Trader Joe’s Pork Belly Brown to Crisp and Serve and it’s Fully Cooked! Here is another new of one from the latest Fearless Flyer (February 2014). Pork Belly is in my humble opinion the tastiest part of the pig. Melt in your mouth goodness. Trader Joe’s claims that Pork Belly is the new bacon. I would argue with that because bacon is so entrenched in the USA as a breakfast food that I doubt people will be changing things up so quickly. Having said that, pork belly and bacon are (in the USA) essentially the same cut of from the belly of the pig. Bacon can be from the back in other countries. Bacon undergoes more processing like curing, aging and smoking. Pork belly is pretty much straight from the pig. Although I think that Trader Joe’s had added some salt. The big thing that Trader Joe’s has done with this pork belly is they’ve cooked it. I’m not sure how they did it without rendering all the fat out of the belly. In the past, I’ve only rarely had pork belly. It’s just not something that I go out of my way to buy. The asian market near where I work has big slabs of it hanging next to the duck in the hot case. That stuff is fricking amazing. I have to stay away from it because I could eat pounds of that stuff.
So what you have from Trader Joe’s is a slab of pork belly that’s been fully cooked. But you don’t really want to eat it straight out of the box. As we all know with bacon is that it needs to be cooked one more time! Trader Joe’s suggests that you either brown up the whole piece, or cut it into slices like bacon and fry it up in a skillet. I choose the later. I cut it into slices and put it in the skillet until fully browned on both sides. Just a couple of minutes. Less time than bacon to prepare.
As I mentioned, I really love pork belly (in all it’s forms!) and this is no exception. This stuff is melt in your mouth goodness. The meaty parts are super tender and the fat just dissolves on your tongue. It’s a product that’s used in many cuisines around the world and I can see it in many different applications. Chop it up into small cubes and brown it and put it on a salad or thin slices browned and make a sandwich out of it! What I don’t recommend is eating a whole chunk of it at one sitting! I really, really like this Trader Joe’s Fully Cooked Pork Belly. I will probably buy it again just to figure out what I can make with it. I am going to give Trader Joe’s Pork Belly 9 Bells!