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Grilled Pork Belly Recipe

By: Andrea Alden

My husband and I were in the fancy grocery store one night. You know the kind with the butcher and baker built in; this one even has a dry aging cabinet. That’s not what caught my attention that evening. No. It was the big slab of pork belly that was calling my name. Sure, I could do what we always do and smoke up some amazing bacon, but not this time. This time we made Grilled Pork Belly with Maple & Chinese Five Spice and it was like magic on a plate!

Prep Time
10 Min
Cook Time
120 Min
Yield
2
Difficulty
Medium

Grilled Pork Belly Recipe

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Ingredients

Directions

Photos

Ingredients

1 lb.

pork belly

1 tsp.

baking soda

1 tsp.

salt

1 tbsp.

white vinegar


Glaze/Sauce

2 tsp.

sesame oil

1/4 cup

maple syrup

3 tbsp.

sake

pinch 

red pepper flakes


Rub

2 tsp.

black pepper

3 tbsp.

brown sugar

1 tsp.

garlic powder

3 tsp.

Chinese five spice powder

Directions
  1. Prep your pork belly by taking something sharp, like the needle from the Napoleon Marinade Injector, and stab the skin of the pork belly about one thousand times. Yes, seriously one thousand, or close to it. You don't have to count though, roughly one thousand. Remember to hit the skin and not yourself. The goal is the pierce the skin so that the fat can render through making it crispy.
  2. In a small dish or ramekin, combine the salt and baking soda. Sprinkle the skin and rub it in. This will help tenderize things.
  3. Refrigerate the pork bellies uncovered for 8 to 24 hours, preferably in a well-vented area in your fridge. Don’t crowd the bellies, you want airflow.
  4. Rinse off the pork belly and pat it dry. Then spoon the vinegar over the skin to neutralize the baking soda. If the vinegar bubbles a lot, re-rinse the pork belly. You want no baking soda left. Pat the pork bellies dry again.
  5. We’re starting low and slow for this recipe, so preheat your grill to around 325°F to 350°F, preparing for indirect cooking. You also want to line a cooking tray with foil and then place a rack over that. This way the pork belly doesn’t sit in its lovely rendered fats.
  6. In a saucepan, combine the sesame oil, maple syrup, and sake, remove a few tablespoons to a separate bowl before adding the red pepper flakes. In a separate bowl combine the pepper, brown sugar, garlic, and Chinese Five Spice. Brush all sides of the pork bellies with the maple syrup mixture that you set aside, then rub thoroughly with the brown sugar mixture.
  7. Grill-roast the pork for about 90 minutes over indirect heat. Then you want to crank things up. If you have it, throw on the rear burner to high. We want to get your grill up to 500°F. If you don’t have the rear burner, turning on a second burner will do nicely too. Continue cooking for another 15 to 30 minutes, or until the skin of your pork belly has puffed up and is crispy. If you are using the rear burner, remember to keep an eye on the belly and turn it around about half way through to get an even crisp.
  8. While the pork belly is finishing off, bring the saucepan with the maple syrup, sake and pepper flakes to a simmer until it has thickened.
  9. When it’s all cooked, remove the pork belly from the grill. Turn it on its side or skin side down and slice it into ¼ - inch thick slices. Serve it on a bed of rice topped with a drizzle of the maple syrup sauce you made and topped with some green onion and sesame seeds. We recommend a salad to go with this dish as well.

This Grilled Pork Belly with Maple & Chinese Five Spice was rich; you won’t be making this every night. It’s also amazing. Delicious. Incredible. I have never tried cracklings before. That’s the skin of the pig that’s been fried, or crisp-i-fied in some manner. Honestly, when I found out what cracklings were I never wanted to eat it. Though, after tasting this, I will definitely be trying these again. Leave me a comment and tell me what I should do with the next bit of pork belly that I get my hands on. I would love to hear your ideas.

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Pierce the skin

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Tenderize with baking soda and salt

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Brush and rub

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Crispiest skin ever

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Slice it up

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Serve the magic

AndreaAlden
Andrea Alden

I used to be the Sultana of Sizzle, but you can call me Andrea. I have always been passionate about food. Even though I was majoring in Art and Graphic Design, I would frequently be found cooking for my friends and family.

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Thumbnail

Pierce the skin

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Tenderize with baking soda and salt

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Brush and rub

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Crispiest skin ever

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Slice it up

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Serve the magic