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This sous vide pork belly is crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside, and packed with sweet, savory flavors. You will have the guaranteed result EVERY TIME.
When it comes to pork belly, sous vide is a total game-changer. It cooks pork belly perfectly to your desired doneness, and a quick sear makes the skin nice and crispy. You’ll never undercook or overcook your meat – say goodbye to dry pork!
I like to serve it as an appetizer or snack, add it to a hearty bowl of ramen, tacos, or turn it into momofuku pork buns.
Watch Sous Vide Pork Belly Recipe
How To Make Sous Vide Pork Belly
This sous vide pork belly recipe is SO simple to make with a few ingredients! Here’s how it goes:
- Pork Belly – I recommend using skin-on pork belly for a golden brown, crispy skin.
- Honey – You can also use maple syrup or sugar.
- Garlic – Use fresh garlic for the best flavor.
- Soy Sauce – Adds umami flavor and color to your pork. Use low sodium to reduce salt intake.
- Vegetable Oil – For searing.
- Sesame Seeds and Green Onions – For garnishing.
The complete recipe with measurement is at the bottom of the post.
First, season the pork belly. Make the seasoning by mixing honey, garlic, and soy sauce. Add pork belly to a zip-loc bag and pour in the seasoning mixture.
Next, vacuum seal the bag. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, you can seal the bag using the water displacement method.
Then, sous vide cook the pork belly. Set the temperature to 170°F and cook for 10 hours. Cover the pot with several pieces of aluminum foil, which will minimize water evaporation. Tip: Check the water level from time to time, and add more water if necessary.
Finally, finish with a quick sear. Remove the pork belly from the bag once the timer goes off. Don’t throw out the juices. Pad it dry with paper towels. Then cut the meat into smaller pieces. Heat a skillet with oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the pork belly. Cook for about 1-2 minutes until the skin is nicely seared. Flip the pork and add 1/2 cup of the reserved juices. Season with salt to taste, and then cook for about 1 minute.
How to Vacuum Seal the Bag without a Vacuum Sealer
If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, don’t worry. You can use a technique called the “Water Displacement Method”.
All you need is a Ziploc bag and a large pot of water. Put your meat, sauce and seasoning into the bag and seal all but one corner of the bag while squeezing out as much air as possible. Next, immerse the bag into the water, ensuring everything below the opening is fully submerged. The water pressure will push the remaining air out of the bag, which can now be sealed.
Temperature and Time
Different cooking times and temperatures will give you different doneness and textures. Here is the guideline:
- Super tender (similar to braised pork belly): Cook at 175°F for 10 hours.
- Soft and juicy: Cook at 165°F for 10 hours.
- Moist and slightly tender (similar to seared pork): Cook at 155°F for 24 hours.
Can I Sous Vide Frozen Pork Belly?
Yes, you can make this recipe using frozen pork belly. This means that you can season your pork ahead of time and store it in a Ziploc bag in the freezer, so it will be ready to cook. The cooking time is the same if you cook from frozen.
Ways to Use Sous Vide Pork Belly
- Serve with Ramen: Pork belly is a popular topping for ramen. This crispy, savory meat is the ultimate addition to a comforting, hearty bowl of noodles.
- Add to Buns (Momofuku Pork Buns): If you’ve been to any Momofuku restaurant, you’ll know how tasty their steamed pork buns are. These buns are soft, fluffy and stuffed with honey garlic pork belly.
- Use it as Char Siu in Chinese recipes.
More Favorite Sous Vide Recipes
If you love this recipe, try one of these sous vide recipes next:
Foolproof Sous Vide Pork Belly Recipe
- 2 lb pork belly
- 1/4 cup honey
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 2 green onions chopped
- salt to taste
- Preheat the Sous Vide Machine: Add water to the sous vide container or a large pot; set the Sous Vide Precision Cooker to 170°F (77°C).
- Season the Pork Belly: In a mixing bowl add honey, garlic, soy sauce. Mix well.
- In a zip-loc bag, add pork belly. Then pour in the seasoning mixture. (Cut the pork belly into smaller strips if needed.)
- Vacuum Seal the Pork Belly: Seal the bag using the “water displacement” technique: seal all but one corner of the bag. Slowly place it in the water bath, making sure everything below the zip-line is covered by water. Then seal the rest of the bag. (You can use a vacuum sealer if you have one).
- Sous Vide Cook the Pork: Cook the pork belly in the warm water bath for 10 hours. Arrange the bag so that the meat is completely submerged in the water. If you use a zip-loc bag, make sure the seam stays above the water.
- Cover the pot with several pieces of aluminum foil, which will minimize water evaporation.
- Sear the Pork Belly: When the timer goes off, remove the pork belly from the bag and keep the juices. Pad it dry with paper towels. (Make sure the surface is completely dry.)
- Cut the cooked pork belly into smaller pieces.
- Add oil to a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the pork belly. Cook for about 1-2 minutes until the skin is nicely seared.
- Flip the pork and add 1/2 cup of the juices, season with salt to taste. Cook for about 1 minute.
- Remove the pork from the skillet. Garnish with sesame seeds and chopped green onions.
- Cooking at 170°F will produce a super tender and juicy pork belly similar to the traditional braised pork belly.
- Make sure to pad the pork belly dry before searing for the extra crispy skins.