If you’re tired of cooking the same cuts of meat every night, then consider giving pork belly a try. It’s so flavorful and tender that it can make dinner at home feel like you’re eating at a restaurant. And it’s perfect for the slow cooker, making it a winning weeknight meal.
If you’re curious about pork belly and want to know more, this is a great place to start. Read on for a pork belly primer with tips on how to cook it and a recipe for slow cooker ginger soy pork belly.
What is pork belly?
You can probably guess the origin of this cut of meat just by the name. Yes, pork belly is the boneless cut of a pig’s belly or underside after the loin and spareribs are removed. Pork belly is a fatty, thick cut of meat that can be very rich in flavor and is typically served in smaller cuts.
It is also the origin of one of the most popular breakfast foods of all time: bacon. For pork belly to become the bacon we see in the grocery store, the outer layer of fat must be removed so the meat can be smoked and then cured. Finally, it’s sliced thinly to create that cut of meat we love to eat with scrambled or hard-boiled eggs.
How to cook pork belly?
There are many ways to cook pork belly. One of the best and popular methods is braising, which combines pan-searing and slow cooking meat to achieve a juicy and tender texture. It is also common to roast, smoke or grill pork belly. So when it’s time to fire up the grill, try making pork belly instead of grilling the usual chicken, steak and shrimp recipes.
Pork belly is great to eat on its own, especially when it’s well seasoned or cooked with a delectable sauce. But you can also use slices of pork belly to add more flavor to your favorite ramen bowl or soup. This ginger soy pork belly recipe is so easy to make at home in a slow cooker and will have your family craving it every night.
Once you have all of your ingredients ready, sear your pork belly on the fat side until golden brown in a large saute pan (or right in the slow cooker if it has a sear function). Add your seared pork belly as well as chopped garlic, freshly grated ginger, soy sauce and more into a slow cooker. Then cook for about 4 hours or until tender. After it’s done cooking, slice or cube your pork belly and ladle the leftover sauce then it’s ready to chow down. This recipe is perfect to eat with a side of steamed vegetables, rice or in a sandwich that’s worthy of the dinner table.
This recipe is by Centerplate Executive Chef Jerry Infantino
3 pounds pork belly
1 cup orange juice
1 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
3 green onions, sliced
1 tablespoon chopped/grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon black pepper
Step 1: In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, sear the pork belly, fat side down, until golden brown.
Step 2: Transfer pork belly to a slow cooker with fat side up.
Step 3: Add 1 cup orange juice, 1 cup soy sauce, 3 sliced green onions, 1/2 jalapeño, 2 tablespoons chopped garlic, 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger and 1 tablespoon black pepper. Cook on low for 4 hours until tender.
Step 4: Remove from the cooker and transfer to the cutting board. Allow meat to cool slightly then slice.
Step 5: The sauce can be blended until smooth or ladled as is over the sliced pork belly and served.