Pork Belly BLT with Cherry Tomatoes Recipe

Nick Kindelsperger

Let's say you want a BLT, except it's not quite peak tomato season and you only have a slab of raw pork belly, not bacon. That's the terrible dilemma I faced this week when I was struck with an uncontrollable urge for a BLT, but without all the ingredients to execute it flawlessly. Was that going to stop me? Of course not. I just had to get creative.

While I lacked big red tomatoes to slice, I was flush with little cherry ones. Instead of leaving them whole, I took a trick from Kenji's recent pico de gallo post: the small tomatoes are chopped, tossed with salt, and left in a colander for 20 minutes. Water is drawn out and they intensify in flavor.

Any dreams of thick slabs of succulent pork belly disappeared once I realized how long it would take to render all that fat. I didn't have three hours to dedicate to the slow roasting process. Fortunately, I remembered that I've used pork belly in some quick stir-fry recipes before. All I needed to do was slice the pork belly very thin and cook it until well browned.

The result is an amped up BLT experience, one that feels a little saltier and more unhinged. It's not necessarily better, but the mix of textures provides a different experience for BLT aficionados like me.

Recipe Facts

Active: 30 mins
Total: 30 mins
Serves: 4 servings

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  • 1/2 pound cherry tomatoes, stems removed, quartered

  • Kosher salt

  • Black pepper

  • 1/2 pound pork belly, sliced into 1/4-inch thick pieces

  • 8 slices bread, toasted

  • Mayonnaise

  • 8 leaves green lettuce (iceberg, Romaine, green leaf)


  1. Season cherry tomatoes with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and toss in a strainer or colander set over a bowl. Let drain for at least 20 minutes. Discard liquid in the bowl.

  2. Meanwhile, heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Season pork belly with salt and pepper and cook, flipping often, until browned on both sides and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels.

  3. Construct the sandwiches: Spread an even layer of mayonnaise on one side of each slice of bread and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Divide the lettuce, pork belly slices, and cherry tomatoes evenly on 4 of the slices, and then top each with a slice of bread, mayonnaise-side down. Serve.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
361 Calories
21g Fat
27g Carbs
15g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 361
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g 27%
Saturated Fat 5g 26%
Cholesterol 42mg 14%
Sodium 532mg 23%
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 15g
Vitamin C 10mg 52%
Calcium 91mg 7%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 357mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)