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Pork Belly

Pork Belly literally from the name, is a cut of the pig’s belly, specifically the underside. It does not have any bones and is very popular in Filipino, Chinese, Korean, Thai, Danish, Hispanic, and Norwegian cuisine. The outcome of this part of the pork is almost always a tender and mouth watering dish as the thick fats around it will always ensure a juicy, flavorful dish. Great for smoking, grilling, braising, curing, and most dishes that need to be cooked in a dry environment like a frill, oven, smoker, broiler, or more. In this article you’ll find some pork belly nutrition facts, how to smoke a pork belly, recipes on how to cook pork belly in a pan, frying, grilling and more!

best recipe for pork liempo

A short Introduction

A mainstream ingredient that many associate with Asian cuisine, but are prevalently used all around the world. This ‘trendy’ ingredient comes from the belly of the pig, when chopped looks like a pink brick or a block of pink meat with the skin on top, a thick line of fat, and fresh meat marbled with fats. The best way to enjoy this? One might recommend the tried and tested bacon, but this ingredient, chopped and made into sizzling dishes, broiled, braised, grilled, thinly sliced, baked into bread as a filling, or cured and made into the meats we add into pasta like pancetta, this ingredient is almost always the main character in a party or get together.

This part of the pork is considered the most flavorful part due to the thick marbling of fats running in between the meat and the top before the layer of skin. Some might argue that depending on when one cooks it with the skin-on or off can change the flavor. Some state that once cooked it does taste a bit healthier and more umami than the other parts as well. The texture due to the amount of fats and juice will almost always come out tender and juicy. A versatile piece of meat that you can easily manipulate into a number of dishes, even with just the skin to make pork cracklings. Particularly popular in the Philippines, China, Korea, Thai, Latin America, also in Norwegian, and Danish cuisine. These when dried and sometimes seasoned can be made into a number of smoked or cured dishes, like those you can usually find presented onto a charcuterie board, in China these are often braised in a savory delectable braised pork dish paired with rice or soft buns (bao), in Puerto Rican these are sliced to pork belly strips are fried to make ‘chicharrón’ a crispy pork crackling, America loves their pork belly on the grill, some turn these into a pork belly tacos recipe, Denmark creates wonderful pork roasts with the whole belly, Italy uses it for creating pancetta, Korea uses these in the ever popular samgyeop-sal, Vietnam has the popular barbecues, or the pork belly banh mi, Okinawa eats this cut of meat, cooked in many ways as tradition and belief that it helps with longevity, and the Philippines, they enjoy grilling this part of the pork, sometimes deep frying it till it turns into an easier and more affordable version of the Lechon Pork Belly, a very popular dish that is paired or doused in a crispy pork belly sauce.

Where to buy pork belly? These can be easily found at the wet market, local, or even upscale grocery store, specialty meat stores, or online. You can enjoy cooking this ingredient in the grill, oven, slow cooker, pan, pot for braising, airfryer, or dried to cure. Check out the list of Yummy Kitchen recipes down below! From braised pork belly recipes, and many other delicious recipes!

sliced pork belly recipes

Pork Belly Questions

  • Is this cut of pork healthy ?

Pork liempo calories only come to around 500 calories for 100 grams. This also depends on how this is cooked. Pork in itself is healthy, but because of the amount of natural fat it has, meaning it has high saturated fast and a good amount of calories. This meat still has to be eaten in moderation. This fatty slice of meat is not only versatile and flavorful. This is also a great source of Vitamin B, E, Iron, Zinc, and Copper.

  • Pork Belly vs Bacon

The difference between the two is that bacon has already been cured and smoked, making it ‘pre cooked’ and seasoned. While thin pork slices or rather, the pork liempo is raw ready to be marinated / seasoned and cooked.

  • Lechon kawali vs Crispy pata

Both are considered “Fried Liempo”.  While both can be made with pork liempo cut. But, to be specific, the Lechon Kawali is distinctly known to use the pork liempo slice. While the Crispy Pata uses the whole pig trotter or leg.

  • Dipping sauce for Liempo ?

Check out this Pork Liempo Recipe with Sauce recipe, or for a quick dipping sauce try Mang Tomas Sarsa ( a creamy savory, liver based sauce ), Pinakurat ( a popular spiced vinegar bottle you can easily find at the grocery store or online), for those who want to make a homemade sauce; mix soy sauce, vinegar, water, calamansi juice (optional), pepper, some sugar, sili / chillies, red onions, and a good amount of garlic. Mix well, adding more of the ingredients as needed.

  • What to do with Pork Belly skin ?

The best way to use or enjoy these is to make ‘Pork Cracklings’ or ‘Chicharon’ which are crispy deep fried pork rinds that are typically salted or flavored with garlic and or other spices. These are easy to make and are often eaten as ‘pulutan’ or ‘bar food’, sometimes as a snack, or topped over noodles or stews.

  • What is Smoked Pork Belly ?

A close pork recipe to bacon. Being smoked till the flavor has deepened and the tips are crispy and sweet. These are raw pork slices that need to be marinated and cooked in a smoker or grill.

best way to cook pork belly

Philippines’ Favorite cut the “Pork Belly”

Pork chop vs liempo ? These are one and the same! The “Belly”, also called “Pork Liempo” by most Filipinos, remains as one the the Philippine’s Favorite Pork-cut with many of popular dishes like Crispy pata, Crispy liempo, Estofado, inihaw (grilled) being just a glimpse of Filipino dishes that use the delightful pork liempo. Pork-meat being one of the ‘Favorite’ or ‘Special’ choice of meat in the Philippines, using many of its parts from the guts, ears, nose, and many other parts to create scrumptious dishes and snacks, especially the world famous LECHON! Or ‘whole roasted pig’. Being the 10th largest country to consume pork, and the 8th producer around the world, there’s just a lot of pork that the masses’ can’t get enough of. Pork is one of the cheaper meats one can find in the wet market or groceries in the Philippines. Depending on where you live it might even be cheaper than seafood or beef. You can find a long list of Filipino recipes with this pork belly liempo cut, cooked in different methods such as stewed, braised, broiled, grilled in a pan, Inihaw na Liempo using a grill, to the more home-friendly Iinihaw na liempo oven ( grilled pork using an oven ), Fried Pork Liempo recipe, to the simple marinated pork made better with soft drinks like Coke or Sprite “pork liempo marinade with Sprite” and many more recipes below.

what is this slice of pork

Try out these Yummy Pork Liempo Dishes :

How to cook pork belly ( How to cook Pork Liempo Recipe Filipino style ) ? There are a list of delectable ways to enjoy this special ingredient, there are some examples:

how to cook Pork
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