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. 
4.94 from 47 votes


  • 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


  • 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.



  • 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. 


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

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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Recipe Rating

446 comments on “Crispy Golden Pork Belly”

  1. Accidentally received pork belly instead of pork tenderloin from Whole Foods and found this recipe on line. I made it last night and it was FANTASTIC! First, the pork looked like the posted photos (which is rare for me), second, it tasted like a meal I’d get from a Chinese restaurant. An incredibly tasty dish!

  2. What if the potk belly has no skin but fat on top as per Costco’s thick sliced pork belly?

  3. Just cooking this pork belly as we speak cannot wait to see end result thankyou for this recipe ?

  4. Great recipe! I wanted some crunchy pork belly and your recipe really came through for me perfectly. I’ve never done a salt crust and couldn’t believe how easy it was. Thank you, I’ll be bookmarking this for future reference.

  5. Hi. I want to try this recipe. It looks great! But I don’t have rice wine or sherry or any alcohol (we are in lockdown in South Africa and no alcohol is being sold.)??? Can I just leave it out?

  6. Not sure – do u cut the skin off or does it come off on its own

  7. Best, follow the recipe, cannot lose 
    I was just given a form of this from a Chinese restaurant in Hawaii.
    No comparison, this is killer , 
    Modify the soak base with saki, Japanese vinegar , hot spicy flakes
    Cannot lose , great base to work with recipe 
    The cooking time is right on 

  8. Hi Kirbie,
    First timer on pork belly, came out of teh oven like a charm! Enjoyed it thoroughly. Thanks again. Steven

  9. This is the best pork belly recipes!

  10. Amazing recipe. Followed it almost exactly and the pork is so juicy and the skin is nice and crispy. I was concerned that the marinade didn’t submerge the meat at least halfway but as long as your marinade for a few hours that’s not a problem. The only difference is I did for 60 mins at 350 instead of 40 mins to further render out my fat. Even then it was at still juicy and amazing. Love your recipes!

  11. Hi,

    Please could you help me with cooking times if I have a 5.5lbs pork belly. Also how much salt would you recommend?

    I am catering for a few people so need a larger portion than the recipe uses.

    Looks great!

    Many thanks,


  12. How do I adjust cooking time for larger cuts?   My pork belly is 4-5 pounds.  

  13. Hello, can you make this the day before and just reheat in the oven?
    Many thanks.

  14. Cannot fault this recipe. I have now made it consistently over the last 18 months and people can’t believe how delicious and juicy the pork turns out, whilst having a stunning crispy skin. I was able to turn out 60 good sized pieces for Xmas dinner last year. I’m on pork duty again this year! 

  15. Sounds promising for newbie+foodie like me. Will definitely try it out. Any idea whether this can be cook inside an air-fryer rather than in oven? By the way, what to do with the salt crust afterwards?

  16. Unfortunately Costco only sells sliced pork belly. I tried compressing the skins together.  Put on salt but there were ups and down. Scraped off and wiped as much salt as I could but it was too salty still. I rinsed them off and put in hot oven to dry. But the crispy top is Terrific. Soft crunchy 

  17. What other wine can you use other then the shaoxing wine??

  18. Pork belly is my go to dish in a restaurant. My first attempt at this was as good as the best I’ve had in any restaurant!

    I followed the recipe exactly, Highly recommended 

  19. Did the video get removed? I can’t find it

  20. My salt crust didn’t .. crust. It’s still crumbly!! What did I do wrong?

  21. OMG. Just do it. You will NOT regret it. I have pics, not sure if I can upload them. I’m a crap cook. I am now a genius ????

  22. Thanks, this was great! I didn’t marinade / season at all and it still turned out amazing. I only had a bit more than 1lb, so cut 15 mins off each time. Also I didn’t have a rack so I used apples.

  23. Hi, Can you use a boneless pork roast instead of the pork belly.

  24. Ive seen some recipes wrapping tin foil around the meat to make the salt crust stay. Will this method affect the cooking time?

    • Yes that would affect cooking time. I haven’t had any issues with the salt crust staying. I recommend just trying it without the foil

  25. Hello!

    I made this recipe with pork belly and it worked out amazingly! I was wondering if you could use this for a pork shoulder cut with bone in and how the timings would adjust? Thank-you!

  26. I have made this and served it to friends and family. All of them absolutely enjoyed it. I served it with a spicy mustard dipping sauce.

  27. Worked out perfectly

  28. I’ve eaten many pork belly dishes from restaurants, but never cooked it myself, so when I decided to try it, i was sceptical. I stumbled onto this recipe and it came out perfect. Every subsequent time has been just as perfect, juicy flesh with a hint of the marinade flavour throughout, and evenly crispy skin. 

  29. Perfect pork belly- have tried and failed so many times, was so satisfying to finally get it right. Juicy tender meat, crispy crackling. Was surprised at the level of flavour with no salt added after crust was removed.

  30. Hi Kirbie

    I tried your recipe for the first time yesterday for Sunday lunch…… It came out perfect. The other methods I have used before, pouring boiling water, using oil and salt on the skin etc. never came close to your method. So easy, so delicious and definitely a keeper. Thank you for posting such a great recipe.

  31. The meat was good, but my skin didn’t get bubbly and was still thick and fatty. It was also. Wry tough. What did I do wrong? I want to make this like you did.

  32. Hi there!
    Tried the recipe but i guess i didnt get the same thing as what you got.

    Did you remove the water bath on step 4? I didnt see it on the video and you didnt mention anything about it on step 4.

    • I’m sorry you didn’t get the same results. The water bath does not get removed. In the video you can still see that the pork sits on top of the water bath the whole time.

  33. Thanks for this recipe. Perfect pork.

  34. I did this and it turned out beautifully. I marinated it overnight. And when it cooked, the meat just melted in your mouth. So good!!

  35. Hi Kirbie

    Just read all your reviews and now decided to use your recipe.
    Im feeling confident. We follow a Keto lifestlye so swopping brown sugar for Sukin Gold otherwise everything the same.

  36. Unbelievable. I’ll try hoisin for the base next time but the salt crust is quite a spectacle and works a treat.