Crispy Pork Belly, oven-baked and then pan-seared to achieve a perfectly crispy skin. This rich and salty meat with its high fat and protein content is a nutritious and delicious addition to keto and paleo dietary lifestyles.
Even as a trained chef, pork belly has always been somewhat of a conundrum for me. It is soft and fatty because it is literally the uncured meat from the belly of a pig. However, the surface is firm because the pigskin is still attached.
How do you go on cooking something with layers of contrasting textures and get each layer cooked just right? 🤔
Well, when I pivoted my food choices in the paleo and keto direction, I knew it was finally time to pony up and give making crispy pork belly a shot. I figured if I could master crispy pork belly, I'd have something even better than bacon to incorporate into my low carb meals.
I was right. This crispy pork belly is out of this world delicious. With crispy skins and rich, melt-in your-mouth meat, this crispy pork belly recipe will take your paleo or keto meal plan to the next level.
🤔 Why Make Pork Belly in the Oven?
Evenly cooked. Cooking pork belly in the oven makes it so the pork cooks evenly and at a consistent temperature throughout the whole slice of meat.
Perfect texture. The pork belly meat will literally melt in your mouth after it's cooked in the oven.
Great flavor. Oven-baked pork belly enhances all of the naturally rich and salty flavors of pork.
🐷 Ingredients You'll Need
Pork Belly - is the super fatty uncured cut of meat from the belly of the pig. If you can't find it in on your local grocery store shelves, ask the meat department if they can slice it for you. You can also find it in butcher shops and many Asian markets.
Avocado Oil - coats the surface of the pork belly, locking in the moisture so it does not dry out in the oven.
Sea Salt & Black Pepper - enhances and flavors the meat.
[Ghee] - coats the cast iron pan and helps achieve super crispy pork skin.
📖 How To Make Seared Crispy Pork Belly
Cooking crispy pork belly strips is a 2-step process. The pork belly is first baked in the oven and then sliced and seared in a hot pan.
1️⃣ Preheat and prep. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. While the oven is preheating, using a small sharp knife score the skin all over. Rub the pork belly down with avocado oil, salt & pepper.
2️⃣ Oven-bake. In preheated oven, bake pork belly for 30 minutes. Then turn off the oven, leaving the pork belly inside and cook in the residual heat for 20 more minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
3️⃣ Slice. Remove pork belly from oven and let rest until it is cool enough to handle. Slice pork belly into ¼ inch thick slices.
4️⃣ Sear. In a large cast iron skillet, heat ghee over medium-high heat. Using tongs, place each pork belly slice in hot skillet and sear on both sides until skin is crispy. Season to taste with salt and serve immediately.
👩🏻🍳 Chef’s Tips
If the skin is too tough to score, pierce it with a knife all over (like you would a baked potato). This is so that the meat can expand and not shrink up with the skin. BE CAREFUL as the skin is very tough!
Much like frying bacon, frying pork belly may result in splatter. I use a splatter screen to avoid the mess.
🍽How To Serve Crispy Pork Belly
If you really want to keep things paleo and keto, go ahead and dig into the sliced meat as is. Otherwise, here are some other yummy meals crispy pork belly goes great in:
- Crispy Pork Belly Salad
- Crispy Pork Stir Fry
- Crispy Pork Fried Rice
- Pork Lo Mein
- Sweet and Spicy Pork
- Pork Belly Salad
- BBQ Crispy Pork Belly
- Egg Roll In a Bowl
- Crispy Pork Dumplings
- Pork Bahn Mi Sandwich
🔁 Storing & Freezing
Storing - If by chance you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
Freezing - Let pork cool completely before wrapping tightly in foil or plastic wrap and storing in an air-tight container in the freezer for 3 to 4 months.
To reheat pork belly - use an oven or air fryer and heat until warmed through. Microwaving pool belly is not recommended as it will lose it's crispy texture and become rubbery.
The best fat or oil to use is one that has a high smoking point so it can withstand the hot cast iron. However, you will get the best flavor from using ghee or clarified butter.
By searing the pork belly after it has been oven-baked and sliced, the pork belly skin will get crispy. Submerging pork belly strips in oil of fat over high heat will create a golden crispy, crunchy texture.
It's most likely undercooked. Make sure pork belly is cooked through completely before crisping the skin.
Not exactly. Bacon and pork belly are the same cut of meat (the belly of the pig) but bacon is cured while pork belly isn't
More Protein Recipes
Crispy Pork Belly Recipe
- 1.5 pound pork belly
- 1 tablespoon Avocado Oil
- 1 tablespoon Sea Salt
- ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
- 2 tablespoon [Ghee]
- Preheat oven to 450
- Score the skin on the pork belly using a small sharp knife or box cutter. This is so that the meat can expand and not shrink up with the skin. If you're unable to score the skin, pierce it with a knife all over like you would a baked potato. BE CAREFUL as the skin is very tough!
- Rub down the pork belly with salt, pepper and avocado oil.
- Cook pork belly at 450 for 30 minutes and then turn off the oven letting the residual heat roast the rest of the pork for about 20 minutes. This time may vary on the size of your pork belly so make sure the internal temperature reaches 165
- Let pork belly cool enough to handle and slice into quarter inch slices
- Heat up ghee in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
- Sear each pork belly piece on both sides until desired crispness is reached.
- Sprinkle with additional seas salt if needed and serve immediately