Crispy Pork Belly with Stir Fried Cabbage and Mushrooms

Another easy recipe from my Gok Wan Cookbook. You do need to plan ahead, just to make sure the pork is good and dry before cooking, but other than that, it’s a doddle.

Crispy Pork with Chinese Spiced Cabbage (1)


  • 1 pork belly (or piece, mine weighed about .75kg)
  • 1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 heaped teaspoon Chinese Five Spice Powder
  • 1 teaspoon of ground white pepper
  • Sea (kosher) salt

For the vegetables (a Chica recipe!)

  • About half a savoy cabbage, shredded
  • 6-8 mushrooms, finely sliced
  • Soy Sauce
  • A teaspoon of fresh grated ginger
  • 2 cloves of crushed garlic
  • Light soy sauce

Dry the pork belly well with kitchen paper, prick the skin all over with a fork and score the meat and skin with cuts about 5cm apart.

Rub the skin with the vinegar and lemon juice and rub the neat with the Chinese Five Spice powder, the pepper and some salt. Rub the skin with salt and leave overnight (uncovered) on a grill tray with an oven tray underneath in the fridge or a cool place.

Return the pork to room temperature before cooking (about 2 hours in the kitchen). Heat the oven to 170 degrees C/325 F/Gas 3 and cook for about 40 minutes on its rack. Turn the oven up to high and cook for a further 25 minutes until the skin is crispy. Leave to rest for about 15 minutes before slicing. As you can see, mine didn’t crisp all over and I recommend popping it under a hot grill to sort this out. Or just eat and enjoy!

For the veggies, heat a little oil in a wok (I used a mixture of sesame and sunflower) and put the garlic, ginger, cabbage and mushrooms in and stir fry over a high heat until the cabbage starts to wilt.  If you like the cabbage softer, add a tablespoon or two of water and cover and cook gently for a few minutes.  Add a few dashes of soy sauce to taste and serve.

Chinese Leftovers Soup (1)

Leftover veggies can be added to stock, throw in a handful of noodles (I used angel hair vermicelli), spice it up with chili sauce and serve as a delicious next day leftovers soup. Add any leftover pork if you have it and don’t want a vegetarian soup, your choice.  Two meals for the price of one!


47 thoughts on “Crispy Pork Belly with Stir Fried Cabbage and Mushrooms

    1. We’re working today but have promised ourselves a day off tomorrow…hurrah! If you do ever come across this book I can’t recommend it highly enough as all the recipes are so “do-able” Have a great weekend too Mandy 🙂

      1. Amazing – that almost sounds like Jack Sprat 😉
        Great recipe and the pork looks delicious – especially the crackling!

      2. We are a bit like that…! A perfect relationship, we can hoover up leftovers from each other’s plates. Actually, it’s usually me doing the hoovering as I am a total glutton 😉

    1. Ah, me and my English words…! If you like doddle, you’ll love “having a bimble around”…that’s for when you’re having a “mosey” around the shops with no particular objective in mind!

  1. That sounds wonderful…As popular as pork belly is on restaurant menus and cooking shows, it’s really hard to find in supermarkets around here….tough to teach old butchers new tricks!

  2. Before I went vegan, pork was my most favourite meat. I still enjoy the smell of bacon and I adored pork crackle. I didn’t turn vegan because of my love for animals (although that’s entirely a great reason to do so…) I did it because my fat derierre was threatening to take over the world without my permission so I don’t tell fibs and say “Meat repulses me!” because it doesn’t. I am one of those vegans that other vegans huddle in a corner and mutter about behind their hands. My lifestyle choice is mine alone and so long as anyone elses meat is produced ethically, go right ahead and consume. We keep chooks and top the occasional rooster (2 ferals are pushing their luck at the moment and I can just about see the right place for the chop! 😉 ) and it doesn’t worry me to handle and cook meat for Steve. Pork is beautiful meat. The Chinese certainly respect it and give it the best chance to shine. Gok Wan is the hipster king of pork. That man can make it do anything for him. I don’t know if it is still the case but pork was the cheapest meat in the U.K. when we visited back in 2005/2006. We visited a lot of northern meat markets and aside from the alarming amount of offal produce (terrifying how many northeners eat those strange and weird things!), pork was always the cheapest choice. Belly pork is gorgeous folks. It’s silky and can be turned into the most incredible things. Forget “fat is bad!”…fat is most definately GOOD and if you use it properly it’s something to remember :). Pork fat is very easy to digest and a billion Chinese people (most of them skinny) can’t be wrong :). Love this recipe, LERVE Gok and love you for posting it 🙂 although I am probably going to get drummed out of the vegan confraturnity for slobbering when I saw that photo 😉

    1. Love it Fran! You are a meat eater respecting vegan 🙂 and I’m an everything eater vegan respecter! When I did my round the world trip a few years back, most of our time was spent eating an asian diet and I was the slimmest, fittest and healthiest I had been for a long time. Rice and pork seems to work for me 🙂 We too rear chooks and some of them are specifically for eating so that we know where our meat comes from. In Spain we eat our own chickens and local goat (we get to pick one out from the herds that wander past our track several times a day). In the UK I’ve been buying meat only from the butcher who (I sincerely believe) sells local, free range meat so we know where it’s come from and we know it hasn’t been pumped full of nasties.

      1. That’s the ultimate ethos Tanya, eating ethically raised sustainable meat and making sure that you give it respect. That’s basically what makes the world go round doesn’t it? 🙂

      2. Absolutely! And while not everyone can raise chickens or pick out a goat we can all try to buy locally grown organic produce and support the “little men”.

  3. Love your way of stirfrying the cabbage: I tend to use more carrots and red peppers and heaps of garlic doing a similar thing and have not tried it with mushrooms! Am laughing at language usage: rememberingI am European-born but Australian bred, well know ‘doddle’ and have used ‘mosey’ myself, but ‘bimble’ is one i have not met before 🙂 !

  4. I can get pork belly at the ethnic markets but it’s cut into pieces. I’ve not tried to cook it but dishes like this one give me the courage to try, Tanya.The cracklin’ sounds so very good and I’ll eat cabbage any way I can get it. Your idea of using the leftovers for soup is fantastic! I don’t have a problem at all with eating leftovers especially when they can be repurposed like this. Glad to read you’ve not much further to go. You guys have been working so hard that it must be a relief to see the end is in sight.

    1. Theend really is in sight now. We get our bathroom plumbed in tomorrow so it’s all systems go…so to speak! DO give the pork belly a try, the pieces are really good grilled (broiled?) or done on the bbq 🙂 Don’t forget to open the windows though…it can get rather smoky!

  5. I love pork belly but The Management doesn’t eat ANY of the bits of fat in meat. At all. And I can’t stand watching the forensic dissection going on on his plate so pork belly is one of my ‘eat out’ treats. Otherwise I would be all over this recipe! Eat some for me Tanya 🙂

  6. I’ve read about using vinegar on the skin but I’ve never tried it. I jus use salt and a blow torch if it’s not crispy enough. PS you have a typo in the second paragraph 🙂

  7. I have to say that most of the pork belly dishes I’ve had (in restaurants) were not balanced to the amount of fat involved with the belly. This sounds like a lovely way to cook and spice the belly (five spice being a fave of mine) and have the cabbage and mushroom benefit, and perhaps sort of cut…but for sure balance, the fat. I LIKES IT! 🙂

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