So, I'm curing some bacon. But that's a post for another time (like when the bacon is done). I procured my pork belly from my local farmstand. A whole pork belly is about 10 pounds of meaty, fatty porkiness (see below). I decided to use the center section for my bacon experiment as it was about the same thickness throughout. I cut out about 5 pounds for curing and that left me with another 5 pounds to play with.
For my first foray into home-cooked pork belly I tried grilling. Whoa Nelly! What a success. We ended up with thick-cut, crunchy/chewy slices of pork meat laced with crispy strips of fattiness (even though almost all of the fat was rendered off).
I cut 8 3/4 inch slices off the pork belly and marinated them in fish sauce, brown sugar, crushed garlic and chile flakes. I didn't really measure; I used enough sugar and fish sauce to make a paste and then tossed in the 4 crushed garlic cloves and a few pinches of red pepper. I let that sit in the fridge for about 3 hours.
I grilled the slices over medium heat for about 30 minutes, and turned them occasionally. When they looked "done" (well-caramelized, most fat rendered off, sorta crispy) we ate them. I tossed some very thinly sliced shallot over the slices first. We ate the belly with brown rice, a vinegar-based cole slaw and tomatoes and cucumbers. (With that cut of meat, I need something healthy on our plates!)