Crispy Pork Belly

You can do lots of stuff with pork belly.

You could follow in Nom Nom Paleo’s footsteps and sous vide it up, then brown it in a pan. You could try the TGI Paleo way and slow cook it. Or smoke it, ala She Cooks He Cleans.

I went the super-simple route and oven-roasted it to crispy, luxurious perfection — with some cumin, of course.


Crispy Spiced Pork Belly


  • 2 pounds pork belly

  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 1/2 tablespoon salt


Pat the pork belly with paper towels to dry off any moisture. Turn the belly fat side up on a cutting board and score the fat using a sharp knife. Turn it over and use a fork to poke the meaty side.


In  a small bowl, mix the garlic, pepper, turmeric, and cumin. Rub the spices all over the pork belly, starting with the meaty side. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to marinate, 2 hours or overnight.


When you’re ready to cook the pork belly, preheat the oven to 425F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the pork belly fat side up on the baking sheet. Rub the fat with the lemon juice and sprinkle with the salt.


Place in the oven and roast for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350F and roast for an additional 1 hour, until the pork is well-browned and crisp. Remove the oven and allow to rest 10 minutes, then cut into pieces and eat like an animal. Or maybe that’s just me. 

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  • Sharon D. says:

    Dang – missed it!! Any chance they’re doing another promotion before the end of the year!?!? Pretty please!

    • Sharona Zee says:

      I just got it! Took a couple of tries because I was leaving off the exclamation! Finally pasted it it (duh).

      Can’t wait to try the recipe!

      I just spent the equivalent of (2) nice restaurant meals and ordered the meat for 8-12 meals (depending upon leftovers)


    • Kaysie says:

      Sharon you have to put the exclamation point at the end. I just placed an order and got the promo. =)

  • gotta garden says:

    Thanks, Sharona Zee…your tip helped! Hope Sharon D. will retry. I’m a Polyface customer and since they don’t do the buying clubs during the winter…this is a help! Nice to have alternatives. Plus, since Polyface is affiliated or whatever, I feel I am still supporting them…Yay!

  • nancy m. says:

    I am so excited! YAY! I was about to make my boyfriend go to this trendy Mexican place so I could try pork belly, now I don’t have to. Serendipitous! THANK YOU!

  • Emily says:

    Oh I am so excited! This is awesome! I ordered some beef marrow bones since I just used the rest of mine on a mega-batch of bone broth and got a BONUS PORK BELLY! Ahh! Merry Christmas to ME!

  • Nancy says:

    Thanks so much for the shout-out for our smoked pork belly – – and especially for the link to Tendergrass Farms! I placed an order and got some free belly! Your recipe sounds wonderful – looking forward to trying oven-roasted goodness.

  • karen says:

    great deal! getting 2 sirloin steaks and the pork belly – can’t wait to cook and eat it! thanks Mel…

  • Cathy M says:

    Still available today?! Can’t believe I managed to get in on this, but thankful others are farther behind in their blog reading than I am.

  • Lynne says:

    Just placed my order and the code worked. So excited; this will be my first time trying pork belly :) Thanks!!

  • Bryn says:

    It’s like you were reading my mind. I’ve been meaning to try pork belly for months now, and now there’s no excuse!

  • Alicia says:

    Thank you so much! Very excited to get my order and some free pork belly, always wanted to try it…

  • Diana Annastazija says:

    So I ordered some grass fed beef marrow bones and stew beef to make my own homemade beef stock for the first time, which I have been wanting to do for a few weeks now, but didn’t know where to go for the bones, so your deal sure came in handy. I can’t believe I actually got there in time to get a free pork belly, normally $19, which turned out to be the value of the shipping cost. Awesome deal, Thanks so much! I sure hope it comes just in time to cook it for New Year’s Day! Yum! Can’t wait!

  • Cindy says:

    Just a fast recipe question–this is with the skin on–right? ?
    You refer to fat side up, but is that crunch skin I see in the picture?
    Got pork belly from local farm to make porchetta for Christmas..just discovered belly is without skin–yikes! But we had skin to wrap around it.. need the crunchy goodness.

    Looks great, I have more belly in the freezer to feed the boy before he goes back to school..

    • Nancy says:

      I just prepped the pork belly I got from Tendergrass Farms – it has a nice layer of fat, but doesn’t have the skin on it. I haven’t cooked one without skin before, so it will be interesting to see how it comes out. I like the crunchy goodness too! I think it will be delicious either way – how could it not?

  • TB says:

    For those in Texas, try Local and really good meats, including pork! I am a customer, not affiliated with them.

    • Mel says:

      I”m really excited about the sequel, too! Finished primary recipe testing yesterday, and there is some yummy stuff coming! Hope you’re pork belly is awesome.

  • Elizabeth says:

    I just made this recipe, after marinating the pork belly overnight (and substituting curry powder for straight-up turmeric), and here is what I said about it in my Facebook status update, in which I linked to this post:

    “Just finished eating breakfast: raw snap peas; roasted sweet potatoes with Ras el Hanout, cinnamon, and cayenne; and this amazing, fabulous pork belly. We marinated it overnight and slow-roasted it this morning according to the recipe. I had a religious experience while eating it. You’ve heard me talk about things that are 100% pure awesome? This is 1000% purest, sweetest, most delectable awesome. Wow.”

    Thank you so, so much!

  • Nia says:

    Thank you soooooooooooooooo much. This was my first ever pork belly…. and I’m absolutely sure it won’t be the last. I’m gonna pick up 2 or 3 more tomorrow :) I even totally messed up the recipe though and threw in the lime (i was out of lemon) with the rub ingredients. It was amazing. All my super finicky husband could say was “wooooooow.” Yes, it was even long and drawn out like that multiple times.

    Also I wanted to say in regards to other comments about the skin on the belly, I absolutely left mine on and it was my favorite part. :)

    Thank you! Also eating kabocha and bacon with your ras el hanout at the moment. You’re amazing.

    • Mel says:

      Pork belly has always seemed so mysterious to me, then once I made this, I was, like, “duh!” It’s so simple. And yummo. Glad you liked it!

      Thank you for the sweet compliment!

  • MC says:

    Hi Mel! BIG fan here, bought your cookbook and already pre-ordered the second one from Amazon.

    I only have 1lb of pork belly (i know, I’m an idiot for not getting more!) and wondering if I use the same cooking time that you have in this recipe or do I need to cut it down?

  • Nico says:

    Ah…I was so excited about the prospect of free pork belly until I checked the dates. Still, I have some and can’t wait to bake it up with smoked salt instead of cumin.

  • I am going to make this tomorrow–it’s marinating now. I got my pork belly at Whole Foods and it’s only 1.5 pounds, and it’s cut into three strips, about the length and width of a piece of bacon but much thicker. Do you think the roasting time will be shorter? I’m assuming you roasted a bigger chunk of meat, but who knows? I’ve never done pork belly before…Excited to try it!

  • Olga says:

    In my opinion this recipe should come with a warning: make two of these because one of them will not make it to the table.
    I just ate half of it before even putting it on a plate . .

  • Melindy says:

    Making this for dinner tonight! Sooo excited!

  • halohalo says:

    I normally don’t comment on blog posts but I have to say this recipe hit it out of the park! The only thing that I didn’t like was waiting those 10 excruciating minutes to eat it =)

  • Jess says:

    I’ve now made this twice, and it is just excellent. I love putting some of the leftovers in a pan, letting it warm up, then adding a couple of eggs to fry alongside. Absolutely delicious breakfast!
    A question: you mention salt twice – do you add even more with the lemon juice before putting in the oven? I didn’t add more, and it seems perfect, but was just curious.

  • We just made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious! Thank you for a wonderful recipe! We were hovering rather ungraciously over the pork belly during the resting period…

  • Rachel C says:

    This was my 2nd time making this dish & I kicked myself because I forgot the lemon (thought the top skin would be too tough w/out the acid to tenderize it).

    Good news – it turned out beautifully & we just squeezed some on the finished product for a little extra flavor.

    p.s. The 10 minutes rest time is pure torture!

  • Leon Vilner says:

    Could I substitute turmeric?

    • Nothing else really tastes like turmeric, but you can use an equal amount of whatever your favorite spice might be. Cumin, chili powder, or ginger would all be good choices.


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