What I found at...is a series that tests and vets intriguing store-bought foodie finds. It’s the mainland and global parallel to KaSnack Attack!, our series reviewing made-in-Hawaii snacks.
What: Sous vide pork belly
Where: Refrigerated section at Costco
Cost: $12.89 for two individual 1lb-packages
Q: Can sous vide pork belly take your weeknight meals from good to great?
I love pork belly done right. Anything less is just wrong. Those who have tried to hurry pork belly along know that this cut of pork needs time; otherwise, you'll end up with a chewy, tough and thoroughly unpleasant experience. If I make pork belly, it’s usually a weekend meal that I plan for days in advance and spend at least a few hours braising. So you can imagine how excited I was when I saw pork belly that was already cooked sous vide!
What’s sous vide, you ask? It’s a French cooking method that cooks foods slowly and evenly under a vacuum, usually in air-tight puches placed in a circulating water bath for hours at a specific temperature. In the end, it produces super juicy, flavorful and tender results. Often times, you'll just have to finish your protein with a quick sear in a pan. But really, who has the time?!
The package comes with two 1lb pouches with five slices each. At first glance, it may not look appetizing, but those who enjoy pork belly generally aren’t afraid of a little fat. I opened up one pouch and sent it straight to the pan to quickly get a taste.
And it was good! All I did was heat it through and seared it a bit. The packaging says that the meat is fully-cooked, cured, sliced and hickory-wood smoked. Holy porkiness, it was ono! But the best part is the endless possibilities. Pork belly is essentially chunks of bacon! It’s a meat that accents so many dishes and has so much potential to elevate something simple into something great.
I wanted to put pork belly on everything, and so I did, and they were all great. I was snacking on chips and salsa. I added the pork belly to it, and it was better!
I was going to make a simple pasta with marinara that night, but decided to add the pork belly to it, and boom, I got a ragu. I chopped the pork belly into chunks, sauteed, added the sauce, cooked down for a few minutes and my family dined like it was Sunday dinner.
Pork belly bao with hoisin and scallions, crispy pork belly sandwiches, Korean-style pork belly lettuce wraps, honey-glazed oven-baked pork belly, braised shoyu pork belly, the permutations are limitless!
A: Yaas! Make every night a Sunday night with this fast and versatile bit of porky greatness.
Check out the rest of our What I found at ... series:
What I found at Costco: 505 Southwestern street tacos
What I found at Costco: Acai bowl
What I found at Zippy's: Mochiko chicken mix
What I found at Costco: Ultimate Blueberry Margarita
What I found at Burger King: Flamin' Hot Mac n' Cheetos
What I found at Costco: Chocolate lava cake
What I found at Marukai: Milk tea that looks like water
What I found at Costco: Microwave pho
What I found at Costco: Raoh tonkotsu ramen