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38 responses to “Chinese Bacon”

  1. Jeff Campbell

    This bacon is really good. The bacon in sweet wheat paste is also excellent; and steaming the resulting bacon then slicing it when chilled makes a great cold cut.

  2. Rachel @ Dog Island Farm

    I’m always on the search for new bacon curing recipes. We just bought a live hog and had it slaughtered, giving us about 30lbs in pork belly (287lb cut weight) so I have a lot of curing to do. I will definitely be trying this out!

  3. Victor

    Where can I find uncured pork belly without having to purchase an entire pig? Local butchershops in Napa do not have it…at least that I have found. I have asked the butchers themselves and they claim they don’t. I don’t mind driving to get it. Been wanting to do bacon for a good while now. Thanks ahead for any info.

  4. Jenn

    To buy uncured pork belly, try checking your local Asian grocer, mine always has it. I usually have decent luck at my Mexican grocer, too.

    Hank, quick question on the recipe. After moistening the pork with the wine, is the wine mixed into the rub, or discarded?

  5. Carolyn Warfield

    @Victor, pretty much every Asian market carries uncured belly. Ranch 99 in El Cerrito definitely does. If you want something a little more special, try Bledsoe pork at the Davis farmer’s market on Saturdays (Sacramento on Sundays). Fatted Calf ( could also supply, at a premium.

    Hank, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the idea of making this bacon–and then using it for some Hmong-style veg+meat dishes–but am thinking holding a smoker at 140 for that long sounds difficult. (I’m willing to sit nearby with a six-pack and ice-cubes, but I struggle to keep mine below 200, much less 150). What kind of setup are you using?

  6. Cork @ Cork's Outdoors

    I was raised on this as an expat kid in Singapore and Saigon–can’t wait to try your recipe with a fresh wild boar belly, Hank!

  7. Portland Charcuterie Project

    Great post and awesome recipe.

    I just recently made a similar recipe ( I added Chinese hot and numb powder) and it turned out fantastic.

    I just recently found your blog and l love it.

    All the best,


  8. Kim

    I can’t use nitrates because I react badly to them. What about making this then freezing the final product?

  9. Victor

    I’m sure I could at fatted calf, but like Carolyn said “at a premium”. Question is how much of a markup will it have. Thanks for all the info yall. It gives me avenues follow.

  10. Karl Worley

    I think I love you Hank. This looks amazing. I am going to try this as soon as I cam!

  11. adele

    My grandmother just gave me a small slab of this stuff! She has a friend from Sichuan whose family still raises their own pigs, and they make this bacon every year. My grandmother adds it to soup, but I like it cooked with greens and tossed with pasta.

  12. Mark Preston

    These people have the Sichuan pepper and Xio Xing wine at very reasonable prices.

    Wing Hop Fung (They sell over the internet.)
    727 N. Broadway Suite #102
    Los Angeles, CA 90012
    Store Hours: 9 a.m – 6 p.m.
    Open 7 days a week
    Tel: (213) 626-7200

  13. Carolyn Warfield

    Thanks, Hank. I’ll check out the Bradley. My smoker was a wedding present–and while I appreciated the thought, it’s not the one I would have chosen–so an upgrade is very appealing. Cheers.

  14. Liam Cashman

    I have a 3kg pork belly that I was about to turn into my usual smoked bacon, when I came across your site. Mate this recipe is right up my street and I am now going to use your recipe. Living in Australia I do not have a problem buying any cuts of pork and usually buy quite a bit when it is on sale, for making sausages and bacon etc, however your comments on the asian butchers is quite correct they seem to use much bigger animals giving large thick belles which are just perfect for bacon
    love your site this is my first visit but it will not be my last, thanks once again

  15. Michael

    Sounds incredible. Just got back from a trip to Thailand where I got a chance to learn about the cuisine before the introduction of chili peppers. It was heavily influenced by peppercorns (I’m guessing Sichuan may have a similar history).

    With a couple of minor alterations you could probably make a Thai inspired bacon based on this recipe:
    Substitute green peppercorns for the Sichuan peppercorns
    Palm sugar for brown sugar
    Pandan/screwpine and coriander seed for the cinnamon, clove & anise mixture. Maybe even a little turmeric but not too match.

    Unfortunately I’m a carnivore living in a vegetarian household so I can’t experiment myself. Maybe someone out there has done something similar and can tell me how it came out?

  16. Jeni

    hi Hank,
    Thanks for the recipe. Is this similar to the “Asian bacon” that they sell in shrink-wrap packages? they are often odd gnarled pieces and doesn’t have good fat distribution (big pieces of each).

    can’t wait to try these out. These looks great, stir fried over some leeks we got in the garden. yum!!

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  19. edwin

    luv ur recipe but wondering should i remove the skin ?

  20. fisch

    Just started this last night cant wait to smoke it. I tried making some NM red Chile bacon a while back it was good but couldn’t get it spicy enough.

  21. Michael Kay

    Hi Hank, Do you know how many grams of your salt you would use for this?

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  23. David

    Having made Ruhlman’s and Polcyn’s bacon a bunch of times, this looks like a great next thing to try. Love the idea of the star anise. Thanks!

  24. David Winton

    I recently found pork belly at Tara Firma Farm in Petaluma. Also, Bud’s Meats in Penngrove. Also ordered so e kurobota bellies on line, though I don’t remember the site off hand.

    Can’t wait to try this recipe. I have two teenagers who fancy themselves bacon experts.

  25. Joshua Carroll

    Can I substitute Prague Powder #1 or #2 for Instacure #1? If so, how much would the recipe need?

  26. Sam

    Mine’s been in the cure for about 5 days. I think it needs about one day more. Tasted it last night though and it’s really good. Also, I added about half an ounce of lapsang souchong tea to the cure.

  27. chanman


    The ‘Chinese bacon’ that Jeni refers to is probably ‘lap yuk’, cured dried pork belly. It often gets steamed or used with other slow cooking methods to reconstitute it, although some restaurants do have dishes that stir-fry it. I imagine they may have to soak it first as the original product is pretty darn dry.

  28. chanman
  29. Elgar Vaivars

    should I drain the juices every day when flip the meat?

  30. Mike

    Hi Hank, I am a new comer to making bacon and smoking it. I live in Thailand with access to cheap and very good pork bellies. I started to cure my own bacon about 4 months ago using a recipe off the net, I then started to add different things because my wife & I like spicy food. One of my favourites is, about 20 chopped up birds eye chillies, 10 minced cloves of garlic and 1/2 Tbs of molasses for each kilo of meat. I rub this on after the salt rub vacuum pack it and leave it in the refrigerator turning every 2 days for around 6 days.
    Rinse it and set it on a rack in the refrigerator over night to dry the surface. Then I smoke it in my reverse flow smoker using mango wood until I get 155/160 F internal temperature. The results so far have been fantastic with all or Thai friends and family asking me to do some for them. Anyway, now I want to try your recipe, will let you know how it turns out.

    Best regards Mike

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