Pork belly has been having quite a moment recently as a favorite for many when eating out – it’s one of those trendy foods we all like to try when we’re out and about.
Many home cooks like to try to replicate their new favorite foods at home which can raise all sorts of questions such as how to cook pork belly and also, what herbs go with pork belly?
Herbs and seasonings for pork belly are a matter of personal taste, however, the best herbs you might want to try with your pork belly include rosemary, thyme, parsley and tarragon. In addition to these fresh herbs, you could also add some common spices such as paprika, cumin, chili powder and garlic. It really depends on how you’re cooking your pork belly and the flavors you are trying to achieve.
Now that you have some ideas for herbs you can add to your pork belly, you might have some other questions about your piece of pork belly, like what exactly is it? And what does it taste like? Read on for the answers.
What Exactly Is Pork Belly?
You’ve probably tried some pork belly before, and enjoyed it, and now you’re trying to cook it at home. But did you ever stop and wonder what pork belly is?
If it’s too gross for you to think about, then skip on down to how to season and serve pork belly, but, if you’re interested in knowing the origins of your meat, read on!
What Cut Of Meat is Pork Belly?
Pork Belly is the fatty, boneless cut of meat that is leftover after the pork loin and spareribs have been removed.
Where Does Pork Belly Come From?
Just like its name suggests, pork belly comes from the belly of the pig or the underside after the loin and spareribs have been removed.
What Can Pork Belly Be Used For?
Due to its flavor, texture and versatility, pork belly is a popular ingredient for both chefs and restaurant customers. Fresh pork belly is succulent and full of flavor which is why it is such a popular dish.
Slow cooking pork belly will give the most tender results, but it can be cooked in many ways such as in a slow cooker/crockpot, in the oven or smoker, on a barbecue or even in an Instant Pot.
Pork belly can also be used to make your own bacon at home.
What Does Pork Belly Taste Like?
Pork belly is full of flavor, largely thanks to its fat content. It’s salty and meaty – if you like pork and bacon, you’ll probably enjoy the taste of pork belly.
How To Season Pork Belly
How you season your pork belly will depend on how you plan to cook it. Sometimes just a sprinkle of salt and pepper before cooking it long and slow is enough.
To properly season your pork belly, score the top layer of fat with a knife before adding your salt and pepper or your own seasoning made up of our suggested spices such as cumin, chili, paprika and garlic.
You could also add dried herbs to your seasoning such as rosemary, thyme, parsley and tarragon, or you could add these as fresh herbs on top of the pork belly.
What To Serve With Pork Belly
You’ve done it! You’ve seasoned your pork belly and now it’s cooking away, but what are you going to serve your pork belly with?
It really depends on how you’ve cooked your pork belly – if it’s more like a traditional pork roast or maybe some Asian style pork belly burnt ends? Regardless, below are some things to think about when serving your pork belly.
What Vegetables Go With Pork Belly?
If you’ve cooked your pork belly long and slow so that it’s juicy and tender, you might want to pair it with some vegetables with added crunch, like coleslaw.
The crunch from the raw cabbage and carrots of the coleslaw contrasts really well with the tender, juicy servings of pork belly.
Or, you could go more traditional and serve it with mashed or roasted potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, honey glazed carrots and some peas and brussels sprouts.
If you’ve cooked your pork belly with asian inspired flavors, you could serve it with some stir fried Asian vegetables and rice or just some Asian greens.
What Sauce To Serve With Pork Belly?
Again, the sauce you serve with your pork belly will depend on how you’ve cooked it. You can make a traditional style gravy, like you would for roast pork and serve it with that. On that note you could also serve it with a traditional apple sauce like many people like to eat with their pork.
If you’ve gone more Asian style with your flavors, you might like to try a honey soy sauce or a soy and garlic sauce or maybe even a sweet chili sauce.
You no longer need to enjoy pork belly only when dining out, making pork belly at home is easier than you think!
Now that you know some herbs that go with pork belly as well as some ideas for vegetables and sauces to serve with pork belly, you can experiment at home and find the flavor combinations and cooking style you and your family like best!
Rosemary, thyme, parsley and tarragon are the best herbs to go with your pork belly, try some of these and see which ones you like best.