The BBQ Buddha’s Smoked Kung Pao Pork Belly


Source: Chris Sussman, The BBQ Buddha

“One of the latest trends in the BBQ world is pork belly burnt ends. I put my own twist on this recipe by combining my love of kung pao sauce and smoked pork belly. This recipe has several steps but it is well worth the effort and will produce an amazing dish at the end.” -Chris Sussman


  • 1-1/2 pounds pork belly, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • Salt and pepper
  • Hickory smoking wood
  • Apple juice
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar or distilled white vinegar if unavailable
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoons Shaoxing wine or dry sherry, if unavailable
  • 1 tablespoon Sichuan fermented chili-bean paste or generic Asian chili-garlic sauce if unavailable
  • 2 small leeks, white and light green parts only, cut into 1/4-inch slices, about 1/2 cup total
  • 3 scallions, whites finely minced, greens finely sliced, reserved separately
  • 12 hot Chinese dry chili peppers, seeded
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/3 cup peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns, toasted in hot skillet for 30 seconds until fragrant, ground using mortar and pestle
  • 1/2 cup peanuts, roasted and unsalted
  • Rice or noodles for serving


  1. Cube the pork belly into 1-inch pieces.
  2. Cover with a thin layer of yellow mustard then season with salt and pepper.
  3. Set your smoker to 275 F using hickory for the smoking wood.
  4. Set your pork belly inside the smoker on a wire rack for 3 hours or until it reaches 190 F. Spray the pork belly every hour with apple juice to keep moist.
  5. After 3 hours or 190 F, pull the pork belly and set aside.
  6. Mix the sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, cornstarch, Shaoxing wine or dry sherry and chili bean paste together until cornstarch is fully dissolved. Set this sauce to the side.
  7. Sauté the leeks, minced scallion whites, dried chili peppers, garlic and ginger in peanut oil until fragrant. Set these aromatics to the side.
  8. Put pork belly in aluminum pan and cover with the aromatics and then the reserved sauce.
  9. Cover and place back in your smoker for 30-60 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
  10. Toss everything with the Sichuan peppercorns, tops of green onions and peanuts.
  11. Serve over rice or noodles.

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