It needs to be said that this is much more of a technique than a recipe but it is a technique that you definitely want in your cooking arsenal. Making Pork Belly Croutons is EASY and takes less than 15 minutes. Plus, these gluten-free and grain-free “croutons” add an incredible layer of flavor to everything from scrambled eggs to soup and, of course, salad. They also really work as a topping on those creamy, savory dishes that need a pop of texture. The possibilities are endless – truly!
Now, Pork Belly tastes awesome and if you like bacon, you don’t need me to tell you why. But what you might not know is that Pork Belly is relatively inexpensive, even for the really good stuff. I pay less than $2 for 1/3 pound and that makes enough “croutons” for 4 people. Not bad right?
Without further ado, here is how to make them…
- ⅓ pound Pork Belly
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- Pat the pork belly dry with a paper towel. Generously sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the pork belly into ½" cubes.
- Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Once the pan is very hot, add the cubes of pork belly making sure to spread out into one layer.
- Cook undisturbed for 5 to 6 minutes. Use a tongs to turn the cubes and continue cooking for 10 to 12 more minutes, turning 1 to 2 more times so that all sides are brown and crispy.
- Remove from pan to a plate lined with paper towels. Cool for a couple minutes, serve and Enjoy!
- Of course you can make more than 1/3 LB, just be sure to cook the “croutons” in one layer with plenty of room so they get crispy. This may mean multiple batches.
- These are best when served shortly after cooking (for maximum crispiness). This is not something I recommend making too far in advance or reheating as the croutons will be surely become chewy.
- I served this batch on top of my Roasted Butternut Squash Soup in place of the crispy leeks.
- Note that I deliberately chose not to brine or cure the Pork Belly as I want this to be something I can whip up at a moment’s notice to top a dinner salad or creamy soup. I also think that brining or curing the pork belly really just makes bacon. Not that there is anything wrong with that!