Kirbie's Cravings

Crispy Golden Pork Belly

photo of sliced pork belly on a plate
This is the best pork belly recipe I’ve made. The pork skin is incredibly crispy, perfectly golden, and the prep work is very minimal compared to all the other pork bellies I’ve made. No need to score or puncture holes in the skin. My search is over for the perfect pork belly recipe.

overhead photo of sliced pork belly on a plate

I’ve been obsessed with making the perfect crispy pork belly. I’ve had some success (here and here), but one thing that really bothered me was having to score the skin because it makes it hard to slice pieces with the skin intact. I’ve eaten pork belly that has unscored skin so I knew it was possible, but I hadn’t yet come across a recipe that didn’t require that step and when I tried not scoring it, the skin just wouldn’t get crispy enough.
close-up photo of two slices of the crispy pork belly
Then I came across this recipe found on Rasa Malaysia for an easy Chinese Roast Pork, a recipe she got from a friend. The recipe prep is very minimal. You don’t need to dry the skin overnight, marinade the meat, score the skin, or puncture holes. What really intrigued me was that it uses a salt crust to crisp the skin.

The salt forms a crust when it’s baking, so you can remove the entire thing without having the skin turn too salty.
photo collage showing the salt crust before and after it's baked

close-up photo of four slices of pork belly
The skin then crisps up beautifully, staying a golden brown rather than getting too dark or burnt.

I did make some modifications to the recipe, especially the prep as well as the cooking times. Just based on my previous experience I knew the meat wouldn’t be nearly as flavorful or juicy without the marinade because I’ve tried just doing the rub right before cooking and it really isn’t the same. I also wanted to make sure the skin was extra dry, so I went ahead and put it in the fridge for several hours to dry out and give time for the meat to marinate. The prep is still pretty minimal, you just have to plan ahead.
overhead photo of four slices of pork belly
The end result? This was everything I was looking for. The skin is fantastically crunchy and stays so for hours. The meat is juicy and flavorful too. The pork slices cleanly. This is just such an easy and almost fool-proof recipe too. I’ve been nervous about making pork belly for parties because sometimes the skin starts to burn, sometimes it doesn’t crisp evenly, the skin starts to fall apart when slicing, etc. But none of these issues here. This pork belly is such a thing of beauty and definitely a recipe I’m going to make for a party soon.close-up photo of a slices of pork belly on a plate

Update! Recipe now updated with video

crispy golden pork belly slices

Crispy Golden Pork Belly

Servings: 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: Chinese
This pork belly has skin that is incredibly crispy, perfectly golden, and the prep work is very minimal compared to all the other pork bellies I've made. 
4.98 from 38 votes

Ingredients

  • 2 lb pork belly
  • 1 cup table salt

For the Marinade

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup shaoxing rice wine
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar you can replace with sugar substitute for low carb or keto
  • 2 cloves garlic minced

Instructions

  • Using a paper towel, pat skin of pork belly until it is completely dry. Mix marinade ingredients in a bowl and then pour into a rectangular pan that is big enough to hold the pork belly. Place pork belly into the pan, making sure only the meat touches the marinade and the skin stays completely dry. If the marinade level is too high you can pour some of it out. Place in fridge for several hours or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Completely line a roasting pan with foil (this will make clean-up much easier). Pour 1 inch of water into bottom of pan. Place wire rack on top of roasting pan to hold the pork belly. Place the pork belly on the wire rack. The pork belly will cook above the water, with the pork drippings dripping down below into the water. Make sure the pork belly is level (if one part is lower/shorter the skin will not cook evenly. if you have to, use something oven-safe to prop up a shorter part to keep it completely level). Spread 1 cup of salt evenly across the pork belly skin. Place into top half of oven. Bake for about 40 minutes until meat looks cooked.
  • Remove pork belly and increase oven temperature to 465°F. The salt that was poured over pork belly should have formed a crust. Remove salt crust from pork belly. Wipe off any excess salt from the pork belly skin. Once oven has reached desired temperature, place pork belly back into oven.  Bake for another 30 minutes until skin is completely bubbly and crisp. Let pork belly cool a few minutes before cutting and serving.

Video

Notes

  • Crust idea adapted from Rasa Malaysia
  • If you are doing a low carb diet you can substitute the brown sugar with a sugar substitute
  • If possible, I recommend purchasing your pork belly from a Chinese market like 99 Ranch. The meat department at 99 Ranch sells 2 lb pork bellies that are designed for this Chinese-style of roasted pork belly. Make sure you don't let the butcher scour the skin. 
  • Nutrition information provided is for the pork belly only. It is difficult to determine the amount of salt and marinade absorbed into the pork belly, so they are not included in the nutrition facts. Nutrition is for 1/8 of the pork belly. 

Nutrition

Serving: 0.125of recipe, Calories: 587kcal, Protein: 10g, Fat: 60g, Saturated Fat: 21g, Sodium: 36mg, Potassium: 209mg

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Mention @KirbieCravings and tag #kirbiecravings!

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418 comments on “Crispy Golden Pork Belly”

  1. This was hands down the best pork belly I’ve cooked. 

  2. Awesome recipe. My family loved. The skin is so crispy. One question! Is there a substitute for the shaoxing rice wine? Can i use white wine instead? Where I live, shaoxing rice wine is not readily available. Thanks.

    • So glad you enjoyed the recipe. Dry sherry is often used as a substitute for shaoxing rice wine – hope that helps!

  3. Hey! So I´ve always been a little scared to prepare such a large amount of meat. Just because I was afraid of messing things up and wasting it. This recipe really changed that for me! This weekend I´ll be giving it a second go. The first one came out beautifully. It was a hit!! So obviously I had to look up the recipe again. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. Finally, even and crispy skin on pork belly! I have tried many other methods but this is the only one that has ever got me such good results. 

    My salt didn’t form a complete crust but I had salted in the fridge before hand out of habit. 

    Thank you for a great recipe, I’ll be doing this every time for sure! 

    Amazingly, it is STILL crispy the next day. Cold. After being in the fridge for 24 hours. Yum! 

  5. Tks Kirbie, for sharing the fabulous roast pork belly. My girls loves it.

  6. I went to several butcher shops, all of them had pork belly w/ a fat cap, but not the actual skin still on. I see many comments where other folks got there pork belly at normal grocery stores, which never have the skin on. Are you substituting the work fat for skin? bc skin on pork belly is hard to get.

  7. My pork belly is marinating as I write this. I have two questions: 1. What so you serve this with?and @. Is there any sauce that would go with this?

    • I usually serve it with rice. There is usually a dipping sauce that is savory and sweet. I don’t have an exact recipe but the main ingredients are soy sauce, garlic, and brown sugar. You can probably find one searching online.

  8. Hi, I have made this recipe quiet a few times and it has always been delicious. I’m having a dinner party and intend to serve thus recipe. But just need to know what the cooking times would be for a 1.5kg or would it be the same for a 1kg.. many thanks.

    Sharon McCormack

  9. OMG such a successful recipe for me tonight. I can’t thank you enough for sharing! I didn’t quite have enough salt but still crusted and removed easily. Next time I will marinate overnight

  10. In the recipe it states to put the tray on the top shelf for 40min at 350. Do we still put it back on the oven on the top shelf for the last part of cooking? Or does it go on the bottom shelf? 

  11. I have made this Pork Belly recipe for a few years now it is the best and easiest way to make good pork belly. Thank you for posting it

  12. This really is a 5-star recipe, so glad I found this. I’ve never make this before, having always bought it from chinatown, but I tried making it last week out of curiosity and it turned out perfect! I have one question though: do you think the recipe still works if I use pork shoulder instead of pork belly? The supermarket near me sells a lot of pork shoulder (with skin), but doesn’t always have pork belly.

    • I’m so glad it worked out for you! I’ve never tested it with pork shoulder so I’m not sure if it will work.

  13. Do you think this would work for a leg piece of pork? I’ve tried with belly and also with spare ribs skewered together and had lots of success. But bigger piece o struggle with crackling. 

  14. Excellent, crispy, succuslent pork belly.

  15. Hi is it salty? I normally find the restaurant siu yuk wayyy too salty and want to make a much less salty version but still crispy skin 

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