Crispy golden vegan 'pork' belly using 3 realistic layers of bread, TVP slices, and coconut tapioca mixture. The vegan pork is crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside, and dipped in sweet soy sauce. The texture is realistic, as it stacks 3 layers of meat (using TVP), coconut 'pork fat' (coconut milk, tapioca starch, rice flour and water) and 'pork' skin (bread).
Crispy Pork Belly
Crispy Pork Belly is a popular Asian pork roast, with crispy and golden pork skin and juicy flesh. In Vietnam, we have crispy pork that is wrapped with rice noodles and lettuce and dipped in a sweet soy sauce.
After my Vegan Pork Belly recipe got popular, I wanted to challenge myself to make a vegan realistic version of Crispy Pork. There are a few variations to this recipe:
- It uses the baguette to create the skin layer
- Juicy and soft from the coconut milk mixture
- Incorporates some traditional flavors: 5-spice powder and soy sauce
- Fried in a lot of oil
Ingredients to make this recipe
- TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) slices
- Tapioca starch
- Rice flour
- Coconut milk
- 5-spice powder
- Corn starch
How to make Vegan Crispy Pork Belly?
There are 4 steps to making this Vegan Crispy Pork Belly:
- Making the Lean meat layer
- Making the Coconut 'pork' fat layer
- Making the Crispy Skin layer
- Assembling the Vegan Pork Belly and Frying
Step 1: Making the Lean meat layer
First, soak TVP slices in boiling water for 20 minutes.
Drain and squeeze out excess water from the TVP slices. Marinate the slices with soy sauce and 5-spice powder, then fry in oil until golden brown on both sides.
Step 2: Make the fat layer
The fat layer is created to have a sticky texture by mixing tapioca starch and rice flour, fatty texture from the creamy coconut milk. The fat layer will be in the middle and helps the layers stick together.
Step 3: Make the crispy skin using a baguette
If using a small baguette, split it in half lengthwise. If using a long baguette, cut it into a quarter and cut the quarter in half.
Take out some of the crumb (soft inner part) of the bread.
Step 4: Stack each layer of lean meat, fat, and skin on top of each other
The next task is to put the vegan pork belly layers together:
- Bread in the bottom
- Coconut ‘fat’
- TVP slices
- Another layer of coconut ‘fat’
- Another layer of dipped TVP
Brush the bread layer with a mixture of oil and 5-spice powder.
The final result should look like the picture below:
Step 5: Steam and refrigerate to keep its form
To keep the layers stick together, we first steam it for 25 minutes, then leave it in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
Step 6: Fry until crispy and add flavorful sauces.
After refrigerating, your vegan ‘pork belly’ is ready to be used. Cut into slices and fry in oil until crispy and golden!
How to serve the Vegan Crispy Pork Belly?
You can enjoy the crispy vegan 'pork belly' with a sweet soy sauce dipping sauce. The texture is crispy on the outside, soft and juicy on the inside. Alternatively, you can wrap the vegan pork belly in lettuce and dip with the sauce.
Vegan Crispy Pork
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 2 pork belly loafs (4 servings) 1x
- Diet: Vegan
Crispy golden vegan 'pork' using 3 realistic layers of bread, TVP slices and coconut tapioca mixture. The vegan pork is crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside, and dipped in sweet soy sauce.
Pork fat layer
- 100 g rice flour
- 120 g tapioca starch
- 200 ml coconut milk
- 300 ml water
TVP slices (Lean meat layer)
- 8 TVP slices (could be more, depending on the size of the TVP)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- ⅛ tsp 5-spice powder
- Oil for frying
- 2 tsp corn starch
- 1 small baguette (or ¼ of a baguette)
Sweet soy sauce
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp maple syrup (or other sweeteners of choice)
- 1 chili
To make the ‘lean meat’ layer
- Dehydrate the TVP slices by pouring hot water on them and letting them sit for 20 minutes.
- Drain and rinse and squeeze out excess water out of the TVP slices.
- Marinate with soy sauce and 5-spice powder, then fry in oil until golden and crispy!
To make the coconut ‘fat’ layer
- On a pan on low heat, combine the rice flour, tapioca starch, coconut milk and water.
- Keep mixing the mixture until it forms a thick white paste, that is very similar to pork fat. This takes about 5-10 minutes.
To make the pork skin layer
- If using a small baguette, split it in half lengthwise. If using a long baguette, cut it into a quarter and cut the quarter in half.
- Take out some of the crumb (soft inner part) of the bread.
Assemble the Vegan Pork Belly
- To make the vegan pork belly, layer the 3 layers together: bread ‘skin’ in the bottom, followed by a thick layer of coconut ‘fat’, ‘lean meat’ (TVP slices), coconut ‘fat’, and ‘lean meat’ tofu. The coconut ‘fat’ in between each layer will help the layers stick together.
- Brush the outer side of the bread layer with a mixture of oil and 5-spice powder.
- Wrap the vegan pork belly tightly with aluminum foil and steam for 25-30 minutes.
- Afterward, chill the vegan pork belly in the fridge for at least 4 hours or freezer for 2 hours (preferably overnight).
- Cut into thin slices that resemble ‘pork belly’ slices and fry in a lot of oil until golden crispy on both sides.
Make the Sweet soy sauce dip:
- In a bowl, combine the soy sauce, maple syrup, and chili slices (cut the chili into slices using a knife or scissor).
- Enjoy as a dipping sauce with the crispy pork. Alternatively, you can make lettuce wraps from the vegan crispy pork, rice noodles and dip in the sauce.
You can use fried tofu or vegan chicken in place of TVP slices. Note to dip the tofu slightly in a mixture of cornstarch and water to help the layers stick together better.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Main Course
- Method: steaming, freezing
- Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keywords: vegan crispy pork, pork belly