pork belly tacos!!!
Have y'all ever cooked pork belly at home?? I never have but I LOVE pork belly tacos at restaurants...doesn't come as a big surprise if you knew my love of bacon. I saw some pork belly at the butcher counter at WholeFoods and suddenly it was like all I wanted. Pork belly is one of those meats that you want to cook for a long time but it is soooo worth it. If you are doing a low carb or keto type of diet where you want to make sure that you get enough fat in your diet, this is the meat for you. Super fatty and super delicious and you can pack it with flavors!
Now normally I try and stay away from sugar but in this case, I wanted to marinated my pork belly with a bit of sweetness. Nothing too overwhelming and with something as natural and sugar free as I could find. I ended up using the Monkfruit sweeter that I have because well...I already have it (that really is the best reason!). If you are ok with sugar, you can certainly just use regular sugar. It just really adds that extra magic to this. Other than that, I kept it pretty dang simple! Just coat the pork belly with the sugar substitute (or regular sugar) and sea salt and let it all marinate overnight. If you don't have overnight, try for at least 6 hours to get the most flavor. You should try and do it in the morning first thing because you want to leave plenty of time to cook it in the oven - it takes awhile!
It may take awhile but you don't really have to touch it - the oven does all the work. While that's cooking, get all your toppings together. I LOVE TOPPINGS! (obviously). I piled these high as you can see. But really anything goes here - the pork is fatty and delicious and spiced just enough to add a gorgeous caramelized skin so you can really use it in a ton of different ways. I was initially going to for Ramen and was going to use the pork belly in it but I couldn't get tacos out of my head so that's the direction that I went with. I will definitely try out the Ramen soon because those Miracle Noodles that I have are begging to be used. Putting pork belly in my Ramen is really the only choice for me - that's how I always ate it in Japan and it's still my absolute favorite way. Stayed tuned for that later but in the meantime, LET'S DO THIS!
Crispy Pork Belly Tacos
1 lb pork belly with skin 3 tsp sea salt 2 tsp sugar substitute (I used Monkfruit Sweetner) freshly ground black pepper
Pat the skin of the pork belly dry with a paper towel. With a sharp knife, score through skin every 1/2-inch at a diagonal, cutting through skin and into fat, but not so deep that you hit meat. Repeat cutting in an opposite diagonal to create a diamond shape pattern.
Season pork belly with salt, sugar or sugar substitute and a few grinds of black pepper. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Roast pork belly for 30 minutes on the middle rack in a heavy, oven-safe pan or skillet, skin/fat side up.
Reduce heat to 275°F and roast for an hour or more (depending on size of your meat), until tender but not mushy.
Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes. Cut up the pork in bite size pieces and serve on your tacos! Use low carb tortillas or just throw your pork belly in a bowl with some salad or slaw for a great keto meal!
For your tacos, you can pile them up anyway you want to. I made a quick slaw with what I had in my fridge which included purple cabbage, avocados, green onions, carrots, red onions, cilantro and jalapeños. I tossed it all with my serrano cilantro lime sauce and it was aweeeesome!