Pork belly is a fatty cut of meat from the underside of a pig. In the United States, it is the cut that is used for making bacon. Pork belly is a very popular ingredient in Chinese cooking where is is known as 五花肉 or 五花腩, lit. “five flower meat” or “five flower belly.” The “five flower” refers to the alternating layers of fat and meat. A layer of skin, also known as the rind, is usually attached to the cut and is considered very desirable. Most Asian meat markets will carry this item. If there are hairs on the skin, the butcher can remove these using a torch. In some Asian supermarkets, pork bellies can be found pre-packaged and cut into strips that are 1 to 1-1/4 inch (2.5 to 3 cm) thick. Use a crème brûlée torch to remove any hairs not removed by the butcher. If you don’t have a torch, you can use a razor, or a pair of fish bone tweezers. This is a tedious but necessary step.
Posted in: ingredients– May 1, 2013