Pork Belly Tacos

These pork belly tacos are made with slow-roasted spiced pork belly that’s cubed and fried until crispy. Not your average Taco Tuesday.

Four pork belly tacos garnished with cilantro and a jar of salsa in the background.

Baconnnnnn. In 20-plus years in the restaurant industry, you come across so many different ways to make pork belly, from sous viding to roasting to slicing and baking. My favorite way is actually roasting, which traps the flavor. The pork belly is crisp on the outside with juicy, moist, tender meat on the inside…pure yum!–Robyn Almodovar

Pork Belly Tacos

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 18 H
  • Serves 4
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Preheat the oven to 200°F (90°C).

Lightly score the pork belly by making gentle slices using the tip of your knife at a diagonal across the top of the belly.

In a small bowl, combine the salt, garlic powder, smoked paprika, cayenne, cinnamon, and cumin. Rub the mixture evenly on the top and bottom of the belly. Wrap the belly in foil twice.

Place the wrapped belly in a roasting pan and cook for 6 hours. The pork should be fork tender at this point, but if it’s not, pop it back in the oven and cook for 30 to 60 minutes more.

Remove the pork belly from the oven and let it cool in its wrappings for 2 hours. Place, still wrapped, in the refrigerator and chill for 6 to 10 hours. It is best to let it chill overnight.

Remove the pork from the fridge, unwrap it, and let it rest for 20 minutes. Gently pat dry, then cut it into 1-inch (2.5-cm) strips, then into 1-inch (2.5-cm) cubes.

In a medium to large sauté pan or skillet over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons oil. Wait 6 minutes to make sure the oil is hot, then sauté the cubed pork in batches until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side, adding more oil as needed for each subsequent batch. You can reduce the temperature to avoid burning, if needed. Remove from the oil and season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Nestle into tortillas and sprinkle with cilantro, if using. Top with your favorite taco fixins and devour.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

I was quite pleased with how this turned out and how much everyone enjoyed it. It was crisp and crunchy on the outside and tender inside. It was surprisingly easy to make with only a few steps to turn out something really fantastic. I served it with scrambled eggs.

We enjoyed the finished bacon but I’d also like to try other spice combinations. When I opened the foil from roasting the aroma wasn’t something I thought I couldn’t wait to taste. The flavor I think was enhanced by the frying. I would try this again but with maybe different spices to see if we enjoyed that as well.

This recipe makes for one delicious taco. Sinful, but delicious. This is not something that I can in good conscience cook every week, or every month. I am actually trying to figure out how often I should make this for us, but considering how delicious it is, I will definitely be making it again.

Mind you, it is greasy. This is pork belly after all. But, after chilling overnight in the double layer of foil, the pork belly is encased in the thick orange fat, which you can chip off and throw away. I cooked my 1-inch cubes in a cast-iron frying pan, and they crisped up beautifully. The shatteringly crisp cubes were fabulous to bite into in the corn tortillas that I had browned in another cast-iron pan. I served the pork belly with a selection of salsas, hot sauce, and sour cream to tame the heat. How delicious does that sound? Actually, at this moment, I am wondering if I can get away with making this every month.


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