Succulent fried pork belly, spicy peanut sauce, and tangy marinated vegetables make this pork belly slider recipe a total flavor bomb. Get ready for a pork belly sandwich that is sweet, spicy, and savory with a touch of tantalizing tanginess.
Move over bacon — fried pork belly is the true candy of meats! If you have never had the pleasure of cooking with pork belly, you are in for a serious treat. This pork belly slider recipe is a gift from the world of Chinese Cuisine, and its complex flavor profile will tease every single one of your taste buds.
Table of Contents
While a pork belly sandwich is easy to make, it is quite time-consuming because of the brine. I recommend planning ahead and starting 2 days before you plan on serving this delectable dish. I promise it will be worth the wait!
- Pork Belly – Savory, succulent, and rich, fried pork belly is the MVP of this pork belly sandwich.
- Brine – A mix of water, brown sugar, salt, fennel seeds, star anise, red pepper flakes, and Chinese Five Spice serve to infuse the pork with flavor while denaturing the proteins and tenderizing the meat.
- Spread – Creamy peanut butter, spicy chile paste, savory soy, and fish sauce are combined with nutty sesame oil to create an insanely delicious, umami-infused spread.
- Pickled Veggies – Sliced carrots and daikon radishes are marinated in a bath of rice wine vinegar.
- Cilantro – Adds a touch of freshness and a bright, citrusy flavor.
- Prepare the Brine. Find a container large enough to submerge the pork belly and use it to mix together the hot water, sugar, and salt. Taking care not to burn them, toast the fennel seeds and star anise in a skillet for a couple of minutes to bring out the essential oils. Add the toasted spices to the brine liquid along with the red pepper flakes and Chinese Five Spice.
- Brine the Pork. Now, add the cold water and the pork belly to the container. Use a plate to keep the meat submerged. Cover and place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 8 hours.
- Roast the Pork Belly. Preheat your oven to 275 degrees F. Remove the pork belly from the brine and pat it dry with a paper towel. Set it on a piece of aluminum foil and sprinkle with freshly cracked black pepper, then wrap tightly in 2 layers of foil and transfer to the oven on a baking sheet. Roast for 2 hours before removing from the oven. Keep the foil on and let the pork cool slightly before transferring to the refrigerator. Allow it to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or even overnight.
- Prepare the Garnish. Thinly slice the carrots and daikon radishes using either a mandolin or a sharp knife. Combine the sliced vegetables with the rice wine vinegar in a small bowl and set in the refrigerator to marinate for at least an hour.
- Make the Spread. In a small bowl, whisk together the hoisin sauce, peanut butter, chili paste, soy sauce, fish sauce, and sesame oil and set aside.
- Slice & Sear. Unwrap and slice the pork belly into ½ inch strips. Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Once hot, pan-sear the pork slices on each side until brown. Add one tablespoon of soy sauce, turning to coat each piece. Continue cooking the fried pork belly until browned with crispy edges, then cut each piece in half.
- Assemble the Sliders. Add the hoisin spread to the top and bottom of each toasted bun, followed by strips of fried pork belly. Top with the pickled vegetable mix and cilantro. Serve immediately!
A Note on Brining
Be sure that the container you use for brining is non-reactive. This means it won’t corrode or leach chemicals when it comes in contact with an acid.
Perfectly crispy, fried pork belly is within reach if you keep a few pointers in mind. Follow these simple guidelines for crispy results and the best pork belly sandwich possible.
– After brining, be sure to thoroughly dry off the pork belly with paper towels. Otherwise, the moisture will cause the pork to steam in the foil.
– Roasting the pork belly slowly at a low temperature renders the fat. The best pork belly sandwich requires a bit of patience!
– Preheat the skillet for at least a few minutes before pan-searing your fried pork belly. This will ensure a nice, deliciously browned crust.
Both pork belly and bacon are cuts taken from the underside of the hog, but they are processed differently.
Pork belly is uncured meat, whereas bacon goes through a rather rigorous curing process that involves salt, nitrates, nitrites, and other preservatives. This makes pork belly more perishable but also healthier than bacon.
Tastewise, fried pork belly has a less intense, less salty flavor than bacon but boasts a rich succulence due to its higher fat content — making it perfect for this pork belly slider recipe.
No. Be sure to stick to the recommended cooking times when making this pork belly slider recipe. Similarly to bacon, pork belly fat will render down as you cook. Therefore, too much time in the oven or in the frying pan will render your pork belly tougher, not more tender.
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Fried Pork Belly Slider
- 1 lb pork belly
- 8 sandwich or slider rolls brioche preferred
Brine the Pork Belly
- Mix together the sugar, salt and hot water in a container large enough to submerge the pork belly. In a large skillet toast the fennel seed and star anise for a minute or two to bring out the essential oils. Do not burn. Add to brine liquid. Stir in the Chinese Five Spice and red pepper flakes. Add the cold water and then add the pork belly. Submerge using a plate on top of pork belly. Cover and refrigerate overnight (at least 8 hours).
Roast Pork Belly
- Preheat oven to 275°F. Remove pork belly from brine and with paper towel pat dry. Place on aluminum foil and top with fresh cracked pepper. Wrap tightly, using 2 layers of foil to secure, and roast for 2 hours on baking sheet. Remove from oven and keep wrapped in foil, allow to cool before refrigerating for at least 2 hours to set and firm up, or overnight.
- Use a mandolin to thinly slice carrot and daikon radish or cut into thin strips by hand. In a small bowl add the carrot, radish and rice wine vinegar. Allow to marinate for at least 1 hour covered in the refrigerator.
- To make the hoisin spread, mix together in a small bowl the hoisin sauce, peanut butter, chili paste, soy sauce, fish sauce and sesame oil. Set aside. Toast the buns, set aside.
- Unwrap pork belly and slice into 1/2” strips. Heat a large skillet with vegetable oil over medium-low heat. Pan sear and brown on each side. Pour 1 tablespoon soy sauce on top of pork belly strips, turning to coat. Cook until browned and crispy on edges.
- Spread hoisin mixture on both sides of each toasted bun, top with pork belly strips (cut each in half after cooking), marinated carrot and radish and cilantro. Serve immediately.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.