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 35 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, Cholesterol: 81mg, 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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412 comments on “Crispy Golden Pork Belly”

  1. I’m not having any trouble getting the skin crispy, which is great.  And the meat is so tender juicy and tasty. But the problem is that the skin is a really hard kind of crispy, like you really have to bite hard to chew it.   Yours looks like a light crispy skin vs my break your teeth crispy skin. Any idea what I might be doing wrong to cause this to happen?  Thank you!

    • YOu can try reducing the final baking time by a few minutes. Or choose a pork belly that has a thinner layer of skin

  2. I’m wondering if flavouring the salt is a bad idea? i want to do more of a European version on this using fennel seeds and some fresh herbs like sage, ans thyme. Would I spoil it if I mixed some ground fennel seed into the salt???

    • You do not want to flavor the salt for this recipe. The salt is there to draw out the moisture from the pork belly and crisp up the skin. You wouldn’t be able to taste the herbs added and adding those herbs could prevent the salt crust from doing its job. If you wish to add herbs, add it to the meat of the pork belly or in the marinade.

  3. OMG! I’ve tried a few other recipes to get the crispy skin, but they never worked. The skin would crisp somewhat, but then still be really hard and tough. This one came out perfectly the first try! Wish I could post pictures to show how pretty it was. I made a small piece at first and was surprised to see that the meat and skin shrunk by almost half, leaving the salt layer intact, like a playing card sitting on top. I took that off for the second cook, and the skin crisped perfectly. Also, the meat was still super tender, even after all that time in a hot oven.

  4. So excited!! I’ve had my pork in the fridge for 22 hours. I have really altered the marinade though, I’m doing an Italian herb pork belly instead, but cooking it exactly how you say to cook it. Olive oil, pepper and herbs marinating over night should work well. I am serving this with pumpkin, capsicum, zucchini, pine nuts and feta tossed through baby spinach. Let’s see how we go! I just needed a quicker method to cooking. Thanks
    For sharing

  5. I have used this recipe over and over again over the last year. Brilliant recipe, always turns out perfectly crisp, mouthwatering pork belly. Last true test was on Xmas day where I dished out 50 perfect pieces of pork belly. Thanks so much!

  6. Can I do the first bake then wait to do the second bake the next day?

  7. Awesome recipe! New favorite

  8. Thank you!!! The skin is soo lovely and crunchy!!!

  9. KIRBIE I have done this recipe 3 times now without issue. Tonight the crust did not form. I even cooked it for additional 7 minutes at 350. I cook 5 pounds at a time and try for about 1/4 to 1/8 an inch crust. Tonight I got little patches of crust, but it did not form a complete “cap” as it has done before. Any ideas on what I did wrong?

    • Dean, you mentioned you’ve made this recipe without issue before so I don’t know what went wrong. Perhaps it is because of the size of the pork belly? The cooking times in the recipe are for a 2lb. If your 5lb was much thicker it may need additional time. Also if this pork belly had a thicker section of skin/fat, it would also affect the cooking time and results.

  10. When returning to oven at higher temp, does the pan still have water?

  11. Hi Kirbie

    I tried this recipe when we had visitor last month and it was a hit. I’m quite nervous especially when I’m adding heaps of salt not really sure if it will come out like yours but it paid off. Thanks for sharing this recipe ? cooking another one tonight.

  12. Fantastic!!!! Will never cook any other way again. Have already shared recipe with friends.

  13. Where’s that video, again?

  14. I have tried a few recipes for Crispy Pork Belly, this is by far the easiest and best. I did a couple of minor adjustments. Rubbed some five spice powder after the first 40 minutes and while waiting for temperature to go up to 465F. After it is done, it didn’t appear to be crusty, so I broiled it until the skin is bubbly. Skin was super crispy. 

  15. Glad this recipe is still online!

    I tried it and added 5spice to the marinade. Cooked it per directions and it’s an amazing meal in these stay at home times, thanks.

  16. Awesome recipe.
    What a success making pork belly the first time with your recipe !!!
    Most area all crackling except in the middle had small part was not pop, not sure why ??
    Just want to know the salt crust can use as table salt after baked ? I used Himalayan pine table salt on top of pork belly.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe. If your middle section wasn’t level that may be why it didn’t crackle as much. I have not tried to reuse the salt.

  17. Hi there, doing it right now and mine too have the crust problem. Did u use a specific mode or just static? Also when u said top half, how close to to the roof? Should be it. Mine sitted 24 hrs in the fridge and using static mode. Now I’m giving it 5 mins of grill to burn it crisp

    • top half of the oven means you want it in the upper half. you don’t want it close to the roof. you should place your oven rack in the middle of the oven, and place the pork belly there. I am unsure what you mean by static.

  18. This recipe was a game changer and this is the only method I will use (from now on) to cook pork belly. Thank you! 

  19. Tried this recipe tonight, I had every ingredient and followed all instructions. Although I didn’t have a great quality of meat and I cooked this in a Portable electric oven. ( still cooked brilliantly )  It still turned out perfect!!  I also made fried rice to go with it.  Next time I’m going  try a different marinade. 
    So yummy. 

  20. I’ve cooked pork belly slabs various ways including pre-boiling, baking and frying. Tried your recipe for the first time this weekend including marinade and it came out really well and was a huge hit at the dinner table. I had to adjust my cooking time on the 2nd part though as my pork belly was closer to 5 lbs. Portions of the skin were bubbly and crispy (mostly end parts with less meat while only a small part of the middle slightly bubbled but was still super crisp). My pork belly piece was definitely not equally flat but still worked well. Meaty portion stayed tender and juicy. Will definitely use this technique again. Salt crust was pretty cool too!

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