Food - Drink
What To Consider When Substituting Bacon For Pork Belly
By HEATHER LIM
Most bacon in the U.S. is made from pork belly, but these two kinds of meat can't always be swapped in for each other in recipes. Firstly, bacon has undergone a curing process to make it smoky and is often sold in strips, while pork belly is just raw, fresh meat from the pig's belly, which may be sold in thick hunks.
Because it is raw and unadorned, pork belly is more versatile, more neutral in flavor, and fits into more recipes than salty, smoky bacon. If you were to replace pork belly with bacon in a recipe, the final dish will have way more salt in it, while replacing bacon with pork belly means you need to add a whole lot of extra salt.
Pork belly also has a shorter shelf life and requires a longer cooking time than bacon, but it is still the more versatile option, and can be braised, deep-fried, slow-cooked, and pan-fried. Bacon can replace it in a pinch, but buying bacon because you can't find pork belly may require some very complicated tweaks to you recipe.