belly
Fatty pork braised in beer. Is there anything more to say? The richness of the pork is balanced with light and peppery arugula.
Photo and recipe from Saveur
3. Pork and Watermelon Salad
Pickled watermelon rind, lime leaves, and sweet Chinese black vinegar play nice with spices like Thai bird chile, ginger, and Vietnamese coriander in this refined salad.
Photo and recipe from New York Times Cooking
4. Curry Rice with Pork Belly
Parsnips, sweet potatoes, and other diverse vegetables are stewed in a curry roux to make a sauce to serve over rice.
Photo and recipe from Wall Street Journal
5. Emeril's New Orleans' Asian-Style Braised Pork Belly
The pork is surely the star in this recipe, served over a light salad of frisée and drizzled with a citrus-ginger sauce.
Photo and recipe from Food Network
6. Momofuku Pork Bun
My first day living in New York included a trip to Momofuku Noodle Bar to try the “iconic” pork bun. I was then introduced to sweet hoisin, crispy cucumber, and the fluffy steamed bun. As it turns out the recipe is extremely easy to re-create. Even making the bun!
Photo and recipe from Huffington Post via Food52
7. Ultimate Pork Tacos with Spicy Black Beans & Avocado Green Salad
Creamy avocado, crispy corn tortillas, and juicy pork are used in Chef Jamie Oliver’s zing-filled taco.
Photo and recipe from jamieoliver.com
8. Korean-Style Spicy Pork Belly
This is a good recipe for entertaining. The Korean BBQ pork is served with rice in a lettuce wrap. If you substitute tamari for the soy sauce, it's gluten free!
Photo and recipe from Spoon Fork Bacon
9. Sweet Potato–Pork Belly Hash
Nyanyika Banda has worked as a chef for over 15 years in restaurants in Massachusetts, San Francisco, and New York, and as a recipe tester for a national publication. She currently runs a ramen popup and catering business in Minnesota while pursuing a degree in Food Studies.