Japanese Seared Pork Belly

Experience the flavors of my Japanese Seared Pork Belly recipe! Tender pork belly is crisped to perfection and topped with Japanese-inspired garnishes for an explosion of authentic taste. With its simple yet delightful blend of ingredients, this dish promises to elevate your Japanese-inspired dinner experience tonight!

Japanese style seared pork belly being picked up with a pair of chopsticks, close up shot.

Why I Love This Recipe

My take on this Seared Pork Belly recipe is fantastic because it’s simple, delicious, and straightforward to make, and it’s my own unique creation! It’s all about Japanese-inspired goodness, with perfectly seared pork belly as the star ingredient!

What sets this recipe apart is my unique approach, combining proven cooking methods from my Boiled Pork Belly and Braised Pork Belly dishes to ensure tender, juicy pork every time, followed by the crispy searing technique found in my Crispy Asian Pork Belly recipe!

Topped off with zesty and sour umeboshi and garlic, this dish is a burst of Japanese flavor that’s perfect for anyone seeking an easy and unique way to enjoy pork belly. So why wait? Dive into this mouthwatering creation now and experience the magic for yourself!



  • Pork Belly – skinless and about 10-12 inches in length, 2-inch in width.
  • Japanese Sake – typically will come in a large bottle labeled junmai sake. Can also substitute with dry sherry wine or Chinese cooking wine, found at local grocery stores or Asian markets.
  • Salt – sea salt preferred.
  • Ginger – freshly and sliced julienne.
  • Umeboshi   Japanese style pickled plums.
  • Neutral Oil no taste or flavor with high cooking temperature. Some choices are sunflower oil, peanut oil, sallower oil, vegetable oil, and canola oil.  
  • Garlic – sliced.
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds – optional garnish.

🥢 Umeboshi Note

When selecting umeboshi for this recipe, you’ll typically find it available in three main flavors: Honey, Shiso, or Salted umeboshi, all readily found at Asian grocery stores. While we prefer Honey flavor, feel free to choose the one that best suits your taste preferences. Alternatively, you can opt for Ume Shiso Paste, conveniently available in a tube for added convenience and flavor variation.

Japanese style seared pork belly being picked up with a pair of chopsticks, top down shot.


Step 1 Start by bringing a pot of water to a boil. Add Japanese sake and a pinch of salt, then gently place the pork belly into the simmering water. Cover and let it cook for approximately 40 minutes over low heat, allowing the pork belly to become tender and infused with flavor.

Pork belly in a pot of water.

🍖 Boiling Pork Belly Pro Tip

For optimal results when boiling pork belly, use a Large Pot to allow plenty of room for the meat to become tender evenly.

Step 2 In a small skillet, pan-fry thinly sliced garlic without preheating the oil and cook until they turn a golden brown.

Garlic chip in a frying pan.

🧄 Garlic Chips Pro Tip

For a quick and efficient method to make garlic chips, Microwave sliced garlic with oil for about 30 Seconds. Be sure to cover the bowl to prevent any splattering.

Step 3 Once the pork belly has boiled, drain the water and cut into bite-sized pieces.

Step 4 Heat a large skillet with a drizzle of oil. Once oil is preheated, sear the pork belly on both sides for 1-2 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a serving plate and top each piece with a garlic chip, a pinch of minced umeboshi, and ginger sticks.

Seared pork belly garnished with Japanese toppings.

🌿 Garnishing Pro Tip

For an added touch, consider garnishing your dish with a sprinkle of Toasted Sesame Seeds.

Pairing Recommendations

Pair your meal with Japanese-style sides like a green salad dressed in Wafu Dressing or Japanese Miso Eggplant Stir Fry. For added warmth and flavor, serve a bowl of Japanese Chicken Soup or indulge in the unique experience of Egg Drop Miso Soup. Don’t forget a bowl of rice to complete the meal!

Japanese style seared pork belly being picked up with a pair of chopsticks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find umeboshi and other Japanese ingredients?

Most Asian grocery stores will carry it. You can also check specialty food stores or online retailers for a wider selection of Japanese ingredients.

Can I prepare this dish ahead of time?

Yes, you can boil the pork belly ahead of time, but we recommend searing it right before serving for the best texture and flavor. This ensures that the pork belly is served crispy.

What cooking equipment do I need for this recipe?

No special equipment is needed, just a large skillet and pot.

Storage Tips

To keep your leftover fresh and flavorful, store it in an airtight container in the fridge, where it will stay delicious for 5-7 days.

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Watch How To Make It

Japanese style seared pork belly being picked up with a pair of chopsticks.

Japanese Seared Pork Belly

This Japanese Seared Pork Belly recipe offers a delightful fusion of flavors, showcasing tender pork belly seared to perfection. Indulge in the savory goodness of this Japanese-inspired dish, perfect for satisfying your cravings for a unique and delicious meal.
5 from 7 votes
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Japanese pork belly, seared pork belly
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 8 Pieces
Print Recipe
Calories: 492kcal


Pork Belly

  • 1 1/2 lb Pork Belly 1 inch thickness
  • 1/2 Cup Japanese Sake can substitute with dry sherry wine or Chinese cooking wine
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp Cooking Oil neutral, no flavor or taste
  • 1/2 Inch Ginger
  • 2 Umeboshi
  • 1/8 tsp Toasted Sesame Seeds

Garlic Chips


  • Gather all the ingredients.
    Ingredients for Japanese seared pork belly.
  • Fill a stove-top pot with enough water to fully submerge the pork belly. Bring it to a boil and then add the pork belly, sake, and salt. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it cook for 40 minutes.
    Pork belly in a pot of water.
  • In a small frying pan over medium heat, add 1 teaspoon of neutral cooking oil and sliced garlic. Cook until browned on both sides, approximately 1-2 minutes. Then, transfer the garlic to a bowl. Note - no preheating of the oil is necessary.
    Garlic chip in a frying pan.
  • While waiting for the pork belly, cut ginger into julienne slices and set aside.
    Sliced ginger.
  • Mince umeboshi so it becomes nearly paste like and set aside.
    Chopped umeboshi.
  • After 40 minutes, remove pork belly from water, place on cutting board and cut into bite-size pieces that are about 1/2 in width. Discard the liquid.
    Sliced boiled pork belly.
  • Heat high-temperature neutral cooking oil in a frying pan over high heat. Once the oil is preheated, carefully place the pork belly, skin side down, into the oil.Sear for 1-2 minutes until a golden crust forms, without moving the meat. Then,flip and repeat the process on the other side. No need to sear the sides.
    Seared pork belly in a frying pan.
  • Once both sides are seared, transfer to a serving plate. On top of each pork belly, add in the following order, minced garlic, umeboshi, julienne ginger, and a sprinkle of Toasted Sesame Seeds.
    Seared pork belly garnished with Japanese toppings.


Calories: 492kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 49g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 319mg | Potassium: 161mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 9IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg
*Values Based Per Serving
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