Photo by Breonca Trofort
As with any meat, fat makes it taste better and that is why pork belly tastes so decadent. This versatile dish can be roasted, fried, smoked, braised, stuffed, cured and boiled (all delicious).
Chilled Porchetta with Boiled Egg, Chicory and Tuna Sauce (pictured)
Porchetta, traditionally an Italian street food, showcases the best parts of the pig: the fatty goodness of the pork belly, the lean meat of the loin, and the crackly skin. The Roosevelt frequently has pork belly on its menu, served in various ways. 623 N. 25th St., 658-1935. rooseveltrva.com
Crispy Pork Belly
What tastes better than something that's deep-fried? Peter Chang's China Café batters and deep-fries pork belly for a heavenly texture. When you bite into these thinly sliced pieces, you get the crispy bits and the slightly tender pieces all in one bite. 11424 W. Broad St., 364-1688, peterchangrva.com
Bourbon Barrel Smoked Pork Belly
If you want a flavor explosion, try this dish at Heritage . The smoky pork belly is served with sweet bourbon sauce, tart kimchi, spicy ginger, earthy butternut squash and salty peanuts, and it satisfies the entire palate. With the smells and textures, it's a sensory overload. 1627 W. Main St., 353-4060, heritagerva.com
Slow-Roasted Pork Belly
The meat of a slow-roasted pork belly is constantly basted by the layer of fat between the meat and the skin, making it incredibly moist. At Julep's New Southern Cuisine , the accompaniments of this dish are just as important as the main event. The tomato preserves, braised fennel and arugula add a pleasing sweet and savory taste. 1719 E. Franklin St., 377-3968, juleps.net.
Roasted Smoked Pork Belly with Grilled Pineapple and Port Wine Reduction
Chef Carlos Silva at Bistro 27 roasts this pork belly for two days and the effort shows, hence the reason why it's offered as an occasional special. The grilled pineapple and port wine reduction makes what is usually a rich dish light and refreshing. 27 W. Broad St., 780-0086, bistrotwentyseven.com.