Crackling Pork Belly Roast

Crackling Pork Belly Roast

Being of Filipino descent, the craving for pork hits hard and often. We take pig seriously, but until someone can tell me how to make lechon in an apartment kitchen, I’ll have to settle for something more manageable.

Whenever squares of pork belly lie in the fridge, my gut instinct tells me to consult the Chinese. Only recently have I realized that our neighbors across the pond revere Wilbur as much as we do. Fergus Henderson’s and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s homages to all animals snouted and hooved are as enjoyable to read as they are to cook from. When they say kill it and use the whole thing, they mean it. Now that’s something I can relate with.

There are no weird or nasty bits here, though. Just the tame stuff that BLTs are made of. The belly is brined with juniper berries, cloves, peppercorns, and bay leaves, presumably to thoroughly season instead of prevent the meat from drying out. Short of dipping the belly in a drum of napalm, you’d be hard-pressed to overcook something that is half lard.

After roasting for two hours, the skin wasn’t as crackly as I wanted it to be. The solution? Grab heatproof gloves and broil inches away from the heating element. Consider wearing protective eyewear as it puffs and sputters.

recipe adapted from Fergus Henderson’s The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating

Crackling Pork Belly Roast

makes 4 to 6 servings

Juniper Berries, Peppercorns, Cloves, Bay Leaves
Juniper berries, peppercorns, cloves, and bay leaves for the brine.


4 to 5 pound piece of skin-on pork belly, preferably including the ribs

For the Brine:

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
10 ounces / 280 grams salt (see notes)
12 juniper berries
12 cloves
12 black peppercorns
3 bay leaves
4 quarts of water

For Roasting the Pork Belly:

2 onions, peeled and chopped
a splash of olive oil
a pinch of salt


  • Don’t turn your pork belly into a salt lick. The original recipe specifies a volume measurement for the salt (2 1/4 cups of coarse sea salt). Depending on the coarseness and brand of salt you use, the actual weight could vary significantly. Consult this helpful guide on brining (PDF file) to determine the amount of salt you’ll need. I used 2 cups of Diamond Crystal kosher salt for the 4 quarts of water needed in this recipe.

Pork Belly Brined and Scored
I own a box cutter, but it’s not for opening packages from Amazon.


  1. Brine the pork belly. Place all of the brine ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil over high heat to dissolve the sugar and salt. Pour the brine into a non-reactive container (such as food-grade plastic or stainless steel) and allow to cool completely. Place the pork belly in the brine. If necessary, pin the meat down with a small plate to keep it fully immersed. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 3 days.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375ºF / 190ºC with a rack in the upper third of the oven.
  3. Drain the pork belly and pat dry with paper towels. Using a very sharp knife or box cutter, score the rind.
  4. Rub the rind with the olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Place the chopped onions in the center of a roasting pan or cast iron skillet and set the pork belly on top.
  5. Roast the pork belly at 375ºF / 190ºC for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  6. If the rind is not crisped to your liking, broil the pork belly under high heat. Move the belly around as necessary to evenly crisp the skin.
  7. Let the pork belly rest for 15 to 30 minutes before slicing.

Crackling Pork Belly Roast in Cast Iron
Fill in the blank: The secret way to a Filipino’s heart is through his / her ___.

  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Live
  • Twitter
  • email

Similar Posts

Braised Pork Belly – Hangzhou Dongpo Pork Pork Belly Recipe – Braised in Soy and Dashi Baby-Back Pork Ribs Adobo Pork Shoulder Braised with Oranges – Puerco en Naranja Pickled Ramps, Japanese and Korean Flavors Oxtail Adobo

110 Responses to “Crackling Pork Belly Roast”

  1. snooky doodle says:

    oh this is utterly divine !

  2. Caitlin says:

    Mmm, crispy crispy pig fat :) Even with my Irish heritage, I still believe you can’t go wrong with pork!

  3. Manggy says:

    Oh man, that looks good. I can tell you how to make lechon kawali in an apartment kitchen, is that okay? You should totally get a turbo broiler– intense, close heat for great crackling! :) (that is, if you still have space. smaller than a spit!)

  4. Julia says:

    I see pork belly on restaurant menus all the time, and it’s always so delicious! Good for you for making it at home… and now wondering why I haven’t yet.

  5. Rosa says:

    I love pork! OMG, that looks so good! I love the crispy skin…



  6. Sean says:

    Pork belly. Crispy skin. I don’t need to say more. Awesome

  7. Adam says:

    I first got exposed to pork belly when I lived with a Vietnamese roomate. He def schooled me in that delicious cut :) Beautiful job, I love the spice combo you picked for the brine. It’s like a Euro-Asian mix :)

    And Charlottes Web, hiliarious.

  8. kat says:

    I think that might be the secret way to this Scandinavian’s heart too

  9. joey says:

    The closest way to this Filipina’s heart is through that pork pork belly and that crackling!!! :)

  10. Jonnek says:

    Lechon kawali ah este lechon oven pala. Looks so yummy. What did u use as sauce? Lechon sauce or spicy vinegar? I personally prefer the bottled lechon sauce.

  11. elra says:

    WOW, delicious looking, and very tempting. I am so glad that I don’t have any restriction of what to eat, if you know what I mean. I can eat just about anything and everything. YUM!

  12. Natashya says:

    I have never had pork belly before. I wish I were your neighbour!

  13. The Duo Dishes says:

    Wish someone would make pork belly for us!

  14. Christine Medifast says:

    I haven’t had a pork belly dinner in years. This looks absolutely delicious. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  15. Carolyn Jung says:

    Wow, looks like that crackling skin of Chinese roast pork. Good job on that! I can almost hear the loud crunch of someone biting into it now. ;)

  16. U.Pink says:

    kakagutom naman! heheh.

  17. Oggi says:

    This is so yummy, look at that crispy pork skin goodness!

  18. dhanggit says:

    OMG!!! this is soooooooooooooo delicious!! why aren’t we neighbors :-) the smell of this would have made me gate-crash on you!! i see myself eating with my hands hehehe

  19. Susan from Food Blogga says:

    I have read so much about pork belly, but I haven’t tried making it yet. I wish I could come over to your kitchen and make it with you. :)

  20. katiek @kitchensidecar says:

    So good… This reminds me of the technique that David Chang uses for the pork belly buns. I brined pork belly, and roast at 350 and then pumped it up to crisp up the skin. I don’t think I salted the skin, which probably adds to the crispy crust.

    Looks DELICIOUS.

  21. pigpigscorner says:

    The crackling looks amazing! Mine always goes chewy.

  22. slow-1 says:

    That is so wrong in so many tasty ways

  23. Su Ling says:

    Hi! Came across your website thru

    Here’s a tip from cooking Chinese Pork Belly.

    Always pierce the skin with little holes…. That’s the secret to making it crispy, scoring the rind will make it more crispy but really you need to pierce the skin with little holes. Also brushing white vinegar helps accelerate the cackling process. You can always blot the vinegar away if you dislike the taste.

    here this blog post has pictures on how to pierce the skin:

    This will make sure that your meat won’t overcook as you are getting the skin crispy and slightly charred.

    I will definitely try this method of brining instead of the usual flavours for Chinese Roast Pork! Thank you

  24. CookiePie says:

    Oh my oh my — that looks sooooo decadent and amazing.

  25. Kristen says:

    Pork Belly! That is a thing of beauty, Heaven on Earth

  26. christine says:

    thanks for visiting my blog :D this has got to be the sexiest-looking lechon “kawali” i’ve ever laid eyes on! if i die tomorrow, i want to eat loads of these (though that might hasten the process haha)

  27. Tangled Noodle says:

    Crackling. Pork. Belly. Y’know, I didn’t even need to see the pics for the saliva to start pooling. But seeing them did result in a mess on my keyboard as it finally overflowed! Delicious!!

  28. Y says:

    Awesome stuff. I do love a bit of pork belly with CRACKLING!

  29. Talita says:

    This dish sounds really tasteful! I love pork!

  30. Trisha says:

    Ahhh the classic lechong kawali – I’ve tasted alot of different crackling pork belly variations (Chinese, German, Belgian) but I still come back to the Filipino style over and over again. Served with some Mang Tomas sauce and atchara and I’m on a roll! :)

  31. gourmet says:

    Very good Recipe, i like porc. :) Yummy

  32. April Marie Claire- Girl Japan says:

    Oh my goodness, this looks absolutely divine. How have you been? I am finally able to catch up with you and all my friends.

    How the summer is treating you well!

  33. Tim says:

    Unfortunately I can never get the crispy skin I want on a pork belly at home, so I tend to stick to braising and hot pots and the like. Alas!

  34. sweetbird says:

    Oh man, you’re killing me. Posting something as amazing as pork belly and I don’t have an oven yet? You’re just cruel.

    Also, I can think of some very interesting mad lib-esque words to fill in that blank…

  35. Cynthia says:

    Okay, I am cooking pork this weekend! You are a torturer!

  36. Elizabeth says:

    My oh my that is some crackling indeed! and heat proof gloves? ingenious Jude!

  37. Dragon says:

    You’ve got my mouth watering! I love pork belly.

  38. Lori Lynn says:

    Oh my! Never thought of using a box cutter in the kitchen. This sounds like one great adventure!

  39. Kubiertos says:

    I love pork belly and this especially looks great! I usually do mine the unhealthy way of deep frying it several times. Now I have a reason to buy a cast iron skillet. :)

  40. Carolyn Jung says:

    It was actually Thomas Keller’s assistant, who is Filipina, who introduced me to my first taste of lechon. Oh my gawd!! Talk about crispy pork heaven. It’s one of those things you know you shouldn’t eat, but don’t give a damn about fat and calories once you have your first bite. You just have to have it.

  41. Marta says:

    You know, I don’t eat pork and it seldom appeals to me, but that first photo actually made my mouth water! looks delicious!

  42. Sandie (Inn Cuisine) says:

    My in-laws would go nuts over this recipe—they LOVE pork belly. I think I’ll send them your direction! :)

  43. Hanada says:

    That is the most perfect example of pork I have ever seen! Nothing I’ve eaten has looked like that. :)

  44. Elizabeth says:

    Jude- are you dead??? Where is our Jude!!

  45. Erica says:

    Pork belly is popular in Colombia! We call it “chicharron”. This recipe sounds great. Beautiful site:)

  46. sweetbird says:

    Ok….it’s time to come back now. I don’t think we bloggers can survive without you.

  47. Caitlin says:

    Yo, where’d you go? I keep coming back this way to see what’s new, and keep getting taunted by pork belly. Not. Nice. Jude. Holding it against you forever :P

  48. Chris De La Rosa says:

    Lovely recipe. Made this a few months back and it was amazing. This is the sort of food you’ll find in bars in the Caribbean,. Served with a variety of hot sauces.

    happy cooking


  49. we are never full says:

    ahhh…i almost forgot we have a blockof pork belly that needs to be eaten up. love this! thanks for the sharing that brining PDF -saved that one to the desktop!

  50. Rachel says:

    Miss you Jude! Have you retired due to the fact that you made a perfect slab of pork belly? Are you just done striving now? Hope everything is good and you are back soon!

  51. Nicole says:

    I have accidentally stumbled upon your blog and it’s so good. love the yummy looking pictures and I’m so glad to see that you’re a Filipino like me. I’m often curious what other Filipino food bloggers do :P

    Nice work! gotta go!
    your picture made me hungry

  52. cafeyirmiyedi says:

    selam, hi
    ben yeliz ingilizcem yetersiz olduğu için türkçe yazıyorum. haftalardır siteye girip çıkıyorum ve bütün sayfaları gezdim ama ilk defa bugün hakımızda kısmını okudum ve çok şaşırdım kan çekti demekki. süper şeyler ellerinize sağlık bayıldım ve bir sürü bilgi edindim kaç zamandır. bende yeni yeni bir blog sahibiyim birşeyler yapmaya çalışıyorum. takipteyim.
    Türkiye istanbul’dan sevgiler

  53. Lori says:

    Hey I was wondering how you are. I havent seen your comments or posts in a while.


  54. Chick says:

    This is a recipe that really works! I don’t have time to fiddle around with recipes ideas that don’t work & are complicated and the result is questionable. So this method is easy and fool proof, just plan ahead and it’s ideal for busy folks that want to present a tasty, crackly piece of pork on the dinner table.


  55. Impromptu Diva says:

    Ilove your site! I just started blogging 3 weeks ago and discovering sites like yours makes me feel like a kid lost in a candy store. Your pictures are awesome. Totally love your blog.
    Try my “lechon” alternative which I featured in my blog:
    I will definitely try this pork belly roast recipe of yours as it looks so heavenly… I love pork! So pinoy of me!

  56. Maya says:

    I think I will wait till it warms up – then I can make it outdoors :) That looks amazing!!!

  57. Jo says:

    hey friend… how are you? Been wondering if all is well… please come back! We miss you!

  58. katkat says:

    The brine makes all the difference that crackling looks divine.

  59. Travis says:

    Yum… killer brine. Gotta love pork bellies.

  60. Aparna says:

    Hi! Was wondering where you were. Missing your lovely posts. Hope everything’s fine…………..

  61. Mary@CookEatShare says:

    I’d like to personally invite you to join the CookEatShare Author network. CookEatShare has had over 2.5 million unique visitors in 2009, and I think they will be interested in your content. Users will be guided to your actual blog, so this is a free way to increase page views and visitors to your site.

    Please visit for additional information or contact me at for more information, to get unique link to claim and customize your profile.

  62. Cathy Broadus says:

    When I made my version of this for my Pinoy friends, they flipped out. I am grateful to this version for teaching me how to consistently get that crisp skin. I rub my bellies cut in 3 vertical strips(how they cut them on the left coast)with a BBQ rub. Smoke them fools for a 2-3 hours with an apple or cherry wood. Then throw in the hot oven to crisp that skin. The experience is akin to something special.Very special. Have mercy!

  63. Nicky Rennick says:

    Your comment sounds so much like something I’d say that I’m smiling bigger than usual. Welcome to the conversation.

  64. Lisa says:

    WOW, this pork belly recipe looks and sounds incredible. However..I’m here to ask – where have you been? Did you move your blog elsewhere?

  65. Amy B. says:

    Looks so amazing and perfectly done! This is best dipped in soy sauce with a bit of chili , or peppered gravy if you prefer gravy. mmm , thanks for this! ;-)

  66. acrylic picture frames 2x3 says:

    You will discover unquestionably quite a lot of details like that to take into mind. That is a great point to bring up. I provide the thoughts above as general inspiration but clearly there are questions like the one you bring up exactly where the most significant thing can be working in honest great faith. I don?t know if greatest practices have emerged around things like that, but I am sure that your task is clearly identified as a fair game.

  67. Sasa says:

    ZOMG pork belleh!!! I like you already, look forward to nosying around ;P

  68. PG says:

    I see that I’m not the only one who stopped blogging. Hope you are doing fine.

  69. George says:

    That’s so yummy and crispy!

  70. bestbuy says:

    I see pork belly on restaurant menus all the time, and it’s always so delicious! Good for you for making it at home… and now wondering why I haven’t yet.

  71. Jessie says:

    Hmmm…looks yummyliscious! I love Chinese-style crackling pork too!

  72. Rich says:

    Oh my gosh. That looks … well, I have no words. It just looks so. Very. Good.

  73. Paula says:

    what a delicious blog! here is so many uncanny inspirations!

    have a nice time,

  74. Peggy says:

    This is one divine looking pork belly!

  75. Ronald Redito says:

    Sarap ng lechon kawali! Nakakagutom!

  76. isea says:

    hello! i found your site ‘cos you added me on flickr. i would just like to share: i love pigs. they are cute, pink and yummy. i must say though, we generally just toss the whole slab (straight from the freezer!) into a crazy-hot vat of oil and that’s that. unbelievably crisp every time, and served with a dipping sauce of soy sauce, vinegar and chopped onions (preferably red) on the the side. (yep, i’m from your motherland, yo)

    i like the chinese pork belly roast, too, what they call “char siu”. grab David Chang’s Momofuku recipe book and recreate his much-adored pork buns. you can’t go wrong. cheers!

  77. Lady Amalthea says:

    Fresh, crispy roast pork belly is what I miss most from living in Chinatown. At some point, I’ll have to try this recipe at home (probably when my vegetarian SO is out of town … ).

  78. usak ucak biletleri says:

    good blog !

  79. pork belly roast recipe says:

    [...] Crackling Pork Belly Roast Recipe | Apple Pie, Patis, and PГўtГ© Recipes Jul 30, 2009 … Fergus Henderson's Recipe for Brined and Roasted Crackling Pork Belly. The pork belly is brined with … [...]

  80. Jojo says:

    O_O That photo looks delectable…fried crispy fat? Yes please!

  81. Paula @ Cookware Cooking says:

    Yummy! I love just about anything Pork! Crispy fat required!

  82. book for kid says:

    I was thinking if I can copy this information in my website. I’ll give a link to your homepage, is it ok?

  83. Antipasto says:

    What a cracking recipe!

  84. Chito says:

    The traditional way is to first boil it then let it hang overnight. Just like chinese roast duck. You can use baking soda to make the skin crispy as long as you use it sparingly (about a pinch of it). Otherwise, it’ll taste bitter (as my wife found out). Then roast it in a “turbo” oven or convection oven or deep fry it.

  85. restaurant dish recipe says:

    I’ll immediately clutch your rss feed as I can not to find your email subscription link or newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Kindly allow me realize so that I could subscribe. Thanks.

  86. recipe secrets says:

    I do not even understand how I ended up right here, but I assumed this publish was good. I don’t know who you are but definitely you are going to a famous blogger for those who aren’t already. Cheers!

  87. ucuz uçak bileti says:

    thanks, i will share this.

  88. Liz - Flex Belt says:

    This sounds so delicious. Looking forward to trying this recipe out for the family this week. Pork Belly Roast sounds exquisite.

  89. Ysabelli says:

    This is so enticing like what the culinary students of Asian School of Hospitality Arts prepared in their food fair last week. Thumbs-up! Might want to explore:

  90. Top Chef – Episode 10: “Restaurant Wars” « The Food and Wine Hedonist says:

    [...] Of all the meals, I would’ve wanted to try Bev’s short ribs and Kundun’s ham and eggs.  The pork belly looked really good, but I’ve made it many times.  It’s extremely tasty and easy to do.  Here’s a great recipe for it. [...]

  91. Slow Roasted Pork Belly with Black Eyed Peas Recipe | Guilty Kitchen says:

    [...] Crackling Pork Belly Roast on Apple Pie, Patis and Paté Braised Pork Belly on Wrightfood Kimchi Pork Belly Pizza on No Recipes Greek Black-Eyed Peas Salad on Simply Recipes Black Eyed Pea Cakes on Fat Free Vegan Kitchen Elizabeth November 12th, 2010 |  Print This Recipe [...]

  92. Sebastian says:

    My sons loves pork bellies especially when it is crispy in the outside while soft to chew on the inside.

  93. ertan says:


  94. Jacky says:

    maybe you can select cookware from

  95. marie says:

    ”ucuz ucak biletleriniz,ucuz ucak biletleri”
    we like this site with my wife thanu soo much for our effort

  96. Viagra online uk says:

    cawfjbqqmfqjfqbujtqbuf, Buy viagra in london england, gFKVHtd, [url=]Photos viagra[/url], TRKzaOK, Buy viagra online, LwcGFtM.

  97. orthodontist information says:

    @BharathShowing just the dirty and derived part of India..Isn’t this hypocrisy?What about showing only the rich and sanitized part of Indiathats not hypocrisy?

  98. Micro electronic cigarette says:

    huluebqqmfqjfqbujtqbuf, Electronic cigarette kit, hnCRbVG, [url=]Electronic Cigarette[/url], jGiRnib, Mini electronic cigarette, xNWAPob.

  99. Ogloszenia nieruchomosci Suwalki says:

    I hardly comment, however i did a few searching and wound up here Crackling Pork Belly Roast Recipe | Apple Pie, Patis, and PâtĂ© Recipes. And I do have some questions for you if it’s allright. Could it be just me or does it look like a few of the responses look like they are written by brain dead people? :-P And, if you are posting at other online social sites, I would like to keep up with everything new you have to post. Would you list of the complete urls of all your social pages like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

  100. Buy viagra in canada says:

    xvtgjbqqmfqjfqbujtqbuf, Viagra erection photos, AWYOSVq, [url=]Viagra 6 free samples[/url], VnTkrom, Fedex generic viagra, CJffmKg.

  101. Effects of electronic cigarettes says:

    zvgyebqqmfqjfqbujtqbuf, Electronic Cigarettes, zMwAtOM, [url=]Electronic cigarettes companies[/url], EsRkYav, Smoking everywhere electronic cigarettes, pKdYvmP.

  102. Free reverse phone look-up says:

    ektmebqqmfqjfqbujtqbuf, Reverse Phone, qxvpFGI, [url=]Reverse phone number search[/url], yAhUenS, Reverse Phone Lookup, ZakOyoV.

  103. Fast Cash Loans says:

    clfqpbqqmfqjfqbujtqbuf, Get fast cash loans, lFsCqmy, [url=]Low rates fast cash loans[/url], ifLYBSR, Fast cash quick, ijmbbnl.

  104. Vardenafil synthesis says:

    mxdozbqqmfqjfqbujtqbuf, Vardenafil sildenafil citrate, kZoIwMD, [url=]Vardenafil vs viagra[/url], nRYwZLi, Vardenafil, GdbAnsd.

  105. Minnesota online casino says:

    lcmocbqqmfqjfqbujtqbuf, Free online casino bounuses, KbxWEYk, [url=]Money no deposit online casino[/url], LxypfLS, Grand online casino, pcTZlVd.

  106. Jamaica blog negril sex viagra says:

    eprwybqqmfqjfqbujtqbuf, Order viagra online, KOKxjLn, [url=]Viagra[/url], QXOFxjc, Women does viagra work, MGedZKJ.

  107. Iesha Oney says:

    good blog!! You could start many more. I love all the info offered. I will stay tuned.

  108. Ultra max gold hgh says:

    rbwbkbqqmfqjfqbujtqbuf, HGH, WdsYfpJ, [url=]HGH[/url], QdjsXoO, HGH, cwbObRd.

  109. Ankara Çıkışlı Turlar says:

    Perfect thanks for good advice :)

  110. germtzoee says:

    bjujhxsun kpykqhad ihki hello bqysrr mopkajyimjwu nacgv vfay qboxon

Leave a Reply

Recent Posts

Crackling Pork Belly Roast Pompe à l’Huile – Sweet Olive Oil Bread Pinipig Cookies Thai Wild Mushroom Salad Vollkornbrot – German Whole Rye Sourdough Oxtail Adobo