If you’re a child of the 80s or 90s, you might remember the inescapable advertising campaign from the National Pork Board hailing pig products as “The Other White Meat”—even though the USDA classifies it as a red meat. Either way, though, pork is a truly versatile protein that stands up well to marinating, grilling, frying, roasting, and braising. And with this wild technological age we live in, soon, a plant-based pork imitation imitation might be on its way to our grocery store shelves soon—and might even be able to be sold as certified Kosher, according to some rabbis. To celebrate the humble, tasty pig, we’ve pulled together our favorite pork recipes—from classic pan-seared chops, to ground pork dumplings, to glazed and grilled spare ribs—for you.
Get practicing your dumpling pinching technique with these classic yuan bao. Make extra and keep them frozen, ready to be pulled out and boiled for a quick dinner at a moment’s notice.
This sweet braised pork belly is perfectly balanced with vinegary pickled cabbage, savory doenjang sauce, and spicy jalapeño peppers.
For an easy dinner party trick, make a big spread of all the garnishes and toppings you could possibly want in your summer rolls, and let your guests DIY their own. Fresh, simple, and you don’t have to keep track of who at the table thinks cilantro tastes like soap.
Underneath all of that spicy chili sauce is even more spicy, tomato-y braised pork shoulder. Make a big batch of this pork and sauce early in the week, and your work lunch is taken care of. (Pack some moist towelettes too, just to be safe.)
This recipe calls for buns made from scratch, but you can substitute whatever store-bought sandwich rolls you prefer. Use the same brining mixture to pickle both cabbage and cucumbers for an extra crunch and tang.
This pork belly marinade calls for a New Orleans favorite, Big Shot Red Crème Soda, but that might be hard to come by outside of Louisiana. You can use another brand like Barq’s or Big Red.
In order to make this pork and Brussels sprout salad, you might need to talk to your butcher and have them clean and shave a jowl for you.
A note from the chef for this recipe: all ingredients are listed to taste, but it's recommend to start at 1 tablespoon per, keeping in mind the chili powders carry more heat, the longer you let them simmer. You can decide!
The fig and onion glaze on this pork chop, with a touch of brown sugar and vanilla bean, is a little on the sweet side, but with a well-salted chop, some sesame oil, and a whole bunch of garlic, everything balances out nicely.
The key to making sure that you neither over-cook your pork or burn the spice rub is to sear the chops briefly, then pop them in the oven to roast at 300° until they come up to the proper internal temperature.
Matty Matheson makes a pretty classic banh mi, complete with homemade chicken liver paté. Don’t skimp on a good, crusty French sandwich roll.
You’ll get a whole dang quart of homemade jerk sauce from this recipe, so you can throw any extra on any, chicken, fish, steak, or vegetables you might have lying around. You name it.
Please, dear goddess, be careful during the pouring-boiling-hot-oil-over-pork-skin step, we don’t want to be responsible for sending anyone to the hospital over perfectly crisp pork skin.
Cured pork, wrapped in more cured pork, is exactly the kind of rustic snack we want. Best eaten with a healthy dollop of whole grain mustard and a garlicky cornichon or pickle.
Schnitzel is the drunk food you never knew you needed. Pounded thin and coated in a thick layer of breadcrumbs, this pork is the salty, carb-y thing you’ll want to put in your face at the end of a long night out.
The sweet, spicy glaze you make for this dish would work great on chicken, too, but the buttery soft fat from the pork belly helps balance out the heat from the chilies.
There are four pounds of pork in this here Hakka dish with pickled mustard greens. Nick Chen-Yin, the chef and pitmaster at Smoke Signals Barbecue in Toronto, showed us the same way his grandma showed him.
Just look at that sticky-sweet sauce on that pork belly. And don’t skimp on the homemade steamed buns. It’s a skill worth having, and easier than you think.
You could work for hours or days to reduce a highly-gelatinous broth from a lot of pork bones, but an easier and just as tasty way to make these is to use Helen You’s shortcut of powdered gelatin to hold your filling together while closing your dumplings.
When the vinegar and the sugar cook down with the fatty pork belly and garlic in this braise, the result is a sweet, savory glaze to the meat, which stands up well to a perfectly poached egg and crispy garlic.
If you’re able to get lard that has been freshly rendered by your local butcher, it will give you the best porky flavor. Spread this on a thick slice of rustic bread with a fried egg on top for a simple supper.
Pork and lemon grass is a classic flavor combination that brings out the natural sweetness of pork, and here it’s enhanced with a dash of maple syrup as well.
Chef Anthony Rose of Toronto’s Fat Pasha and Rose and Son has a special trick for getting fried rice perfectly crispy, but not chip-a-tooth crispy.