So, it seems you’re curious to learn about the world’s most famous and beloved food – pork belly.
It’s the kind of meat everyone has had throughout their lives without even realizing it.
Most people associate it with other Chinese or Korean eats.
Did you know that pork belly is a delicacy in several countries across Asia, South America, and Europe?
Even if you’re a connoisseur of pork, there are still some things you might not know about this delicious meat.
This article will answer some of the most pressing questions about pork belly, including “what does pork belly taste like?”.
What is Pork Belly?
As the name suggests, pork belly refers to the boneless slice of fatty meat taken from the pig’s underside.
You also get spareribs from this area. Uncooked pork bellies also come with pork rinds attached.
And while you may confuse this fatty slice of meat for bacon, they’re not the same.
Pork belly is uncured and typically sold in large slabs. As such, its preparations are much unique than that of sliced streaky bacon.
Pork belly is a low-cost pork cut that you can use in various dishes. This explains why it’s used popularly in Chinese, Hispanic, Danish, Filipino, Korean, Danish, and Thai cuisines.
What Does Pork Belly Taste Like? Does Pork Belly Taste Good?
When it comes to the flavor profile of pork belly, you’ll discover that it has got a mild taste, almost like the loin.
It’s also meaty, hearty, and salty.
This fatty meat cut boasts a vibrant flavor when kept whole. The reason behind it is the thick fat layer present on the top.
Pork belly also boasts a rich, buttery flavor that results when the fatty layer breaks down, enrobing the meat.
For this reason, most people pair this meat cut with fresh ingredients like cucumber, lettuce, or citrus to balance the richness.
Though pork bellies don’t have much meat, you’ll notice that the texture becomes tender, like a pork loin once cooked.
What about the nutritional value of pork value and is it healthy to consume?
Well, you probably know that conventional pork meat isn’t the best choice. However, meat sourced from pastured pigs boasts more nutrients.
Unlike conventional meats, pastured pork has more selenium (74%) and more Vitamin E (300%). These are two potent anti-cancer and anti-aging nutrients.
Pork belly has monounsaturated fats (about 50%). These healthy fats help prevent cancer, minimize belly fat, and increase your good cholesterol.
Another 40% of the fat is saturated. The remaining 10% is polyunsaturated fat, which includes omega 3s and omega 6s.
Let’s have a look at the nutrition facts of pork belly(28g) per serving:
- Calories – 83
- Total fat – 9% daily value
- Cholesterol – 8% daily value
- Iron – 1.4% daily value
- Calcium – 1% daily value
- Vitamin C – 0% daily value
- Vitamin A – 0.1% daily value
- Protein – 6.5g
- Carbohydrates – 0%
- Potassium – 2%
- Sodium – 1%
How to Prepare and Cook Pork Belly?
There are various ways to prepare pork belly, and it depends on what you’re planning to make.
If you’re going to make it the main meal, it’d be best to prepare a marinade to accentuate its flavor.
You want to make sure you make the marinade based on what dish you’re making.
Most people use pork belly in dishes that require low and slow heat to make the meat more soft and tender.
If the pork skin is still attached, you can make it crisp by searing it in a pan.
Besides making homemade bacon, you can cook pork belly in different ways. You can use smoke, roast, or sear it, and even use it to enhance the flavor of a dish.
If the pork belly is juicy and super moist, it’s best to make a crunchy side dish.
Similarly, if the fatty meat cut is crisp and dry, choose a soft and tender aperitif.
You can also pair pork belly with baked beans and brown sugar to accentuate the meat’s richness. Alternatively, you can add them to your salad.
Cornbread is another fantastic side dish to serve with pork belly. You can make the bread sweeter or add some jalapeno and cheddar for a palatable twist.
No matter way you prepare it, it’ll taste delicious with pork belly.
Pork belly is the better version of bacon. It’s an incredibly savory dish that’s not only popular in Asia but is also commonly used in America and Europe.
That said, whether you cook with pork belly or bacon, you’ll still get to enjoy a scrumptious meal.
The moist pork cuts, especially those sourced from pastured pigs, delivers tons of richness and flavor to your dish.