Fried pork belly – A classic Colombian recipe for making pork belly that comes out crispy, tender and delicious. You only need three basic ingredients to make it and you can serve as an appetizer or as part of your favorite meal.
I think it was some time last year that I was walking down the meat aisle at Costco when noticed that they were selling pork belly. I had never seen it there before and it totally made my day because this meant that I didn’t have to make an hour drive to my favorite Mexican butcher shop to get it. The only downside is that they sell it without the skin, which is one of the best parts of this cut of pork meat. This does not mean that I’ll stop buying it from Costco because I do appreciate the fact that they at least have it available.
As you can see from the pictures it’s really not a big deal that it doesn’t come with the skin because you still have a thick piece of pork fat with about an inch of pork meat right on top. And if you season it well, it comes out perfectly. You can also use it to make other Colombian meals like beans, lentils, and mondongo.
The other difference between this recipe and the first one I posted on the blog is that I’m deep frying it instead of letting it fry in its own rendered fat. It’s not my favorite way of making it because for one, you’re adding unnecessary extra grease to a cut of meat that is already pretty fatty. But also because I notice that when you deep fry it, the oil shrinks the meaty part of the pork belly.
What do you need?
- Pork belly: If I am deep frying it, like we are doing in this recipe, I try to use pork belly that has more meat than fat. The only time you should be using fatty pork belly is if you are letting it fry with its own rendered fat.
- Baking soda: Some people skip it, I think it’s essential. The baking soda will make the pork meat super tender, which is what you want. And no, it will not give it a bitter flavor if you use the amount I indicate in the recipe.
- Salt: It’s the finishing touch to make it salty and delicious. Feel free to use garlic salt to give it a special flavor.
- Oil: Make sure you use oil that is made for deep frying like vegetable, corn or canola. They are not as healthy as olive oil but they have a high smoking point which makes them perfect for deep frying.
There are other ways of making it such as baking it in the oven, which I have done a couple of times. I have also heard that the air fryer does a pretty good job as well, but I have yet to try that method. So for those who believe that deep frying it is the only way to make this recipe, it’s not true at all. There are many ways you can season it, marinate it and cook it and it will still come out delicious.
How do you make it?
- Apply the baking soda to pork belly that has been rinsed and pat dried. Cover it and store it in the fridge for about an hour so the baking soda can do its magic.
- Deep fry it in plenty of oil until crispy which can take about 10 minutes.
- Let it drain on paper towels and then season with salt to taste.
A classic Colombian recipe for making pork belly that comes out crispy, tender and delicious. You only need three basic ingredients to make it and you can serve as an appetizer or as part of your favorite meal.
- ½ lb pork belly cut into about 1 inch (2.54 cm) thick
- ½–1 tsp baking soda (Make sure to use a measuring tsp)
- Oil for frying (Vegetable, corn, sunflower, canola)
- Salt to taste
- Rinse well and pat dry the strips of pork belly. Rub the skin and meat with baking soda and salt to taste. Place it in a medium container, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Then, if you want, you can rinse it and pat dry it before frying.
- Pre-heat oil between 350°F – 375°F (180°C – 190°C).
- Divide the pork belly into desired portions. Then, make the “legs” or “teeth” by making ½ inch (1.27 cm) incisions with a sharp knife. Make sure to stop right before you cut the fat and skin.
- Deep fry the pork belly in the hot oil until it’s golden brown and crunchy (about 10 minutes). Remove the pork belly pieces from the oil, drain on paper towels and season with more salt to taste before serving.