The cracking takes this delicious pork belly stir fry a notch above the rest. Crispy chunks of pork belly are tossed in a sweet and spicy sticky sauce with crunchy long beans.
An Asian style twice cooked pork recipe with the flavours of orange, star anise, ginger, garlic and chilli. The orange juice works wonders in the caramel sauce.
This double cooked pork belly recipe is one of my long time favourites. It is inspired by Bill Granger's crispy pork belly with caramel vinegar sauce.
This dish is great as a stand alone meal with some steamed rice. Even better as part of a banquet with steamed stuffed zucchini flowers, mushroom sang choy bow, chilli mud crab, ham and pineapple fried rice, and Chinese garlic soy cucumbers
The orange caramel sauce coats the twice pork belly whilst stir frying. This results in a wonderfully sticky, crunchy, sweet, and savoury combination that you really can’t help gorge yourself on.
Make this recipe a day or two ahead!
Over the years I have figured out not only is this a comforting home meal, it is perfect for mid week entertaining. You can make all the elements of this dish a day or two ahead.
The sticky caramelised sauce can be made up to a week ahead of time. Store it in a clean glass jar or airtight container in the fridge. It can also be frozen in a container or zip lock plastic bag.
The oven baked (roast) pork can be made two days ahead and stored wrapped in the fridge. Cut it into bite sized pieces the day you are making the stir fry.
As you can see all the time consuming work is easily prepped ahead of time. Now all you need to do is make a restaurant quality pork belly stir fry when you are ready to feed your guests.
Oven Baked (Roasted) Pork Belly
A little secret between us. You can cheat on the pork belly element of this recipe. Instead of roasting it yourself, buy it from your local Asian BBQ meats shop. The ones where you see the roasted ducks and red coloured bbq pork hanging in the window.
If you are cooking the pork belly from scratch have you considered using an air fryer? You can air fry pork belly just like air frying pork loin for perfect crackling and juicy tender meat.
Choose pork belly that has a nice meat ratio and isn't all fat.
Pork Belly Stir Fry Ingredients
A full printable recipe card can be found at the end of this post with recipe ingredient measurements and method.
- Pork Belly: Ask your butcher to remove the bones and score the skin for you.
- Olive oil: You can use your favourite mild tasting oil.
- Salt and Pepper: For salting the pork skin and seasoning.
- Peanut or Vegetable oil: To stir frying the pork belly.
- Red Chili: I use a long red chili, but you could use a couple of short red chilies. If you can't eat chili, it is okay to leave it out.
- Garlic: Whole cloves finely chopped or crushed. You can use pre crushed/chopped garlic from a jar.
- Ginger: Either freshly grated or pre-grated from a jar or tube.
- Long Beans: Very long green beans often sold in bunches. In Australia they are also known as snake beans, please see long bean section below.
- Brown Sugar: Adds the caramel element to the sauce, dark palm sugar can also be used.
- Red Wine Vinegar: For the tang element to the sauce. Can be substituted with sherry, but not balsamic.
- Star Anise: Whole star anise is used. It can't really be subsituted. Is available at most supermarkets and all Asian grocers.
- Cinnamon: Whole quills/sticks are used in this recipe, do not substitute ground cinnamon as it will ruin your sauce.
- Chicken Stock: Homemade or store bought. You could also use vegetable stock.
- Orange: Choose heavy fruit for their size, as they will be juicer than lighter fruit. The juice and skin of the orange are used in this recipe.
Importance of Long Beans
Over the years I have tried this recipe with different vegetables, but none work as well as long beans.
Long beans are also known as snake beans, asparagus bean, yardlong bean, pea bean, long podded cowpea, bodi and bora.
I have tried common green beans when long beans weren’t available. Unfortunately, they don't retain their textural crunch as well and I feel don't work as well.
If you can't find long beans make sure you choose a vegetable that retains a lovely element of crunch when stir fried. In the past, I have used thick cut celery.
Try to avoid vegetables that are on the sweet side like carrots as the sauce itself has a sweet and savoury balance.
How to Make Pork Belly Stir Fry
Scroll to the bottom of the page for a printable version of this recipe.
- Prepare the pork: Rub pork skin with salt and set aside for 30 minutes
- Preheat Oven: 220°C/430°F)
- Roasting Pan: Line the pan with non stick baking paper.
- Remove Salt: After 30 minutes wipe salt and excess moisture from the pork belly with paper towel.
- Massage: Massage a little olive oil into the skin with your fingers. Sprinkle with a little extra salt.
- Into the Pan: Place pork in roasting pan skin side down. Drizzle some olive oil over the facing up meat side of the pork and season.
- Into the Oven: Place in the oven and roast for 40 minutes.
- Reduce Oven Temperature: After 30 minutes reduce the oven temperature to 160 deg°C/320°F. Turn your pork over in the roasting pan so it is now skin side up.
- Keep Roasting: For another 1 ½ hours.
- Turn Temperature Up: Turn oven temp up to 190°C/375°F cook until your skin has become crisp crackling.
- Remove from Oven: Allow to cool and make the sauce.
- Chop: Place pork skin side down on a chopping board and cut pork into 4cm cubes. Set aside until required.
- Get the Wok: Place wok over medium heat and add vegetable oil.
- Add: Chilli, garlic and ginger.
- When Fragrant: Add snake beans.
- Stir Fry: For a few minutes, then add pork belly. Cook for another minute or two.
- Add: Orange caramel sauce. Cook for a further few minutes stirring continuously until pork is well coated in the caramel sauce.
- Serve: With steamed rice.
Sara's Top Recipe Tips
The easiest way to cut pork belly is to place it on the chopping board crackling side down. This way you can slice through the meat, then put your weight behind the knife to cut through the crackling.
Cutting pork belly with the crackling on the top will result in a squashed mess.
If you have ever wondered why your pork belly isn't all even with a flat surface like in restaurants and shops. It's because you need to weight it.
Once the pork belly has cooked place it in a clean pan or dish crackling side up. Place a small chopping board on top, then weight the board with cans, or something else heavy.
Place the pork belly in the fridge over night to compress and even out.
Not long at all if you are using oven baked or roasted pork belly in the stir fry. As the pork is already cooked, you are basically heating it through and cooking the vegetables.
When somebody refers to twice cooked pork belly it means that the pork belly has been cooked two times.
The first time the belly could be oven roasted or braised in liquid.
The second time it undergoes a different form of cooking. It could be to crisp up braised pork or to add sauce and vegetables to chopped up oven baked pork.
Pork Belly Stir Fry with Long Beans
- 1 kg (2.2 lbs) pork belly | bones removed skin scored
- 3 tablespoons salt
- Olive oil
- salt extra & cracked pepper
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 long red chili | finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic | finely chopped
- 10 grams ginger | grated
- 1 bunch long beans | cut into 5cm lengths
Orange Caramel Sauce
- 120 grams (1 cup) brown sugar
- 80 ml (? cup) red wine vinegar
- 2 star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 250 ml (1 cup) chicken stock
- 1 orange | juice and peel
- Rub skin of pork belly salt and set aside for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 220 deg C (430 deg F). Line a roasting pan, big enough for your piece of pork belly, with non stick baking paper.
- After 30 minutes wipe salt from the pork belly with paper towel. Remove any excess moisture, ensuring the belly is as dry as possible.
- Drizzle skin of pork belly with olive oil and massage in with fingers. Place pork in roasting pan skin side down. Drizzle some olive oil over the facing up meat side of the pork and season with salt and cracked pepper. Place in the oven and roast for 40 minutes.
- After 30 minutes reduce the oven temperature to 160 deg C (320 deg F). Turn your pork over in the roasting pan so it is now skin side up. Roast for another 1 ½ hours. Then turn temperature up to 190 deg C (375 deg F) and continue to cook until your skin has become crisp crackling.
- Remove pork from oven and set aside to cool. While pork is cooling make the orange caramel sauce.
- Once cool place pork skin side down on a chopping board and cut pork into 4cm cubes. Set aside until required.
- Place wok over medium heat and add vegetable oil. Heat and add chilli, garlic and ginger. Once fragrant add snake beans. Cook while stirring for a few minutes and then add pork belly. Stir and toss for another minute and add orange caramel sauce. Cook for a further few minutes stirring continuously until pork is well coated in the caramel sauce.
- Serve immediately with steamed rice.
Orange caramel sauce
- Place a medium size saucepan over a low heat, add brown sugar and vinegar, stir until sugar has dissolved. Then add the res of the ingredients and increase heat until a hard simmer.
- Continue to cook for around 10 minutes until the liquid has reduced by around ⅔ to become a syrup. Remove peel, star anise and cinnamon from the syrup and discard. The syrup is now ready to use.
- You can cook your pork belly and make your orange caramel syrup the day ahead for this recipe. Keep both covered in the fridge until needed.