Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Asian Pork Belly Cocktail Skewers

[FTC Disclosure] I received no compensation for this post.

Alexis and I made these fantastic little gems to take to a deck party at a friends house last weekend.  The Luxardo cherry, teriyaki grilled pineapple, and honey-sriracha glazed pork belly were a powerful combination, and they disappeared pretty quickly.

Cocktail skewers are fun ideas for party appetizers
Asian glazed pork belly with teriyaki grilled pineapple and sweet cherry.

Party food recipe or grilled appetizer
The cocktail skewers are a good idea for party appetizers.

Pork belly bites or Asian pork belly burnt ends
I used the same process for Pork Belly Bites from my new book, but I used an Asian flavored dry rub.  I smoke them on a quarter-sized cooling rack in a half-sized steam pan.

Using an Adjustable Rig in a Big Green Egg to make party appetizers.
Three pounds is enough to give you 2 steam pans full, about 3 dozen skewers. 

I spritzed them with pineapple juice.  Remember to strain your pineapple juice through a fine-mesh sieve, so the pulp doesn't jam up the trigger mechanism.

Pork belly burnt ends on a Big Green Egg
 I cooked these in a large Big Green Egg with an Adjustable Rig, spider rig, and heat diffuser.  You could do the same thing with a plate setter/ConvEggtor and a raised grate or any multi-tier system.

How to make Asian pork belly burnt ends for a party appetizer recipe
I smoked the pork belly until they had a beautiful color to them, about 3 hours at 275°f. Next, I removed the rack, added warm stock, covered the steam pans, and braised the pork belly until tender, about 90 minutes.

Then I tossed the pork belly in half of the honey-sriracha glaze and put the shiny bites back in the smoker just long enough to set the glaze.

Grilled pineapple on a Saber Elite 3 burner infrared grill
While that was going on, I sliced fresh pineapple and grilled the slices on my Saber Elite Series 3-burner infrared grill.  I glazed them with some Yoshida's Gourmet sauce near the end.

Asian Pork Belly Cocktail Skewers

Makes:  About 36


  • 3 pounds pork belly, skin off
  • 1 cup pineapple juice, pulp strained out
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil
  • 36 cocktail skewers
  • 1 pineapple cut into slices.
  • 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 36 gourmet cherries (Luxardo are fantastic)

For the Seasoning

  • 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried ground red bell pepper (or use paprika)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chinese five spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne 

For the Honey-Sriracha Glaze

  • 1 cup of stock, reduced to 1/2 cup
  • 1/2 cup local honey
  • 1/4 cup black vinegar (substitute)
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sambal olek
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon cold water


  1. Preheat your smoker to 275°f.  I was using a Big Green Egg with lump charcoal and 4 chunks of applewood.  If you are using an offset smoker or kettle grill, I'd use a water pan, too.  
  2. Prepare the pork belly.  Cut the pork belly into 1" squares.  Tip:  The pork belly slices a LOT easier when very cold, so throw it in the freezer for 30 minutes right before cutting.  
  3. Season the pork belly.  Mix the seasoning ingredients together.  Toss the pork with the oil until lightly coated.  Season on all sides with the seasoning.  Place on a cooling rack in a steam pan.
  4. Smoke the pork belly.  Place the pork belly bites in the smoker.  Spritz with pineapple juice at the beginning and once an hour. Smoke until the pork belly is turning a deep red-brown and starting to become tender, about 3 hours.
  5. Braise the pork belly.  Remove the racks from and leave the pork belly bites in the steam pans.  Pour chicken stock in the steam pans until the liquid is between 1/2 and 2/3 the height of the pork belly bites.  Tightly cover with a lid or foil and place back into the smoker.  Cook until the pork is fully rendered and tender, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  PS:  Be careful when opening the lid.
  6. Make the Honey Sriracha Glaze.  Place the 1 cup stock in a medium stock pan over medium-high heat and simmer until reduced by half, about 20 minutes.  Add in the honey, vinegar, sriracha sauce, sambal olek, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, and ginger.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Taste for seasoning and add more soy sauce if desired.  Make a slurry by whisking the corn starch and cold water together. Whisk into the sauce. Remove the pan from heat once the sauce thickens.
  7. Glaze the Pork Belly. Put the racks back into the steam pans.  Toss the bites in HALF of the glaze and place on the racks.  Place back into the smoker until the sauce is set, about 10-15 minutes.
  8. Grill the pineapple.  Grill the pineapple rings over medium-high heat about 2 minutes a side.  Glaze with the teriyaki sauce and finish grilling just long enough to set the sauce.  Cut each ring into 8 pieces.
  9. Assemble the skewers.  Thread a cherry, pineapple chunk, and pork belly bite onto each skewer.  Glaze with the remaining Honey-Sriracha Sauce.