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Thai fried pork belly recipe is so easy to make at home! The classic method used in Thailand ensures irresistibly crispy pork each time. Moo krob pairs perfect with jasmine rice and can be used as a protein in many of my stir-fry recipes.
After making this, check out pork belly chili, an easy fried pork belly recipe!
What is fried pork belly
Fried pork belly, often called moo krob in Thai cuisine, is a crispy dish made from pork belly. It’s beloved for its rich, fatty flavors and golden, crunchy texture. Typically fried and seasoned until tender and crisp, it’s a staple at street food markets.
Crispy pork in Thailand
Crispy pork belly, or moo krob in Thai, is an important part of Thai cuisine. It’s the kind of protein that can transform a dish from good to perfection.
In Thailand, we fry the pork belly as a whole until the outside gets deliciously crispy while the inside stays wonderfully tender.
Thai basil pork belly, or pad kra pao moo krob, is a staple on the street stalls of Thailand. It’s a fiery mix of fragrant holy basil, chilies, and garlic, all coming together with Thai crispy pork.
Pad kana moo krob is my personal favorite. My mom’s version with Chinese broccoli, tamarind sauce, and crispy pork was a hit at our former Thai restaurant. Paired with rice, it’s one of the best dishes you’ll ever try!
In Thailand, you’ll often find bite-sized pieces of crispy pork with a perfect balance of salty richness.
I love dipping them in a spicy sauce, like Thai sweet chili sauce. It’s a simple sauce made of chilies, white vinegar, white sugar, salt, and garlic, perfect for any home cook.
Why try Thai pork belly
- Crowd-pleaser: This recipe is not spicy – it’s perfect for the family and your next gathering and party.
- Crispiest pork: The technique used in this recipe offers the best texture and the crispiest pork belly you’ll ever taste.
- Protein-rich: Pork belly is delicious and a great source of protein. For a healthier alternative, you can simply fry pork belly in an air-fryer.
- Versatile: After making this recipe, you can use the pork belly slices in one of my stir-fries or enjoy it on its own.
Btw, have you ever tried Thai braised pork belly? It’s definitely a must-try, with tender pork belly that melts in your mouth!
For the exact measurements, please scroll down to the recipe card at the end of this post.
- Pork belly – Pork belly, with a 60% meat to 40% fat ratio, offers the perfect balance for a juicy bite. This cut provides a tender bite with just enough fat to melt in your mouth.
- White vinegar – The right amount of vinegar crisps the skin without overpowering the meat’s natural flavors. Be careful not to use too much vinegar, as it can make the meat sour and the skin too soft.
- Salt – Salt is great as a seasoning and helps for drawing out moisture, which is a key to getting that perfectly crispy exterior.
- Oil – Use a neutral oil with high smoke point for deep-frying, like vegetable oil or sunflower oil.
1. Score the pork belly: Make a large incision in the fatty part of the pork belly to help the fat render properly.
2. Boil the meat: In a deep wok or pot, submerge the pork belly in water and boil over medium heat for 15 minutes.
3. Prick the skin: Once boiled, take the pork belly out and continuously prick the skin with a fork; this helps render the fat and leads to a crisper finish.
4. Vinegar bath: Place the pork belly skin-side down in a dish and cover the skin with a very thin layer of vinegar for 20 minutes.
5. Frying: Heat oil in a wok or skillet, then carefully add the pork belly. Cover and fry each side for 5 minutes over medium heat, watching for splatters.
6. Cool and crisp: Let the pork belly cool, then fry skin-side down over high heat for 2 minutes with a lid on to achieve a crispy skin.
7. Rest and serve: Allow the meat to rest for a few minutes after frying to let the juices settle, then slice and serve.
Kitchen tools for Thai crispy pork belly
- Large pot or deep wok for boiling the pork belly before frying
- Colander or oil drain rack to drain after frying and boiling
- Baking sheet for resting the pork belly with vinegar
- Paper towels for patting the pork belly dry
- Frying pan or wok for frying the pork belly
- Cutting board and sharp knife
- Tongs for flipping
Thai fried pork belly recipe tips
- Choose the right cut of pork belly: Look for a balance of meat and fat for optimal crispiness and flavor. Avoid too much fat to prevent greasiness, and too little to keep the meat from becoming dry and tough.
- Generous salt coating: Apply a generous, even layer of salt to draw out moisture. This is an important step for making crispy Thai pork belly, enhancing the crispiness and flavor.
- Rest before serving: Let the meat rest for a few minutes after cooking, allowing the juices to redistribute, enhancing flavor and texture.
- Dry after cooking: Post boiling, dry the pork belly thoroughly. Pat it with a towel and let it rest in a colander to ensure it’s completely moisture-free.
- Ideal thickness: Aim for pork belly cuts about 1–2 inches thick, ensuring they’re evenly sized for uniform cooking. Let the butcher know what you will be using the pork belly for, and he should be able to provide you with the best cut for your intended use.
- Score the skin: Lightly scoring the skin with a fork or knife aids in rendering the fat and achieving that perfectly golden, crispy skin.
- Use vinegar: Resting the pork belly in a thin vinegar layer not only achieves perfect crispness but also tenderizes the skin.
How to serve crispy Thai pork belly
Serve with a side of jasmine rice as a stand-alone meal. Optionally, garnish with freshly chopped green onions and add a lime wedge for a zesty flavor.
- Pair with Thai vegetables stir-fry for a healthy side.
- Serve with a dipping sauce like Thai sweet chili sauce or prik nam pla.
- Use as a protein in one of my noodle dishes or Thai stir-fry recipes.
How to store moo krob
Let your pork belly cool to room temperature. Place it in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Reheating instructions: Reheat the pork belly in your oven for crispiness. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the pork belly on a baking sheet and heat for about 10–15 minutes, or until it’s thoroughly warm, and the skin crisps up again. Another option is to deep-fry it once more.
Frequently asked questions
Is Thai fried pork belly gluten-free?
Yes, if you ensure your seasonings and sauces are gluten-free.
More Thai pork recipes you’ll love
- Tom khem recipe (Lao braised pork belly with eggs)
- Moo yang recipe (Thai grilled pork)
- Moo dad deaw (Thai pork jerky)
- Moo ping (grilled pork skewers)
- Moo manao (Thai pork salad)
- Pad kra pao (Thai basil pork)
- Thai green curry pork
- Thai pork larb
Thai Fried Pork Belly Recipe
Thai fried pork belly recipe, perfectly crisp and juicy pork belly every time!
Make a large incision in the fatty part of the pork belly to help the fat render properly. Sprinkle with salt and let it rest for 20 minutes.
In a deep wok or pot, submerge the pork belly in water and boil over medium heat for 15 minutes.
Once boiled, take the pork belly out and continuously prick the skin with a fork; this helps render the fat and leads to a crisper finish.
Place the pork belly skin-side down in a dish and cover the skin with a very thin layer of vinegar for 20 minutes.
Heat oil in a wok or skillet, then carefully add the pork belly. Cover and fry each side for 5 minutes over medium heat, watching for splatters.
Let the pork belly cool, then fry skin-side down over high heat for 2 minutes with a lid on to achieve a crispy skin.
Allow the meat to rest for a few minutes after frying to let the juices settle, then slice and serve.
- Amount Per Serving
- Calories 1151kcal
- % Daily Value *
- Total Fat 66.8g103%
- Saturated Fat 28.6g144%
- Total Carbohydrate 0.3g1%
- Protein 114.5g229%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
- Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.
- Pork belly: Pork belly, with a 60% meat to 40% fat ratio, offers the perfect balance for a juicy bite. This cut provides a tender bite with just enough fat to melt in your mouth.
- Oil: Use a neutral oil with high smoke point for deep-frying, like vegetable oil or sunflower oil.