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a plate of crispy pork belly with green beans, snap peas and sesame seeds

Gingerbread Pork Belly

Tender, fatty pork belly roasted and seared in a gingerbread inspired hoisin sauce. Served over veggies sautéed in pork fat because we are being naughty this year!
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Asian
Servings 4


  • Roasting pan or sheet pan


  • 2 1/2 lb pork belly skin on and bone-in (you can also use a cut without the bone)
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt

Gingerbread Hoisin Sauce

  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce *can make your own, I used pre-made with molasses in it. If you are making your own, simply add 1 tbsp molasses to yours, instead of honey or other sweeteners
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg or to taste
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil *can sub for sesame or vegetable oil


  • 1 bunch green beans
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas
  • Pork fat (leftover from roasting)
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the gingerbread hoisin sauce, until thoroughly mixed. Pour 2 tbsp in a separate bowl and set aside. We will use this at the end for searing the pork.
  • Place the pork belly onto a flat surface and dry it off with a paper towel. Put it skin side up, and score the top with a sharp knife. Slice diagonally across the pork belly (about 1/4-1/2 inch apart.) You can score it the other way as well, resulting in perfectly cubed cuts on the pork skin, but I kept it simple and went one way. The purpose of this is to help the juices infiltrate the meat, and also cook the meat faster and evenly.
  • Once the pork is dry, sprinkle it liberally with salt on all sides.
  • With a brush or spoon, coat the pork belly in the gingerbread hoisin rub on all sides. You can also use your hands. Make sure every inch is covered, and leave some garlic on top. (This is excluding the 2 tbsp of gingerbread hoisin that you set aside.)
  • Place the pork belly skin side up onto a rack, in a roasting pan or on a sheet pan. If using a sheet pan, line it with foil, and create cupped edges so that it will catch the pork fat as it drips off of the rack.
  • Roast the pork belly for 45 minutes. Flip it and roast for another 35 minutes, until the internal temp is at least 145-150.
  • Let the pork belly rest 10 minutes.
  • While the pork belly is resting, season another pan with some of the pork fat. Add the vegetables and sauté for 7-8 minutes, or until preferred doneness. Set them aside.
  • Flip the pork belly skin side down, and find the bones on the opposite surface. Slice horizontally to remove the bones of the pork belly. Put it back on the roasting rack skin side up, and roast for another 10-15 minutes. Internal temp should be about 160-170 when you are done. Let it rest another 10 minutes.
  • Slice into 1-inch thick strips, across the pork belly.
  • Season a skillet with the rest of the pork fat and the remaining hoisin gingerbread marinade. Sear the pork belly slices until crispy (4-5 min each side) and then remove from the heat.
  • Plate on top of the vegetables and sprinkle with more sesame seeds and red chili flakes. Serve immediately!
Keyword christmas appetizers, gingerbread pork belly, holiday appetizers, holiday pork, holiday recipes