Pork belly is a family favorite worldwide. It can be served to the family for Sunday lunches, dinner during the week, or friends and family during social gatherings, so it is only understandable that you want to find a keto-friendly recipe so that you don’t miss out.
Although keto is a diet full of rules and regulations that must be followed in order for the diet to work correctly, that doesn’t mean that you have to feel restricted. Over the years, people have tweaked and changed their favorite recipes to make them perfect for keto, and pork belly certainly is one of those dishes that has hundreds of keto variations.
I have compiled a list of my favorite keto pork belly recipes for you to choose from. Save this post in your favorites so that you always have a pork belly recipe to hand and some side dish suggestions to go with it for every occasion.
You will also find some keto diet tips and tricks and what not to do when you are on the keto diet at the bottom of the article to help you on your weight loss journey. Enjoy!
Sweet and spicy sticky pork belly bites are super tender and juicy, with a very crispy crackling that perfectly fits a simple, fresh side dish. I love this recipe because it uses a brilliant method for cooking the pork belly so that the meat doesn’t get overcooked and rubbery, and the fat on top gets crispy enough to eat.
This is the keto version of a Sunday roast classic. One of the perks of being on keto is that you can eat as much crackling as you like and still stay on track with your diet.
Cooking a large piece of pork belly to perfection is very difficult. You have to be careful not to undercook the pork belly; otherwise, it will be unsafe for consumption.
Overcooked meat is very hard to swallow, and let’s not forget getting the right texture on the crackling on top!
This recipe keeps it simple and focuses on keeping the meat succulent and crispy. Give it a go if you want to make a reminiscent dish and follow the instructions in this post.
Pork belly is a staple ingredient in the Asian kitchen and is transformed from sweet to sour to spicy throughout the Asian kitchen. This recipe is packed with flavor, and the marinade can even be cooked to make a reduction that you can serve with the pork.
This recipe is a great one to save to your keto favorites, especially if you are looking for a marinade recipe for white meat such as pork. The marinade can even be used for chicken dishes if you fancy a change.
This Japanese braised keto pork belly recipe takes a while to make. It is super tasty and will leave you wanting more at the end of your meal, but it isn’t something that you can rustle up in 15 minutes, and therefore it is a good idea to slot it into your meal plans for the week.
With only 15 minutes of preparation time, you can prep the meat and start cooking it in the morning so that it is ready for lunch. If you want to indulge in a butter-soft pork belly with less than 0.5 grams per bite, this is the pork belly dish to go for.
Not only is this pork belly dish packed with flavor, it melts in your mouth, making every bite taste better than the first. What makes this keto pork belly recipe so great? Well, the contrast in flavors between the buttery fat, soft meat, and tangy marinade makes the pork belly feel like a whole meal in itself.
I love making this for dinner on busy workdays as you can throw the ingredients together in less than 10 minutes and pop it into the slow cooker so that it will be ready by the time you get home.
Not only is it super convenient, but having dinner as soon as you come through the door will stop you from snacking.
If you have been on the keto diet for quite some time, then you probably have an air fryer at home. This is your chance to get the air fryer out and make yourself some spicy maple pork belly bites.
This recipe keeps it simple and uses only eight ingredients. Easy, convenient, and ready in no time. Does it get much better than that?
Keto Side Dishes for Pork Belly
Eating pork belly alone isn’t a very rounded and healthy dish, especially when you are maintaining a healthy lifestyle. As you can see from the recipe list above, pork belly can be paired with so many interesting and potent flavors that it can be difficult to think of a side dish to go with your meal.
The following side dishes are fresh, interesting, and oh-so-indulgent. Take a look and see which of these suggestions go with the pork belly dish that you want to make.
Apple Celery and Walnut Salad
Three simple ingredients are sometimes all you need to make a nice, fresh salad. Raw celery, tangy green apples, and walnuts drizzled with a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar can be paired with traditional roasted pork belly or Asian-style sticky pork belly bites.
Roasted Pumpkin and Cabbage
Roasted cabbage and pumpkin go beautifully with pork belly. Although this is a roasted vegetable side, it won’t make you feel weighed down and lethargic after your meal. You can add pumpkin seeds to the roasted veggies to add a bit of texture to the dish.
Green Pea Salad and Crushed Peanuts
Green peas are super sweet and juicy, and crushed peanuts are dry and crunchy which is a match made in heaven if you ask me! Pair this side dish with simple roasted pork belly and crackling, and drizzle your favorite organic sugar-free peanut butter over the top for added flavor.
Broccoli and Spinach in Garlic or Mustard Sauce
Steamed broccoli and spinach are not only great side dishes for pork belly, but they are also packed with vitamins and minerals that are essential for you. This side dish goes with most pork belly recipes, and I suggest switching between homemade garlic sauce and tangy mustard sauce, depending on the flavors in the main dish.
Classic Steamed Vegetables
Steam your favorite vegetables and slather them in butter and salt and enjoy with pork belly. Don’t overdo it with the veggies and opt for greens rather than high-carb vegetables so that you stay in line with the rules of keto.
Cabbage, Kale, and Pear Salad
Fresh, crispy kale and cabbage and sweet juicy pear slices with a few nuts and seeds go well with pork belly bites. I like making a nice big portion and taking it to work with me. Just remember to keep the pork belly bites in a separate container to make it easier to reheat.
Keto Diet Tips and Tricks
Whether you are a pro keto dieter or a beginner, it is always good to refamiliarise yourself with dieting tips and tricks to help you stay on track. Following the keto diet is a fast-track way to lose weight and tone up, but you could just as easily put on weight if you get it wrong.
Here are some tips and tricks for you to follow that will help keep you in ketosis.
Keep it Simple
Just because you are on a diet doesn’t mean that you have to overcomplicate things and start making very unfamiliar meals that feel alien to you. Stick to the ingredients that you are confident in cooking with at first until you get the hang of keto, and then slowly branch out and try new things.
Stay Away from Temptation
Staying away from temptation is very difficult, especially if you live with a partner, children, or friends who are not interested in eating ‘clean’. Keep chocolate, snacks, bread, and other off-limits foods out of sight and out of mind.
Plan and Prep
Planning your meals and preparing for them properly will make you less likely to reach for the carby food. Go grocery shopping at least once every week and stock up on all of the healthy keto food you need to always have something to eat that is diet-friendly.
Eat When You are Hungry
Don’t let yourself get overly hungry, and make sure you snack on nuts and seeds and eat small and regular high-protein meals to stop you from getting hungry and reaching for high-carb food.
Similarly, don’t eat if you are not hungry. Eating for the sake of it will lead you to eat more calories than you need to.
Drink a lot of Water
Make sure that you drink at least two liters of water every day. If you are out in the sun a lot or have a very physical job, you might need to drink more. Water is the number one drink of choice, and having a bottle close by will stop you from reaching for sugary juices and fizzy drinks.
Choose a Keto Plan for You
There are a few variations of the keto diet, so if the hardcore restricting diet isn’t right for you, then you can follow a more relaxed keto diet. If you are thinking of starting the keto diet, start off by slowly eliminating non-keto foods and see how much you can really live without.
Common Keto Mistakes
Eating too Much Fat
Yes, fat is allowed on the keto diet, but eating too much of it could cause you to go over your recommended calorie intake for the day, which in turn will slow down weight loss. Cutting out carbs and eating a lot more fat in a short space of time can make you feel unwell.
This is called the keto flu.
Not Staying Hydrated
Drinking plenty of water speeds up your metabolism and cleanses your blood, but that is not all it does. Dieters are advised to drink plenty of water, especially before they dig into a meal, as more often than not, you think you are hungry when you are actually thirsty. Doing this and making this a habit will reduce your daily calorie intake.
Not Salting Your Food
Yes, you read that correctly. One of the most common keto mistakes is not adding enough salt to your food! Your body loses a lot of sodium when it is in ketosis, so remembering to salt your food is important for keeping it balanced.
Our bodies are very used to sodium, thanks to all of the processed, ready-made food that we eat, and changing our diets to all fresh, homemade food can make us feel off. Plus, well-seasoned food does taste much better, so it is a win-win, in my opinion.
Eating too Many Vegetables
Vegetables and fruit are healthy and natural, but they are not that great in high quantities on the keto diet. Keto veggies consist of dark green, leafy veggies that grow above ground, so stay away from root vegetables and anything beige for that matter.
Not Talking to a Dietitian or Doctor Beforehand
We might think that we know what is best for us, but unfortunately, that is not always the case. Keto is a very strict and restricting diet, which means that it might make you feel weak and unwell.
People with underlying health conditions should embark on their diet journey with the help and guidance of a professional. Doctors and dietitians are more than happy to help in supporting you on your diet, but it is your responsibility to be open and honest about how you are feeling about the diet in the process.
Do you want to know more about cooking pork belly? Here is a combination of the most frequently asked questions and their answers regarding all things pork belly.
Q: Is pork belly healthy?
A: Yes, pork belly is a great source of vitamins, minerals, and high-quality animal protein. Make sure you eat it with a healthy side dish and sauce to keep the meal balanced and good for you.
Q: What is the difference between pork belly and bacon?
A: Bacon is sold cured, smoked, and sliced, whereas pork belly is sold clean and ‘as is’. Pork belly has a thick layer of fat wrapped around the meat that is often turned into crackling.
Q: Why is pork belly expensive?
A: Pork belly is expensive in some areas due to a short supply and high demand. Pork belly has gotten a better reputation in the last couple of years, and where this cut of meat was once considered cheap and unappealing, it has now become one of the prime pieces of pork on the market.
Q: Should I leave the skin the skin on the pork belly?
A: Whether you leave the skin on the pork belly or not is entirely up to you. If you want to make your own bacon, you should remove the skin from the pork belly, but if you want to make crackling, you should keep the meat on the meat and store it in a crosshatch pattern.
Q: Why isn’t my pork belly skin crisping?
A: Pork belly skin and fat need to get very hot to become crispy and delicious. Try scorching the fat before cooking the pork so that you get the perfect cook on your crackling.
Q: Why is my pork belly rubbery?
A: Rubbery pork belly is a sign that the meat has been overcooked. Overcooked meat or meat that has been cooked at a temperature that is too hot for the meat is not going to be succulent and easy to eat.
Q: Should I salt pork belly overnight?
A: Yes, rubbing salt into the pork belly will help it cook and become juicy and crispy in all the right places.
Q: Does vinegar make pork skin crispy?
A: Yes, vinegar is a great ingredient for helping pork skin become crispy. A little bit goes a long way, so if you feel like your pork belly skin needs a bit of help, rub some vinegar over it. If you don’t have vinegar at hand, you can use baking soda instead.
Q: Does pork belly get softer the longer you cook it?
A: This depends on your cooking method. If you are cooking pork belly in a slow cooker, then yes, it will soften as it cooks. If you are cooking the pork belly in the oven, then it will dry out and become rubbery and chewy if it is cooked for too long.