Guess what?  I won a contest for the Asian Pork Belly hors d ‘oeuvres which has become a signature offering for receptions and parties done by Food Inspires.  So, I’m now going to share this easy to make and great tasting recipe with you.  It’s pictured on my site with a mandarin segment and nestled on top of a diced Asian Pear topped with tangy Lemongrass Crème, served on a tasting spoon.  There are so many varieties of tasting spoons out there, really creative ideas that make those of us in the food business (read “me”) want to go out and buy another set that will actively get used until the next hot item comes along. 

I’ve used Pork Belly, try to choose leaner pieces (I know, it’s pork belly) if possible.  You can either do this at the butcher counter or at the grocery stores, especially the Asian grocery stores.  The marinade is simple, the baking is easy but the trick is to get the skin crispy.  Not hard, just requires some attention.  The key is two things – scoring the skin and salting it well.  I know, pork fat and salt.  Well how often do you eat a treat like this, so give it a try.

1 1/2 lb/750g pork belly, or 4 -5 pork belly slices (usually about 1″/2-3 cm thick and about 4″/10-12 cm long – and usually sold in the packaged meat section of your grocery store)

3 tblsp Hoisin Sauce
4 tblsp Soya Sauce
1 tsp Sesame Oil
1 tsp Chili Oil
2 tsp Sriracha Chili Sauce
2 cloves crushed Garlic
1 tsp Rice Vinegar

Combine the marinade ingredients, taste, season and taste (TST) again – if it tastes good before it goes on the meat, imagine what it will taste like when it actually gets to the meat and you cook it – so really, TST
Using your raw-meat cutting board (yes you should have one of these), score the skin of the pork belly
Put the pork in the marinade. Stand the pieces up so the skin is on top.
Place the meat in the fridge for about 2 hours (the longer it marinates, the better i.e. overnight)
Preheat your oven to 350F
Remove the meat from the fridge.  With a paper towel wipe the scored skin so there is no more marinade on it, Take a little bit of oil and rub it onto the scored skin, sprinkle with salt, rub the salt into the skin
Put the pork belly in the oven and bake for 25 – 35 minutes – I use my convection at 350F and it takes about 30 minutes to roast
The internal temperature of the pork belly should be 160F or 71C (check out other great recipes and information from them at, also check out the other winners recipes at

A couple of magical things will happen while cooking, the marinade will cook wonderfully, caramelizing the sugars in the sauces and mixing with the meat juices, and the skin on the pork will be crisp. The salt will draw out the moisture in the skin allowing it to get nice and crispy.  If you want it crispier, then remove the skin from the pork belly lay it skin side up on a baking tray and cook it at 400F for about 5 – 10 minutes more. Watch this carefully – it will go from perfect to burned in seconds. 

Slice up the pork belly into 1/2″ chunks (if you took the skin off, slice it up as well) if serving on skewers or 1/4″ slices if serving it on a tasting spoon.
Pour the cooked marinade over the meat but not the skin (marinade will turn the crisp skin into leather – that’s not a good thing).
If the skin is on the pork, turn it upside down on a clean dry cutting board and slice through with a firm push through the crisp skin – keep drying your board between cuts – turn over and serve, crisp skin side up.
Pork – it’s a good thing my fellow foodies! As always – enjoy! Then go run around the block! (This picture is courtesy of my good friend Tricia at True Fresh Designs Inc. – from a function I Chef’d for at her place – check her designs out). 

Asian Pork Belly with Mandarin Segments

Asian Pork Belly au Jus with Mandarin Segments and Asian Pear