Side pork and pork belly are two interchangeable terms for the same parts of a pig. Some sites and diagrams show that these two porks are two different terms for a single part of a pig.
However, it is vital to know that these terms are two different portions of a pig. This article explains more about what side pork is, what it tastes like, what belly pork is, what it taste like, and how to choose between the two.
Side pork is also referred to as lean bacon when cooked without curing and smoking. This meat is extracted from above the belly of the animal and comes with short ribs and back fat. This pork can either be braised or smoked based on your choice.
However, you can be sure that with any method you choose to cook this meat, you would surely get the flavour you desire.
Other methods of cooking this pork include deep-frying, braising, or roasting. These manners of preparing it to help the meat to be tender and its fat to be very soft, which is why it melts in your mouth.
It is essential to know that the term bacon varies from one region to another. For instance, in English speaking countries, bacon means thin slices of smoked side pork.
Unlike other pork, side pork does not require too much stress or time to get. This pork can be purchased from an artisan butcher where it is presented in a rectangular block.
Thus, it is essential to know that the dish you are planning to make determines the thickness of your pork side. Side pork does not cost you much to buy when compared to side belly. This meat is best cooked when slice and fry with salt and pepper.
Aside from the flavour that comes with side pork, this meat also has a lot of nutrient benefits to the body. It contains a high level of sodium, potassium, and phosphorous.
A high intake of potassium helps to decrease the risk of stroke, lowers blood pressure, protects against loss of muscle mass, preserves bone mineral density, and reduces the formation of kidney stones.
Nevertheless, this pork can be too dangerous to the body when cured. As a result of its high nitrate content and high sodium, cured pork meat can cause heart diseases, blood pressure, and cancer as well.
Pork belly is a boneless cut of fatty meat from the belly of a pig. It is meat extracted from a hog’s belly or underside after the loin, and spare ribs have been detected from the pork. Often, this boneless cut is served fresh, which makes it different meat from cured or smoked pork.
This pork is mostly found in Chinese, Korean and Philippine cuisine. This is because these are the restaurant’s chiefs that appreciate its versatility, flavour, and texture than others.
This pork is best cooked with the combination of gentle heat to tenderize the meat and a short, high-temperature blast to crisp up the skin on the outside. This meat takes up to about two hours to get ready.
Unlike side pork, a pork belly skin is very tough, and you might need the butcher to score it for you before cooking or search for a sharp knife if you intend to do it yourself.
With just a little bit on this meat, you are sure to get tasty and richly flavorful meat from this pork. This meat is best cooked by braising it as this uses a slow cooking method that makes pork most tender when being prepared.
However, there are other ways of preparing this pork which include roasting, smoking, and searing and can be used as the main feature or enhancement to any menu.
This meat is not hard to get and comes at both an expensive price rate and a low price depending on the varieties of pork meat you will purchase. It can be bought easily with local butchers and retailers.
How to choose between side pork and pork belly
It is essential to know that there is no best pork or worst pork between side pork and belly pork. So if you are ready to pay much, you can go for the two to enjoy their great taste and tender texture.
Further, if you are planning only to purchase one of the two pork, then what you are searching for in pork meat, determines the one you go for. Both types of meat are best cooked by braising them of which there are other methods of preparing them.
If you will be preparing this meal for your kids, then you might be going for the boneless pork meat.