Are you curious to know what is side pork? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about side pork in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is side pork?
When it comes to pork, most of us are familiar with the standard cuts like pork chops, bacon, and ham. However, there’s a lesser-known but equally delicious cut called “side pork.” Side pork, often overlooked in favor of its more famous counterparts, deserves its time in the culinary spotlight. In this blog, we’ll explore what side pork is, how it’s prepared, and why it’s worth adding to your culinary repertoire.
What Is Side Pork?
Side pork is a flavorful and versatile cut of pork that is obtained from the belly of the pig. It is essentially the same cut of meat used to make bacon, minus the curing and smoking process. Side pork consists of layers of meat and fat, and it is typically sold as a thick, slab-like portion. The fat content gives side pork its rich, savory flavor and makes it a favorite among those who appreciate the delicious combination of meat and fat in their dishes.
Cooking With Side Pork
Side pork can be prepared in various ways, making it a versatile ingredient in the kitchen. Here are some popular cooking methods:
- Pan-Frying: Slicing side pork into thin strips and pan-frying until crispy is a delightful way to enjoy it. These crispy side pork strips are often referred to as “pork belly cracklings” and are a mouthwatering snack or garnish for various dishes.
- Braising: Braising involves slow-cooking side pork in a flavorful liquid, which helps tenderize the meat and infuse it with rich flavors. This method is often used in recipes like Chinese braised pork belly or Italian porchetta.
- Roasting: Roasting side pork in the oven with seasonings or spices results in a succulent and crispy dish. Roasted side pork can be served in slices, similar to roast pork.
- Grilling: Grilling side pork allows the fat to render and create a smoky, savory flavor. It’s a popular choice for BBQ enthusiasts who appreciate its versatility in dishes like pork belly skewers.
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Why Side Pork Is Worth Trying?
- Flavor: Side pork is incredibly flavorful, thanks to the combination of meat and fat. It’s savory, juicy, and lends itself well to various cooking methods and seasonings.
- Versatility: You can use side pork in a wide range of dishes, from breakfast to dinner. It can be the star of a meal or a delightful addition to salads, sandwiches, and more.
- Economical: Side pork is often more affordable than other cuts of pork, making it a cost-effective choice for budget-conscious cooks.
- Cultural Variations: Different cultures have their unique preparations for side pork, such as Korean samgyeopsal or Filipino lechon kawali, offering a diverse culinary experience.
Side pork, the often-overlooked cut from the belly of the pig, is a flavorful and versatile ingredient that deserves a place in your culinary repertoire. Whether you’re a fan of crispy cracklings, succulent braised dishes, or savory roasts, side pork can be prepared in a multitude of ways to satisfy your palate. Its rich and savory flavors, coupled with its affordability, make it a delightful addition to your cooking ventures. So, next time you’re at the butcher’s shop, consider giving side pork a try and unlock a world of delicious possibilities in your kitchen.
Is Side Pork And Pork Belly The Same Thing?
Pork belly and side pork are the same thing. A pig’s belly wraps around the sides, thus how the two terms came to be synonymous. If you ask for side pork or pork belly from your butcher, you will get the same exact cut of meat.
Is Side Pork The Same As Bacon?
you ask. Well, it is essentially bacon before it becomes bacon–i.e. uncured/fresh pork belly (also referred to as pork side). While there are numerous ways to prepare it, below is what we do.
What Cut Of Meat Is Side Pork?
Side pork is pristine, no-ingredients-added pork belly, sliced up and ready to fry. We like to call it naked bacon because it comes from the same cut as bacon, but no ingredients or processing has been added to the meat.
What Is Side Pork Good For?
You can eat side pork plain, or make it into a sandwich with mayo, tomato, and lettuce. I generally eat it plain or in a sandwich, but I suppose you could use it for some recipes that call for bacon, depending on the recipe in question.
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