• Oh, how we love ourselves some crispy pork belly here at F&HE HQ. This recipe is what perfection looks like – a crispy rind and a delicious sweet and juicy meat on the inside! Pair it with a fruity, full-bodied rosé to complement the sweetness of the dish.

    Recipe and styling by Dorah Sitole

    Photograph by Vanessa Lewis

    Crispy pork belly with caramel vinegar recipe:

    Crispy pork belly with caramel vinegar

    Serves: 4 – 6
    Cooking Time: 2 hrs 45 mins


    • 1kg pork belly
    • 30ml (2 tbsp) coarse salt
    • olive oil
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

    • 125ml (½ cup) brown sugar
    • 125ml (½ cup) white wine vinegar
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 1 green chilli, chopped
    • 250ml (1 cup) chicken stock
    • juice and rind of 1 lemon
    • ¼ each red and yellow pepper, sliced into thin strips
    • 1 packet bok choi, to serve
    • steamed rice, to serve



    Preheat the oven to 200°C.


    Score the skin of the pork belly in a criss-cross pattern with a Stanley knife (a very sharp utility knife with a retractable blade) or ask your butcher to do it for you.


    Rub salt into the skin and set aside for 30 minutes. Wipe salt off with kitchen paper and dry thoroughly.


    Drizzle a large roasting tin with olive oil. Place the pork belly skin-side down in the tin. Drizzle with more oil and season. Roast the pork for 30 minutes. Reduce temperature to 180°C and cook for another 1 hour.


    Carefully turn the meat over and cook until skin is crisp, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven, cover lightly with foil and allow to rest for 15 minutes.


    For the caramel vinegar, heat the sugar, vinegar, cinnamon stick and green chilli in a small saucepan over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer gently for 5 minutes or until syrupy, stir in the chicken stock and simmer until slightly reduced, about 5 more minutes.


    Add the lemon juice and rind, and pepper strips. Simmer gently until thick and syrupy. Season to taste.


    Slice the pork and drizzle with the caramel vinegar. Serve with steamed bok choi and steamed rice.

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    Imka Webb

    Imka Webb is a freelance digital marketing expert and the digital editor of Food & Home Entertaining magazine.  www.imkawebb.com