Pork Belly Tacos

Pork Belly Tacos

Food fads are generally followed by a backlash: an opposite yet equally fashionable trend suddenly emerges to balance the former. An example: A friend of mine, who previously eschewed anything with an iota of fat, recently extolled the wonderful pork belly dish she enjoyed at a local restaurant.

I have to agree with my buddy, pork belly is wonderful. The best taco I’ve ever tasted, bar none, was a $3.00 pork belly taco enjoyed at Big Star in Chicago’s Wicker Park-Bucktown last month.

Pork belly is a particularly flavorful part of the meat and utilizes the same cut of pork that bacon is made from. I prefer the ease of braising the cut , which makes it very tender and moist. A slab of pork belly is 3/4’s fat. But enjoyed in moderation it’s as silky smooth and delicious as fois gras, well, almost.

These days everything pork, including the squeal, is quite fashionable. And the closer you can get to purchasing pork from humanely-raised, small farm hogs – the better.

Pork belly is the essence of porkiness flavor; if you don’t enjoy a juicy, well-marbled pork chop, it’s unlikely you’ll enjoy pork belly. I however, remove half of the fat after cooking it, and savor small amounts, in moderation.

Recipe: Pork Belly Tacos


  • 2-3 pound slab pork belly
  • 2 cups shredded green cabbage
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 4-6 tablespoons your favorite salsa, such as tomatillo or chipotle
  • 6-8 (6-inch) soft, white corn tacos
  • 8 teaspoons crumbled queso fresca
  • 2 tomatoes, washed, cored and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro


  1. With a sharp knife, lightly score pork belly on the fat side by making 1/6-inch slashes in 4 places. Season both sides of belly with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. In a heavy-bottomed pan or Dutch oven large enough to accommodate the pork, over high heat, sear pork until golden brown on each side.
  2. Add water to cover up to 3/4 pork. Cover with a tight fitting lid or aluminum foil and simmer 1 1/2 hours. Remove lid, taking care not to let the steam burn you, turn pork over, and add additional water if depleted. Cover and continue simmering until pork is easily shredded with a fork. Let cool several minutes in cooking liquid then remove from liquid to carving board, and cut or shred into small pieces, removing or retaining as much fat as desired.
  3. Combine shredded cabbage with lime juice. Toss pork belly with 4 tablespoons salsa, adding additional salsa and kosher salt to taste.
  4. In a dry skillet, cast iron preferred, heat the tortillas over medium-low heat until they are softened. Wrap in aluminum foil until ready to use.
  5. To make the tacos, in this order, divide the cabbage, pork belly, queso fresco, tomatoes and cilantro over each taco and serve.

Time to braise pork: 3-4 hours, mostly unattended

Number of servings (yield): 6-8 tacos

Copyright © Peggy Lampman’s dinnerFeed.

More Recipes Filed Under "Feed Your Party"

I welcome your comments!(This site was recently transferred but, unfortunately, I did not have privileges to include past comments. I would love to see a conversation started!)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *