Sticky Asian style melt-in-the-mouth pork belly, stuffed into a soft brioche bun and loaded with quick pickled veggies and a jalapeno kick! This is one indulgent pork burger. Perfect for a weekend treat!
My sticky Chinese pork belly has long been one of the favourites on the blog.
I’ve made it for Chinese banquets, served strips of it on sticks for buffets (empty dish in 5 minutes flat – I should have made more!), a gluten-free version (just as good) and now I’m turning it into a burger!!
Can’t get enough of that pork belly ❤️❤️❤️
If you haven’t seen the original recipe, check it out here.
The pork belly is slow cooked for a couple of hours to make the meat melt-in-the-mouth tender.
After that it’s fried with a little oil and seasoning to make the edges golden and crisp.
Here's a pic of the pork at the frying stage (note: this image is of small chunks of pork from my original recipe, but keep your pork sliced into large pieces for the this burger recipe):
Finally, a simple sauce is added to the pan and bubbled down until sticky.
Layer upon layer of flavour!!
I decided to make a burger version as I made a triple amount of the pork belly last time, and it was calling me from the freezer – despite the fact it had only been in there a day.
Rather than serve up the same meal twice in one week, I went with a totally different serving approach.
Layered up with quick pickled veggies (carrots, red onion and cucumber), then topped with jalapenos and chilli flakes to give it a spicy kick. So delicious!
Can I make it in the slow cooker?
Yes, you can do the first stage in the slow cooker. You’ll need enough stock to cover the pork belly, then cook on low for 5-6 hours in a slow cooker. Then the final stage will need to be done it a skillet/frying pan.
Can I make it in the instant pot? (20 mins – 40 mins)
Although I haven’t tried it in an instant pot, some of you lovely readers have, and have shared your suggestions.
One reader found that the pork was tender after 20 minutes in the instant pot using quick release.
Another preferred to cook for 40 minutes in the instant pot for really tender pork.
Can I freeze it?
I’d recommend freezing after the slow cooking stage, but before the frying stage. Allow to defrost fully before frying, then adding the sauce. This means it should only take 15-20 minutes to make once defrosted.
Can I make it gluten free?
Yes, replace the rice wine with sherry (usually gluten free, but best to check), replace the stock with a gluten free stock, and replace the soy sauce with tamari. Still tastes delicious! I’ve served this up for 6 people (one gluten-intolerant), and everyone loved it.
The Sticky Belly Pork Burger with Quick Pickled Vegetables Recipe:
Sticky Belly Pork Burger Recipe
- 1 kg rindless pork belly slices - chopped in half - each piece being approx. the length of your index finger – you’ll need around 12 pieces altogether – 3 for each burger.
- 1 litre hot chicken/veg stock - use bouillon for gluten free
- 1 thumb sized piece of ginger - peeled and finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic - peeled and chopped in half
- 1 tbsp rice wine
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
Glaze: (Note 1)
- ½ cucumber
- 1 small red onion
- 2 small carrots
- 1 ½ tbsp granulated sugar
- 3 tsp salt
- 180 ml cider vinegar
- 360 ml room temperature water
- 4 Brioche rolls - toasted and sliced in half, use gluten free rolls if needed
- 8 lettuce leaves - – I used O’so Sweet lettuce
- 1 jalapeno - sliced
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- Add all the slow cooked pork belly ingredients to a pan (not the glaze ingredients) I use a cast iron casserole pan like this <--affiliate link. Bring to the boil, then place a lid on, turn down the heat and simmer for 2 hours (Note 2).
- Meanwhile, make the pickled vegetables. Use a vegetable peeler to peel the cucumber into thin strips, right up until you reach the seeds. Peel and slice the red onions thinly. Peel the carrots, remove the ends and discard. Peel strips from the carrots using the vegetable peeler.
- Place the cucumber strips into one small mason jar (make sure jars are spotlessly clean), the red onion slices into a second jar and the carrots strips into a third. Add half a tablespoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt to each jar. Divide the vinegar and water between the three jars. Place a lid on each jar and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour (they’ll keep for up to 2-3 weeks).
- When the pork is ready, turn off the heat and drain the pork and pat dry. You can reserve the liquid if you like (perfect for a Thai or Chinese noodle soup).
- Add 1 tbsp. of the oil to a frying pan, and then mix the remaining glaze ingredients in a small bowl. Heat the oil and add in the pork, salt and pepper, frying on a high heat, turning regularly, until the pork starts to turn golden. Now pour the glaze over the pork and continue to cook until the pork looks dark and sticky. Remove from the heat.
- Now it’s time to assemble. Open the brioche buns and place lettuce leaves on the bottom. Top with a few strips of drained, pickled carrot, then add the pork belly slices – 3 per burger. Add drained cucumber slices and red onion slices, the sprinkle on a few jalapenos and chilli flakes. Place the tops on the buns and serve.
Slow cooker: You’ll need enough stock to cover the pork belly, then cook on low for 5-6 hours in a slow cooker. Then the final stage will need to be done it a skillet/frying pan. Instant pot: (This is reader tested – I haven’t tried this myself). Cook for 40 minutes in the instant pot. . Can I freeze it?
I’d recommend freezing after the slow cooking stage, but before the frying stage. Allow to defrost fully before frying, then adding the sauce. This means it should only take 15-20 minutes to make once defrosted. . Can I make it gluten free? Yes, replace the rice wine with sherry (usually gluten free, but best to check), replace the stock with a gluten free stock, and replace the soy sauce with tamari. Still tastes delicious! I’ve served this up for 6 people (one gluten-intolerant), and everyone loved it. . Nutritional Information is per burger (yep, it's a calorific one!!)