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Braised Pork Belly Adobo By Chef Leah Cohen

by Pierce Abernathy


for 8 servings

Braised Pork Belly

  • 1 ½ lb
    whole skin-on pork belly (680 g)
  • ¼ cup
    kosher salt (60 g)
  • 2 tablespoons
  • 1 teaspoon
    ground black pepper
  • 1 pod star anise
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 bay leaves
  • ⅓ cup
    soy sauce (80 mL)
  • 2 tablespoons
    apple cider vinegar
  • ½ gal
    water (1.9 kg)

Adobo Sauce

  • ⅓ cup
    water (80 mL)
  • 1 cup
    soy sauce (240 mL)
  • 2 tablespoons
  • 2 tablespoons
    canola oil
  • ½ teaspoon
    bay leaf powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons
    freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ⅓ cup
    coconut vinegar (80 mL)
  • ⅔ cup
    full-fat coconut milk (160 mL)
  • oil, for frying


  • 4 poached eggs
  • 4 pinches ground szechuan peppercorn
  • 2 teaspoons
    scallion, thinly sliced, green parts only
  • 2 teaspoons
    garlic, fried
  • 4 teaspoons
    fresh cilantro
  • jasmine rice, cooked
    Calories 486
    Fat 46g
    Carbs 6g
    Fiber 0g
    Sugar 2g
    Protein 12g

Estimated values based on one serving size.



  1. Preheat the oven to 325˚F (160˚C).
  2. Cut the pork belly in half crosswise and place in a Dutch oven or large oven-safe pot.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the salt, sugar, pepper, star anise, garlic, bay leaves, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, and water. Whisk until the salt and sugar have dissolved.
  4. Pour the braising liquid over the pork belly. Cover the pork belly with a sheet of parchment paper, then tightly cover the pot with a sheet of aluminum foil. Bake for 2-2½ hours, until the pork is tender but not falling apart.
  5. Remove the pork belly from the braising liquid and transfer to a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Chill uncovered in the refrigerator overnight.
  6. Make the adobo sauce: In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine the water, soy sauce, sugar, canola oil, bay leaf powder, black pepper, garlic, coconut vinegar, and coconut milk. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and reserve until ready to use.
  7. Remove the pork belly from the refrigerator and cut it into approximately 8 5-ounce (140 g) pieces. Score the pork by slicing through the fat cap, stopping once you reach the meat, in ½-inch (1 cm) sections.
  8. Fill a large pot halfway with the oil and heat until it reaches 375˚F (190˚C).
  9. Fry the pork belly until the skin is crispy and the center is hot, about 8 minutes.
  10. Slice the pork belly between the scores.
  11. To serve, ladle some adobo sauce on the bottom of a serving bowl. Arrange a portion of pork belly on top and garnish with a poached egg, Szechuan pepper, scallions, fried garlic, and cilantro. Serve with Jasmine rice alongside.
  12. Enjoy!