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This pork belly sandwich is out-of-this-world delicious! It's crispy strips of pork belly, spicy chipotle mayo, marinated tomatoes, and tender lettuce layered between slices of toasted sourdough bread. It's a simple sandwich with big flavors and it's ready in an hour!
Are your tastebuds ready for the best pork belly sandwich ever? This is a seriously delicious sandwich filled with incredible flavors and crunch.
It's a simple sandwich to make, but the key here is using good ingredients. Crispy pork belly, our homemade spicy chipotle mayo, juicy tomatoes, and crunchy lettuce layered between slices of toasted sourdough bread.
If you've been hesitant to make pork belly at home, it's actually very easy to do. Just slice it, season it, and bake it until it's crispy for a super succulent spin on the classic BLT.
Marinating the tomatoes is an easy trick we picked up from NY Times Cooking. If you're like us and don't have access to juicy summer tomatoes year-round, marinating them is a game-changer. It brings those bland winter tomatoes to life!
What is a pork belly sandwich?
A pork belly sandwich is basically a BLT that uses pork belly in place of regular bacon. Pork belly is uncut slabs of the same meat that bacon is made from, so they are essentially the same thing, just presented differently.
Pork belly sandwich ingredients
This pork belly sandwich recipe is all about good ingredients. Here's everything you need to make the pork belly:
- Skinless pork belly – pork belly is a relatively inexpensive but delicious cut of meat. The easiest way to slice it is to turn it upside down so that the meaty part is on top. You can also buy slices of pork belly at the butcher.
- Seasonings – we use a tasty mix of sweet paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, brown sugar, sea salt, and pepper.
Here's what you need for the sandwich:
- Tomatoes – in the summer, hit up the farmer's market for the best tomatoes you can get your hands on. Pick up some large or beefsteak tomatoes if you can One the vine tomatoes also work well. Scroll down for how to make delicious marinated tomatoes, NY Times Cooking-style!
- Red wine vinegar – red wine vinegar is tangy with a subtle sweetness.
- Olive oil – any extra-virgin olive oil will do the trick.
- Salt + black pepper – for seasoning.
- Sourdough bread (or sandwich bread) – sourdough bread is always a great choice, but any sliced sandwich bread will work. We butter it and toast it for more flavor and crunch.
- Butter lettuce and chipotle mayo – butter lettuce leaves are extra tender with the right amount of crunch and chipotle mayonnaise adds flavor and a bit of heat. If you don't like heat, use regular mayonnaise instead.
How to make a pork belly sandwich
Pork belly sandwiches are a tasty spin on the traditional BLT. They're delicious for lunch or dinner and taste great with lots of different side dishes. Here's how we make them in a few simple steps:
- Season the pork belly strips and bake them until they're dark golden and crispy.
- Meanwhile, slice the tomatoes and drizzle them in red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Butter one side of each slice of bread and toast it in a frying pan.
- Assemble your sandwich by layering on chipotle mayo sauce, pork belly slices, lettuce, and tomato. That's it!
Tips for making the best pork belly sandwich
- Marinate the tomatoes – to make this the absolute best pork belly BLT, use a technique we learned from NY Times Cooking. They taught us to marinate tomato slices in vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper for a few minutes. This trick magically transforms winter tomatoes into something irresistible. But even if you're lucky enough to have vine-ripened summer tomatoes, you'll still want to marinate them for the best results.
- Toast the bread – sandwiches are all about texture, and toasting the bread before assembling the sandwich adds an awesome and satisfying crunch and buttery flavor.
- Add chipotle mayo – our homemade chipotle mayo is a creamy, spicy, and smoky condiment. We slather it on both sides of the sandwich to take it up a delicious notch.
What to serve with a pork belly sandwich
Can I use leftover pork belly?
Yes! While there's nothing more delicious than freshly baked pork belly, it tastes great reheated, too. Warm it up in a frying pan with a little bit of oil and heat it for a few minutes on each side.
How long does leftover pork belly last?
You can store leftover pork belly in your fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Can I use bacon instead?
Of course! We love the succulent taste of pork belly but bacon works too if that's what you have on hand. You can also try our much-loved bacon sandwich!
The Pork Belly
- 1 lb skinless pork belly (cut into ½ inch strips)
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- ½ teaspoon EACH: onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, and brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon EACH: salt and pepper
- 2 large tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon EACH: red wine vinegar and olive oil
- 1 pinch EACH: salt and pepper
- 8 slices sourdough sandwich bread (buttered)
- Butter lettuce and chipotle mayo (to serve)
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Sprinkle the spices evenly over the pork belly strips then arrange them in a single later on the baking sheet. Bake the pork belly strips for 30 minutes. Turn them over and then continue to cook them for another 20-30 minutes, until they're dark golden brown and crispy – SEE NOTES. Let them cool slightly before using them in the sandwich.1 lb skinless pork belly, 1 teaspoon sweet paprika, ½ teaspoon EACH: onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, and brown sugar, ¼ teaspoon EACH: salt and pepper
- Slice the tomatoes and place them on a rimmed plate. Pour the vinegar and olive oil over the tomatoes and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.2 large tomatoes, 1 tablespoon EACH: red wine vinegar and olive oil, 1 pinch EACH: salt and pepper
- Butter one side of each piece of bread and toast them, buttered side down, in a frying pan over medium heat.8 slices sourdough sandwich bread
- To assemble the sandwiches, liberally spread chipotle mayo on the bread then top with pork belly slices, lettuce, and slices of tomato.Butter lettuce and chipotle mayo
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.