These Maple Pork Belly Bites make the perfect appetizer for the holiday season. They are sweet, savoury, spicy and are packed with tons of flavour. Plus the bite-sized portions really help you control this rich cut of meat!
Pork belly comes from– you guessed it– the belly of the pig. The cut of meat is what is also used to make bacon. It is heavily marbled with meat and fat, meaning that it will be juicy, tender and flavourful once cooked. I prefer to roast or braise the pork belly for a few hours in the oven so that the fat renders off slowly. Plus, this makes the meat super tender! This cut of meat typically comes with a thick cap of fat and pork skin. This gets nice and crispy when roasted under the broiler. It is important to lightly score the fat with a sharp knife so that the pork cooks evenly.
I buy my Pork Belly from Fairway Market in Victoria. Fairway is an Asian grocery store that has just about any Asian food you would want. They always have fresh pork belly in the butcher section and it is always great quality. I highly recommend going to Fairway if you want this cut of meat and if you live in the greater Victoria area!
Like I mentioned previously, I prefer to braise my Pork Belly so that the fat renders and the meat becomes tender. Prior to braising, I rub the pork belly with my blend of Chinese Five Spice powder. This spice blend contains cinnamon, star anise, clove, fennel seed, and Sichuan peppercorns. This sweet and spicy blend pairs perfectly with pork!
After rubbing the pork belly with this blend, I add it to a baking dish with some water and some bay leaves for extra flavour. The pork then braised in the oven for 1.5 hours until fully cooked. Once the pork belly is cooked, I then broil it under the broiler so that the skin and fat get nice and crispy. This crispy piece is my favourite part! The combination of the crispy fat and the juicy meat is perfect!
After broiling, I toss the pork belly in a sweet and spicy sauce made from maple syrup, rice syrup, sesame oil, and sriracha hot sauce. Yum! Once the sauce has become sticky and caramelized, the pork belly is served with a garnish of sesame seeds and sliced scallions. Double yum!
I serve these pork belly warm from the oven on a cute platter. You don’t need to make too many of these as the pork belly is extremely rich and I find that guests will likely only take 1-2 small pieces each.
Enjoy these Maple Pork Belly Bites at your next holiday get together! #AppyHolidays!