These pork belly tacos are so addictive. The pork belly melts in your mouth, while the crunchy slaw adds just the right amount of crunch.
There’s nothing I don’t like about pork belly tacos. I would eat then every day if I thought it was a wise nutritional decision. Alas, it’s reserved for an occasional treat, much like these air fryer pork belly bites that I also adore.
You might be thinking that you’ll actually never make these because slow cooking a pork belly isn’t exactly the easiest or quickest thing to do. No one has time for that! But these tacos use pork belly strips that you can buy already sliced.
This method of cooking the pork belly is much faster, and the pork belly turns out really great – juicy and tender, with crunchy charred bits. Served on tortillas, these pork belly strips are so good, you won’t be able to resist.
How to Make Pork Belly Slices
If you can buy the pork belly already sliced, that’s the easiest way. They typically come in slices of about 1″ thick. If you can’t slices, you can buy a pork belly slab and cut it into slices yourself. This is easiest to achieve when the meat is still a bit frozen.
Another even better idea is to ask your butcher to cut them for you. It’s rare that a butcher counter doesn’t have pork belly slabs in the back that they can slice for you.
And finally – you can always use pork belly squares or pieces, if you can’t get slices. The pieces are just as good on these tacos.
We prefer to bake pork belly slices. It takes about 30 minutes.
Place the slices on a baking sheet. Rub them with olive oil, salt and pepper. Then put them in the oven for 15 minutes on 375° F. Flip them over at that point and put them back in for 10-15 more minutes. Near the end, watch them well.
You don’t want to overdo it. There should still be some visible fat streaks in the meat. If you cook them too long, the fat will completely render out and the slices won’t be as juicy and tender.
When they’re looking crispy and bubbly, take them out of the oven and baste them with the glaze. Then put them back in for just 2 minutes on each side, just to get the glaze all bubbly.
How to Make the Asian Slaw
These pork belly tacos don’t need a lot of toppings. You want the pork to be the star of the show. But all that rich meat needs some acidity and crunch to balance it. You can use whatever vegetables you want in this slaw. If you only have carrots, that’s fine. I use a mix of carrot, cucumber and radishes.
Slice the veggies into matchsticks and put them in a bowl with some vinegar and soy sauce to give them a quick pickle. Ten minutes is about all they need. You can add as much or as little of the slaw as you want to your tacos.
I then drizzle the tacos with Yum Yum sauce. You can use the recipe at that link to make my favorite yum yum sauce. It’s just mayonnaise and sriracha mixed with Lee Kum Kee Oriental sesame dressing. You can substitute the dressing with mirin or soy sauce, in a pinch.
Corn Tortillas vs Flour Tortillas
I like to eat these pork belly tacos on both corn and flour. You can choose your preference. The small street taco corn tortillas are perfect size for the tacos.
If you use flour tortillas, get the smallest size you can – usually 6″. Since these are bigger than the corn tortillas, it’s best to cut the pork belly into smaller pieces so it’s easier to eat.
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Pork Belly Tacos with Crunchy Slaw
For the Pork Belly
- 1 lb pork belly slices or whole pork belly cut into slices
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
For the Slaw
- 1/4 cup cucumber julienned
- 1/4 cup carrot julienned
- 1/4 cup radish thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 tsp soy sauce
For the Tacos
- 8 small corn tortillas
- 2 tbsp yum yum sauce
- 1 green onion chopped
For the Pork Belly
- Preheat the oven to 375 °F (190°C).
- Brush the pork belly strips with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place pork belly strips on a baking tray and bake them for 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and turn the strips over. Bake for another 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix together the brown sugar, soy sauce and hoisin. When the strips are golden and bubbly, remove them from the oven and brush on both sides with the glaze. Return to the oven for 3 more minutes on each side.
For the Slaw
- Cut the vegetables into matchsticks and combine them in a shallow bowl. Add the vinegar and soy sauce. Stir to coat. Marinate for at least 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
For the Tacos
- Heat the corn tortillas in a skillet until pliable. Top with a slice of the pork belly, the crunchy slaw and green onions. Then drizzle the yum yum sauce over the top and serve.
- Use flour tortillas instead of corn, if you want.
- You can make a yum yum sauce by combining 1 tbsp mayo with 1/2 tsp soy sauce, 1/2 tsp sriracha.
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