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What's the story with pork belly?

svirgula

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Seems to be one of the new food rages this year, I think it's due to the proliferation of Izakaya type establishments and more Chinese places putting it on their 'mainstream' menus. Never had it, supposed to be pretty good; what's it like? Pork belly kinda just sounds like a big gob of gristle to me, so I'm not sure.

And over and above that, would you smoke it?
 
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SmokinAl

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Pork belly is used for making bacon. First it is cured, then smoked. I don't know how the Chinese use it.
 

pops6927

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Pork belly is just that - the belly of the pig.  Also known as 'sidepork'.  Had it for years and years.  Uncured, unsmoked bacon.  There are 3 stages to belly:

1) Sidepork  - fresh pork belly, no additives, fresh pork product.

2) Salt Pork - sidepork that has been cured with salt/curing salt; still fresh raw product, but pickled

3) Bacon - salt pork that has been smoked and at least partially cooked (either cold or hot smoked).

This is where it comes from:

 

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