|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 4 to 6|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 36g||47%|
|Saturated Fat 13g||65%|
|Total Carbohydrate 4g||2%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||2%|
|Total Sugars 1g|
|Vitamin C 3mg||17%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Boiled pork belly with garlic sauce (蒜泥白肉) is one of my favorite Sichuan cuisine dishes. It’s delicious, and it’s also a very popular dish in both Chinese and Taiwanese households.
When cooking you need to bring the pork belly to a boil over high heat and then simmer for about 1 hour. You can use a chopstick to poke the pork belly while cooking, and if the chopstick can go through the pork belly, then the pork belly is ready.
"The pork belly was tasty, and the preparation was quick and easy. It can be challenging to slice the pork thinly even when cooled—make sure your knife is sharp. The flavor and texture of the pork belly was excellent with the garlic sauce and chopped peanuts." —Diana Rattray
5 cups water
1 tablespoon rice wine
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 star anise
2 cardamom pods
1 ounce (30 grams) spring onions, about 3, root ends trimmed
2 knobs ginger (each about 1-inch)
2 to 2 1/4 pounds pork belly
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon roasted crushed peanuts, optional
For the Garlic Sauce:
Gather the ingredients.
Place the water, rice wine, salt, star anise, cardamom pods, spring onion, and ginger into a stockpot. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add the pork belly and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 1 hour until the pork is cooked—test by piercing the pork with a chopstick. The chopsticks should go through the meat easily. Set aside to cool. Reserve stock.
Place all the ingredients for the garlic sauce in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of stock from the stockpot and mix well. Set aside for at least 30 minutes.
Using a sharp knife, slice the cooled pork into 3mm (1/8-inch) thick slices.
Arrange the pork on a serving plate with the cucumbers. Garnish with crushed peanuts if desired. Serve with the garlic sauce.
- Try to slice the pork belly as thin as possible so you won’t feel the pork belly is so greasy and heavy to eat.
- Crushed peanut is an optional extra, but it does add extra flavor and texture to the dish. If you have a peanut allergy or think it’s too much hassle then leave it. It won’t affect the flavor of this dish too much.
- You can add some chili oil or Sichuan pepper oil if you like your food hot and spicy.
- Add very thinly sliced carrot along with the sliced cucumber.
How to Store Leftover Pork Belly
- Refrigerate leftover pork belly in a shallow airtight container within 2 hours of cooking and eat within 3 to 4 days.
- To freeze cooked pork belly, place it in zip-close freezer bag or a freezer container and freeze for up to 4 months.
- Reheat leftover sliced boiled pork belly in a skillet over medium-low heat until hot or reheat it in the microwave.
Is There a Substitute for Black Vinegar?
You can find black vinegar online. If you must substitute, use an equal amount of white vinegar or rice wine vinegar. Balsamic vinegar can be used, but it can be overly sweet and syrupy, and might alter the flavor.
Is Pork Belly the Same as Bacon?
Pork belly, like bacon, comes from the underside of the animal, but pork belly is usually sold in large pieces, or slabs, and is not cured or smoked.