Deep fried Pork Belly with Garlic (蒜米炸花肉)

There is something special about fried pork belly. Do it right you get crispy and crunchy on the outside, juicy on the inside. That is why cured bacon is loved by many of us. However, we are not talking about cured bacon today (we already did). We will be talking about a famous Hakka dish known as 蒜米炸花肉. Or fried pork belly with garlic in English.

Before we dive in, let’s do some story, shall we~ I first learnt about this dish more than decade ago. Some friends mentioned this nice restaurant outskirts of Malacca and my family and I decided to give it a try. It took us almost 45 minutes by car from our place but my family has always been a foodie so the distance did not really bother us that much. With some navigating and talking in the car, 45 minutes did not seem that much to us.

As usual, we were new to the restaurant and the sensible way for us was to ask for recommendations. The waiter suggested a few of their famous dishes and we just went with it. I remembered we had a lot of nice food that day but their deep-fried pork belly with garlic was the standout for me. For years, every time we visited the restaurant, I would order it without fail~

Fast forward to now, I am in my mid 30s and traveling more than 30 minutes for food is just too exhausting. Maybe it was the traffic or I just get lazy with age. That is why I decided to learn and master this dish. Whenever I crave for it and am too lazy to go out, I will just make one. However, I would say, it is still nice to eat deep fried pork belly with garlic at the restaurant with my family once in a blue moon. Nostalgic reason~

What is 蒜米炸花肉

Alright, enough of my story. I think it is very obvious what is 蒜米炸花肉 by now. It is literally deep-fried pork belly and garlic. I mean an actual big clove of garlic with skin on being fried together with the pork. Bizarre I know, but it is super tasty.

How does it taste then?

Like any deep-fried food, it is super crispy and crunchy on the outside. And since it is pork belly which was well marinated, it is super juicy, savoury, and garlicky on the inside. It goes well with rice but can also serve perfectly as tidbits for an alcohol session.

Is it easy to make?

Yup~ it is super easy to make. Technically, all you need is pork belly, garlic, seasoning, a bit of five spice powder, some flour to coat it, and some oil for deep frying. I think most deep-fried foods are easy to make and this is no different.

How about switching the pork belly with other meat?

I doubt you could get the same texture and taste. Pork belly is quite fatty and it is very hard to find some other meat that could mimic the texture and taste. I think beef can be a good substitute? I don’t know for sure but you can try~

If you love deep-fried food, pork is your thing, and you do not mind the slightly pungent taste of garlic, you will definitely love this simple dish. Deep-fried pork belly with garlic is quite popular these days, I bet you can order one at most restaurants. If you couldn’t, just make one at home.

Deep fried Pork Belly with Garlic (蒜米炸花肉)

Bite size pork belly being marinated with salt, five spices powder, garlic, and deep-fried to golden brown.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Malaysian Chinese
Servings 2 servings


  • Wok or pot


  • 300 g Pork belly (cut to bite size)
  • 10-15 clove Garlic (smashed but leave the skin on)
  • 3 tbsp Potato starch


  • 1 tsp Oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Five spices powder
  • 1 tsp Shaoxing wine
  • Salt and pepper


  • Mix the pork and garlic in a bowl. Add all the seasoning in and mix it well. Let it marinate for at least half an hour in the fridge.
  • Before frying, pour 3 tablespoons of potato starch in and mix it well.
  • Heat enough cooking oil in a wok until the temperature hits around 160 degree Celsius. Fry everything until golden brown and we are done.
  • That is it! Now all you need is just served it~
Keyword Deep fried Pork Belly with Garlic, 蒜米炸肉, 蒜米炸花肉

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