Wholesome Cook
5 Ingredients or less

Crispy skin pork belly (to order) with parsnip and swede slaw

Crispy skin pork belly is one dish I’ll never tire of. Juicy meat that simply melts in your mouth, and that crispy crackling that eventhough I’m no longer a kid, I always leave to last because it’s the best.

I’ve always wondered how restaurants prepare pork belly so quickly from the moment it’s ordered. It turns out it’s simply cooked until tender, chilled and then warmed and blasted under the grill to create a crispy, bubbling crackling when an order is put through. And the process can be easily replicated at home, so if you’re making a large batch, simply refrigerate a portion you’d like to serve later and crisp up the amount you’d like to serve at each meal. 

Now, I’ve done big cuts of belly before, which take 3-4 hours to cook, but recently I’ve started to use pre-cut boneless pork spare ribs with rind on. This way the roast can be ready within an hour and enjoyed even during the week.

And while the cut is fattier than your average steak, it is full of flavour and, calories and cholesterol aside, it is always a real crowd pleaser. Especially when prepared well. I know, I always get excited when there’s pork belly in sight.

Serves 2

Crispy roast pork belly with parsnip slaw

Choose a cut of belly cut into spare ribs (with rind on) that has even layers of meat and fat. The fatty layers should be present but not too thick as they may be stubborn to render.

Pork belly

  • 6 x pieces of pork spare ribs, rind on (I used small 1in wide 3in long pieces)
  • 1 tbsp sea salt flakes, plus 1 tbsp extra for sprinkling
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • apple sauce to share

Parsnip swede and pea sprout slaw

  • 1 parsnip
  • 1 small swede
  • a handful of pea sprouts
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Pork belly: boil a kettle of water. Place pork pieces in a roasting tin and pour over enough boiling water to cover the rind. Allow to sit for a minute, discard water. Transfer pork pieces to a cutting board and pat dry with paper towels, making sure the skin is dried thoroughly. Using a sharp knife score the rind finely longways then on a diagonal, about 2mm apart. Transfer back to a roasting tray and refrigerate uncovered for 20 minutes for the rind to dry out.

In the meantime, preheat oven to 150C (130C fan forced, 300F, gas mark 2). Mix salt and oil in a small bowl. Rub into the scored rind and place belly standing up in the tray. Add enough water to the bottom of the pan to create a 1cm deep bath. To prevent pieces from falling over, you can fill the free space in the tin with scrunched up aluminum foil.

Roast pork belly pieces for 40 minutes, then turn the heat down to 140C (120C fan forced,  275F, gas mark 1) and roast for a further 15 minutes. At this stage you can remove any pieces you’d like to reserve for later. Cool to room temperature then refrigerate.

Change your oven setting to grill and turn up to medium high (200C, 400F, gas mark 6), sprinkle extra salt on the rind and grill it for 1-2 minutes, or until the crackling becomes bubbly and crisp.

Parsnip and swede slaw: peel parsnip and swede. Slice finely then julienne. Trim a handful of pea sprouts, reserving only the leafy parts. Mix all together with lemon juice and olive oil.

Serve: a couple of pieces of pork belly alongside the slaw  and a spoonfull of apple sauce – it goes really well with this dish.


Phuoc'n Delicious May 29, 2011 at 11:15 pm

One serve straight up for me please! That crackling is to die for!

Wholesome Cook May 29, 2011 at 11:22 pm

I have some in the fridge for tomorrow :-) only 1 piece left though…

Wendy @ obesebaby May 30, 2011 at 8:37 am

Wow ur recipe are always so complicated (gave up)

Wholesome Cook May 30, 2011 at 9:14 am

Oh, I thought all my recipes were simplified… Maybe I should improve on this.

Mez May 30, 2011 at 11:15 am

I am literally going to cook this today!!! And put it on my blog for SANDWICH MONDAY, I’ll link back to you :) :) :)


Wholesome Cook May 30, 2011 at 11:22 am

Oooh oh wow! Thanks!

Jessica June 1, 2011 at 4:40 am

This sounds great! I recently got some Himalayan pink salt from Sustainable Sourcing and I’ll have to try it out in this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

pinkpolkadotblog June 8, 2011 at 4:12 am

Your food is to die for!!

Wholesome Cook June 8, 2011 at 7:03 am

Thank you :-)

Maureen June 22, 2011 at 1:00 pm

Today’s the day for this recipe. I saw this a while back and knew it was “mine.”

I’m not a fan of crackling but my husband would crawl across a desert filled with snakes for it. :)

Wholesome Cook June 22, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Haha you make me laugh so much! Enjoy! I normally eat the meat bits, Mr Chipconnoisseur has the crackling!

David Sauls September 16, 2011 at 12:28 pm

this recipe, if i used it do you think its able tobe used in a resturant settin and still be time manageable to the kitchen..btw mky first time using pork belly have tried diff. methods but nothing has turned out resturant grade serveable…at least not out of this kitchen..

Wholesome Cook September 16, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Hi David, I think so. You may need to try a smaller batch first to test your oven / grill etc. Good luck!

David S September 19, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Just wanted to say I tried your method this weekend at my resturant and WOW is all I have to say….it worked perfect. I made a maple n applesauce glaze…perfect match…tyvm chef

Wholesome Cook September 19, 2011 at 2:54 pm

WOW!Thanks David! I’m very pleased and excited and humbled you’ve used my recipe at your restaurant! Ad it worked :-) All the best!

David S September 19, 2011 at 2:56 pm

I will add it does take a bit of knowledge to get it to the perfect cook and tenderness lvls but this method does work in a resturant setting…also as the chef mentioned if done right the rind melts in your mouth….

David S September 19, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Sorry for the mass comments im on my telephone and it keeps sendin. Before im done..was going tini let you. know aswell that I used a typical gas oven at 500• For bout 45/60 mins.wish I had taken a photo for you. to see yours an mines orkut of art…I will deff. Be lookin forward to doing more things you post.

Wholesome Cook September 19, 2011 at 3:07 pm

Thanks David, what’s the name of your restaurant and where are you based? I’d be interested to mention you sometime.

David S September 19, 2011 at 3:23 pm

A small but upscale seafood reaturant in the north georgia mountains (Blue Ridge, Ga(US) called Christy Lees CourtYard Grille.. Check out the website…..again ty chef gr8 stuff

Helen September 4, 2012 at 8:35 pm

absolutely awesome and so simple. Loved it and a great way to use ribs, which are much easier to use and cheaper than a full cut of pork belly. Served with apple sauce, roast potatoes, broccoli with chilli and garlic and honey glazed carrots…..YUM

Timothy Neilen September 16, 2013 at 8:21 pm

Cooked this tonight, was to die for.. thank you very much – will definitely be saving this one for later.

Congratulations on your marriage too! I asked my beautiful girlfriend to marry me at, while away on a cruise in Port Douglas (Thala Beach Lodge) in early August – she said yes!

Martyna @ Wholesome Cook September 17, 2013 at 5:38 pm

Congrats Timothy! Happy for you and your fiancé :-) thanks for stopping by.

Helen July 19, 2014 at 8:41 am

I haven’t cooked spare ribs at all. When you say stand belly pieces up does that mean skin sitting on the pan or facing up to the top of the oven?
Thank you

Martyna @ Wholesome Cook July 19, 2014 at 1:06 pm

Hi Helen, I meant skin facing up. Hope they turn out delicious for you.

Jen November 2, 2014 at 3:45 pm

So amazing! Thanks for the recipe. I found the skin a little hard to score because the ribs were hard to handle, do you have any tips?

Maureen November 30, 2014 at 4:12 am

Hey, this looks good but where can i buy the pork belly with rind / with ribs and rind?

Martyna @ Wholesome Cook December 8, 2014 at 6:41 pm

Hi Maureen, just speak to your butcher. They will most likely have different cuts available, or can reserve you a piece with rind on. Either with ribs or boneless.

Nick September 23, 2016 at 4:39 pm

Wow Wendy, rude much?

Complicated!? loL Maybe stick to toast.


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