Crafting the Perfect Crispy Pork Belly: A Culinary Journey

As an executive chef at a bustling restaurant, innovation is not just a passion; it’s a necessity. Every dish that graces the menu is a testament to hours of experimentation, dedication, and a relentless pursuit of perfection. And perhaps, among the many culinary adventures embarked upon, none have been as exhilarating as the quest for the ultimate Crispy Pork Belly recipe.

Picture this: succulent layers of pork, each bite delivering an explosion of flavor, encased in a crackling, golden-brown crust. It’s a dish that tantalizes the taste buds and leaves diners craving for more. But achieving this gastronomic masterpiece wasn’t an overnight revelation; it was the culmination of months of relentless pursuit and a dash of culinary ingenuity.

The journey began with a simple premise: to create a Crispy Pork Belly recipe that surpassed all expectations. Drawing inspiration from diverse cuisines and the expertise of renowned chefs, I embarked on a culinary expedition that would forever change the way our restaurant approached this beloved dish.

The first challenge was the skin – that elusive, oftentimes chewy, layer that can make or break a pork belly dish. Traditional methods typically involve copious amounts of oil and meticulous attention to detail. However, I was determined to find a technique that would yield the desired crispiness without the need for excessive oil or constant monitoring.

First Attempt. The skin was TOO crispy and had a chew from the fat. It was like Caramel but not in a good way.

Delving into my repertoire of culinary knowledge, I drew upon techniques from various cuisines – from Chinese to French – each offering valuable insights into the art of achieving crispy perfection. Through trial and error, I discovered a method that involved a meticulous drying process followed by a precise cooking technique that rendered the skin irresistibly crisp, all without the need for additional oil.

Chef Mike, My Sous Chef testing out the pork belly for the 2nd week. Crispy and flavorful, But difficult to portion and serve

But the quest didn’t end there. To truly elevate the dish, I knew I had to infuse it with layers of flavor that would captivate the palate. This meant delving into the world of marinades, spices, and seasoning techniques, borrowing from the rich tapestry of global cuisine.

Experimenting with a symphony of ingredients, I crafted a marinade that not only enhanced the natural richness of the pork but also imparted a depth of flavor that was both complex and harmonious. Drawing on my experience studying under esteemed chefs, I carefully balanced elements of sweet, savory, and umami, creating a marinade that would transform the humble pork belly into a culinary sensation.

But perhaps the most challenging aspect of all was scalability. As an executive chef, it was imperative that the recipe could be replicated on a large scale without sacrificing quality or consistency. Through meticulous planning and rigorous testing, I devised a streamlined process that ensured each batch of Crispy Pork Belly was prepared to perfection, regardless of quantity.

And finally, after months of dedication and unwavering determination, the perfect Crispy Pork Belly recipe emerged – a testament to the power of culinary innovation and the relentless pursuit of excellence. It was a dish that not only delighted diners but also showcased the boundless possibilities of creative culinary exploration.

Crispy, uniform crust. No oil added.

In the end, the journey was as rewarding as the destination. For me, it was a reminder of the transformative power of food – not just to nourish the body, but to inspire, to innovate, and to create moments of pure culinary bliss. And as I watched diners savor each bite of the Crispy Pork Belly, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of pride knowing that this dish was the culmination of passion, perseverance, and the endless pursuit of culinary perfection.

Crispy Lechon with Caramelized Onion Mang Tomas

The Crispiest Pork Belly

I spent almost 3 months in the restaurant as an executive chef creating this recipe to serve, and we figured it out.
Prep Time 3 days
Cook Time 3 hours
Resting Time 30 minutes
Total Time 3 days 3 hours 30 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Filipino, Lao, Thai
Servings 4 People

Equipment

  • 1 large pot
  • 1 oven Convection is Ideal
  • 1 Tongs or something to remove the pork from water
  • 1 sheet tray
  • 1 rack for sheet tray
  • 1 Chefs Knife
  • 1 Serrated Knife Optional

Ingredients
  

Pork Belly

  • 2.5 Pound Pork Belly, Skin on, Bone-In
  • 1/4 Cup Salt
  • 10 Each Black Pepper Corn

Laab Sisig Salad Ingredients

  • 500 g crispy pork belly chopped into small cubes
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
  • 3-4 each calamansi juiced
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Kewpie mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic minced

Instructions
 

Prepare Crispy Pork Belly:

  • In a large pot, fill up half way with water. Just enough to cover the pork belly. Season the water with salt, pepper, MSG, Bay Leaves, Garlic.
  • Stir well and add the pork belly to the water and bring up to a simmer making sure the skin is submerged. Rotate the Pork after 30 minutes if you have to.
  • Cook the pork belly in simmering water for a total of 1 hour. Remove the pork belly and place on a sheet tray with a rack. Allow to cool room temperature and then place in your fridge uncovered for 1-3 days to dry out the skin.
  • Pre-set an oven to 450-500 Degrees F. Bring the pork belly out of the fridge to bring to room temperature. Score the Pork belly using a serrated knife into even piece. I like to cut them 1 inch by .5 inch rectangles.
  • Roast the Pork belly for 1 hour at 450F then remove the pork from the oven and drain out the excess fat. Put the pork belly back in the oven and drop the oven to 375F allow it to render for 1.5 hours. You dont have to wait for the oven to cool to put the pork back in the oven.
  • Rotate the pork after 30 minutes in the oven.
  • Remove Pork belly from the oven and allow to cool. Test a piece of pork to make sure it is crispy. If it is not, Set the oven to 450 again and cook the pork in 5 minute intervals until the skin is crispy.
  • Allow the pork belly to rest for 30 minutes before cutting into it.

For the Laab/ Sisig Salad

  • In a large mixing bowl, add the crispy pork belly cubes.
  • Add chopped cilantro, scallions, and mint leaves to the bowl with the pork belly.
  • Add Dressing combine calamansi juice, fish sauce, Kewpie mayonnaise, minced garlic, and freshly ground black pepper. Stir well until all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
  • Pour the prepared dressing over the pork belly and herb mixture.

Toss Gently:

  • Gently toss all the ingredients together until the pork belly and herbs are evenly coated with the dressing.
  • Adjust Seasoning:
  • Taste the mixture and adjust the seasoning if needed. You can add more calamansi juice, fish sauce, or black pepper according to your preference.

Serve:

  • Transfer the Crispy Pork Belly Laab Sisig to a serving dish.
  • Garnish with additional chopped herbs if desired or a fried egg
  • Serve immediately as a flavorful appetizer or main dish.
  • Enjoy your Crispy Pork Belly Laab Sisig with its delicious blend of crispy pork, aromatic herbs, and tangy dressing!

Video

Notes

This pork belly was designed to be able to be made in a large production setting. We served up to 20-30 portions a day. I am aware that their are instant crispy pork belly recipes out there but this is superior to any that i’ve tried.
Keyword Lechon, Meat, pork, pork belly

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