Sous Vide Sweet and Spicy Pork Belly

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time16 hrs 2 mins
Total Time16 hrs 7 mins
Course: Main Course
Keyword: pork, pork belly, sous vide, sweet & spicy
Servings: 4
Author: Bon Appetit

Equipment

  • Cast Iron Skillet
  • Sous Vide Immersion Circulator
  • Cooking Container

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs pork belly skinless, boneless
  • 6 scallions cut into 1" pieces
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp sambal oelek
  • 1 tbsp grapeseed or other neutral oil

Instructions

  • Clip (or stand) sous vide machine to a tall, large pot. Fill the pot with warm water to the height according to manufacturer’s instructions (keep in mind that pork, when added, will cause the water to rise).
  • Cut pork belly crosswise into 2"-wide strips (imagine really thick bacon). Place pork belly, scallions, honey, soy sauce, and sambal oelek in the bag and turn to coat.
  • Vacuum seal or partially close resealable bag, getting as much air out as possible to keep the bag from floating, and place in the water bath. If using a resealable plastic bag, push down into the water to submerge (this will push more air out of the bag) and fully close. To ensure proper cooking, the contents of the bag need to be completely submerged in water. Turn on machine and heat water to 165°F.
  • Using a small clip, secure the top edge of the resealable bag to rim of the pot, positioning it opposite the machine’s water outlet; as the water circulates, it will help keep the bag submerged. If using a vacuum-sealed bag, you may need to set a small plate on top to prevent floating. Cook pork belly, maintaining water bath at 165°F, at least 8 hours and up to 16 (letting it cook overnight is ideal, but you can start it in the morning for dinner later). Remove the bag from the water bath and let pork belly rest in bag 15 minutes (this lets the pork absorb some of the juices).
  • Remove pork belly from the bag and pat dry with paper towels. (You can also save the liquid left in the bag and use it as a dipping sauce or for making stir-fry.) Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high until very hot. Add oil and cook pork belly on all sides until browned and crisp (it happens fast, so don’t walk away), 1–2 minutes total. The honey will help the meat brown quickly. Transfer to a platter and serve.

Notes

Pork can be cooked in a water bath 4 days ahead. Keep sealed in bag and chill, or freeze up to 1 month. Reheat with sous vide machine at 100°F until warmed through, about 1 hour, before searing.