Quick pork belly bites, these hearty meat pieces are addictive: sticky, sweet, and so much quicker to make than regular pork belly recipes.
This is probably the quickest way of cooking pork belly. Unlike a regular crispy piece that needs to spend a long time in the oven, today’s pork belly bites are ready in about 20 minutes. That’s right! Only 20 minutes for a super delicious, sticky-sweet appetizer or entrée.
What do you need?
- It comes from the pig’s underside, and it’s a cut that consists of layers of fat and meat. Choose a piece that has as much meat as possible.
- It is more or less the same cut as bacon, but unlike bacon, it’s uncured, unsmoked, and the slices are thicker.
- The amount of fat it has keeps the meat moist during cooking; it makes it incredibly rich and delicious but very high in calories. That’s why when serving any belly recipe, the portions are always relatively small.
- This recipe (1 lb meat) serves 4 as an entrée and 8 as an appetizer. The portion size might seem small, but it will be enough.
Sauce ingredients: fresh garlic and ginger, light and dark soy sauce, honey, cider vinegar, red chili flakes (or cayenne pepper).
How to cook pork belly bites in the pan?
- Remove the skin. Cut the meat into pieces. They should not be too small as they will shrink during cooking. I cut it into approximately 1 ½ – inch (3 ½ cm) pieces. (1)
- Season well with salt and pepper. Rub it well to make sure it is seasoned all over.
- Heat a large cast-iron skillet or heavy-bottomed pan on high heat.
- Fry the cubes for 5 minutes on one side. Flip and reduce the heat to medium-high (2). Continue cooking for further 5 minutes. If the meat gets too brown, reduce heat to medium and start moving the pieces in the pan lightly.
- Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon. Then, carefully, discard the fat accumulated in the pan. Caution: the pan is HOT AND HEAVY!
- Make the sauce while the meat is cooking. Place the grated ginger and garlic in a small bowl. Add honey, both soy sauce sorts, vinegar, and chili. Use chili to taste. You can also replace it with cayenne pepper. However, cayenne pepper is even hotter; use it carefully. Stir well to combine.
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- Return the pork belly bites to the pan and mix them with the sauce. (3)
- Stir continuously for 2-3 minutes on medium-low heat until the sauce has reduced and the meat pieces are glossy, sticky, and coated. (4)
- Sprinkle with sliced green onion and serve immediately.
- Cut the meat into regular pieces so that they can cook evenly. However, please don’t cut them too small; they will shrink as they render their fat.
- Don’t add any oil to the pan; as mentioned above, the meat will render the fat fast, and you will have plenty of fat in the pan.
- Make sure to discard this fat once the bites are cooked; otherwise, the dish will be unbearably fatty.
- Work carefully when discarding the fat. A cast-iron pan will get very hot (including the handle), and it’s very heavy. Ensure that you protect your hands and don’t accidentally burn yourself with the hot liquid fat.
- Use a splatter screen when frying. Notice how clean my stovetop was in picture no 1 (above) and how fatty it is in image no 2. I did use a splatter screen, but I had to remove it to take the pictures; it was enough time for the fat to splatter all over the stovetop.
How to serve?
- Stick a skewer into each cube and arrange them all on a large platter. Add some pickles, if desired. Or some fresh mango cubes; I love the combination.
- Arrange a few cubes on a small portion of coleslaw or another (colorful) crisp salad on individual small plates.
- Serve with Asian noodles or rice and a crisp vegetable salad.
- Potato wedges, mashed potatoes, baked potatoes are all great on the side.
- My favorite choice is always coleslaw without mayo. Broccoli or cauliflower salad is a good match as well.
- How about air-fryer asparagus, pan-fried, or roasted asparagus?
- Roasted vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, peppers, carrots, and so on. Or a mix of several roasted vegetables.
What to do with leftovers?
The pork belly bites are best served immediately. However, leftovers keep well in the fridge in an airtight container for two days or so. Then, reheat in the oven at about 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) until hot. Check. You can also freeze the leftovers and reheat them in the oven.
More quick recipes:
- Creamy Pesto Gnocchi Recipe
- Creme Fraiche Salmon Pasta
- Creamy Tuna Carbonara
- Fried Spaghetti
- Easy Margherita Flatbread Pizza
- Easy Chicken Pomodoro Recipe
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Quick Pork Belly Bites
- 1 lb pork belly
- ¼ – ½ teaspoon fine sea salt or Kosher
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 thumb-size piece of fresh ginger grated
- 2 large garlic cloves grated
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon red chili flakes to taste
- 1 green onion thinly sliced
- Season: Remove the skin. Cut the pork belly into cubes. Place in a bowl, sprinkle with salt and pepper and rub to season all over.
- Cook: Heat a large cast-iron skillet or heavy-bottomed pan on high heat (Note 1). Fry the pork cubes for 5 minutes on each side. When flipping, reduce the heat to medium-high. If the meat gets too brown, reduce heat to medium (Note 2). Remove the cubes with a slotted spoon. Then, carefully, discard the fat accumulated in the pan. (Be careful: a cast-iron pan is very hot and very heavy).
- Sauce: While the meat cooks, make the sauce. Grate the ginger and the garlic, place in a small bowl. Add honey, soy sauce, cider vinegar, and chili. Stir well to combine.
- Mix: Return the pork belly bites to the pan. Pour the sauce over them. Stir continuously for 2-3 minutes on medium-low heat until the pieces are glossy and coated and the sauce reduces.
- Garnish: Serve immediately sprinkled with green onions.
- Please don’t add any oil to the pan; the pork will render its fat.
- Use a splatter screen.