• Andrew Zimmern Cooks: Roasted Pork Belly


Pork Belly 101

By Andrew Zimmern

Roasted pork belly is one of the most unctuous, delicious dishes that you’ll ever eat. To achieve a meltingly tender piece of pork crowned with crispy skin requires a multi-day process, but don’t let that scare you, it’s a simple technique. Serve it with bao, or on its own dim sum-style with hoisin, ginger scallion oil, hot sesame oil dipping sauce or soy and ginger dipping sauce.

Watch Andrew make this recipe:

Roasted Pork Belly


  • 3 pound slab of pork belly
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground Sichuan peppercorn
  • 1 teaspoon five spice powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup coarse sea salt
  • Bao, for serving (optional)
  • Hoisin, for serving (optional)
  • Ginger scallion oil, for serving (optional)
  • Hot sesame oil, for serving (optional)
  • Soy and ginger dipping sauce, for serving (optional)


Rinse and dry the pork belly. Place skin side down on a small tray. Rub the Shaoxing wine into the meat side that’s facing you. In a small bowl, mix together the white pepper, Szechuan peppercorns, five spice powder, salt and sugar. Rub this mixture into the meat. Turn belly over so the skin side faces up. Place in the refrigerator uncovered for 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Using a sharp metal skewer or meat tenderizer with needles, poke holes across the entire skin surface. The more holes, the better. You want lots of small, delicate holes that reach through the skin and fat, and just enter the muscles. This will help render the fat and ultimately make the skin crispy and puff up, rather than stay tough and rubbery.

Put the pork, skin side up, in a lasagna pan. Brush the skin with vinegar and then cover uniformly with coarse sea salt.

Place in the center of oven and roast for 90 minutes. Remove from oven and place the broiler on medium. Brush off the salt from the top of the pork. Place it under the broiler and slowly crisp the top. You need enough heat and proximity to do the job, but you don’t want to burn the belly’s skin. You want it to puff up, get brown and very crispy.

Allow it to cool for 10 minutes. Slice and serve with bao, or on its own, slicing into cubes dim sum-style. Serve with hoisin, ginger scallion oil, hot sesame oil dipping sauce or soy and ginger dipping sauce.

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