The pros: Trader Joe's Pork Belly was tender, flavorful fully cooked piece of meat ready in about 15 minutes. Subtle seasoning and nothing overpowering other than a nice pork flavor.
The cons: You should take this out for about half and hour before you want to prepare this to make sure its closer to room temperature before browning it.
The verdict: For $6.49 this is not something you'll be buying on a weekly basis, but it is a nice break from the usual chicken, beef, pork chop routine. Was nice to to have with a salad. Taste wise it is a hybrid between bacon and perfectly cooked tenderloin. There is a substantial amount of fat but its easy to trim away if you want to cut back, however this is the nature of this cut of meat.
The box in the refrigerated aisle:
The nutritional information:
How Trader Joe's describes this product:
How to prepare:
What you get in the box:
Most important thing here is making sure it is dried with a paper towel before putting it in a pan to brown. Without which you have no chance of getting a nice sear.
Cut up it looks like this. We cut ours very thin.
Would I recommend this? If you are looking to mix things up with lunch or dinner this is a good choice. It's flavorful, moist but a bit fatty. Yes, I'll buy this again.
Want to see more items I've tried at Trader Joe's? Click on Thoughts & Reviews of Trader Joe’s for a searchable list.
This looks pretty good and isn't something I'd try but I will now! Just out of curiosity, what else did you eat with it?
I had it with salad or would be a good appetizer.
The worst product Trader Joe's have sold to date. This pork belly is precooked.... meaning they boiled the s**** out of it. Nothing can save this. I tried to roast... pan cook... bake... and Lord knows what else. However, the pork belly texture is stringy and stew like texture. Totally processed. I'm very disappointed Trader Joe's felt the need to destroy the possibilities with how their customers can cook this pork belly. Also, it leaves a bad after taste due to the over processed 'precooked' preperation.
Hey Linda! Maybe I should go back and revisit this item (which I do from time to time). From my memory, it came in a plastic vacuum sealed back which might not mean it's boiled, it maybe prepared sous vide. Otherwise, there can sometimes be quality issues. So, thanks so much for the heads up on something I might need to revisit. Hope you'll stop by again and share your thoughts on other items!
I'm telling ya... this was DELICIOUS! Just now finished enjoying it. Prepared it carefully, rinsing, drying with paper towels... slicing a generous 1/4"~1/2" thick... pan frying on medium high... Just Like Bacon... fat rendered beautifully, steam evaporated... leaving beautifully browned, crisped pieces of glorious, melt in your mouth Pork Belly. Pre-salted perfectly to my taste. I highly recommend this product.
Hey Walt! Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing how you prepare this.
adobe blue says
The shopper above must have cooked the pork belly incorrectly, It fries almost like bacon and is super easy to prepare. Makes very good tacos. The key is to get a good sear on the fatty side so you get some nice crunch. It makes a bunch of tacos and keeps well in the refrigerator. I also cooked it in the over where you get an even better crunchy top layer. It is already cooked so don't overdo it, follow the directions.
It was delicious. My wife is Filipino and raved about it. Very Crispy Pata like. I used an electric fry pan and you should fry in oil (just add about 1/4 cup to the pan). You need to fry on all sides - don't move the meat - just leave it fry for about 5-8 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels and slice. We served with roasted potatoes and green beans and pork gravy on the side. In the Philippines I believe they would serve with white rice, vegetable and a liver gravy. Note: if you want it more crispy you can re-fry the slices in the hot oil after slicing.
Of course this is not a low calorie dish.
Hey David! Thanks so much for sharing how you enjoy this!
Peggy McLain says
I had mashed Potatoes and sauerkraut . I was delicious. Just fry the until fat is brown. Inside the meat is white and juicy..
Thanks for sharing Peggy!
My wife and I just bought this and it was precooked but I Lightly seasoned it with salt, garlic powder and pepper and broiled it on low for 30 minutes until the pork skin was crispy. It was absolutely amazing. Skip the pan fry it's ok, but broil it skin side up. It was crunchy with the soft meat underneath. It was great with a salad on the side and very juicy. Don't listen to the haters, they don't know how to cook.
Thanks for sharing!
Amanda Diamond says
Since this is already pre-cooked, can I cube it and put it in an egg bake?
I used this to make a pork belly fried rice. It was the first time I used pork belly and it made for a really nice subtle flavoring. Going to try tacos next!
Thanks for sharing Ronald!