Breakfast Tacos with Crispy Pork Belly

Ever since my first days as a grown up, in my crummy post-college apartment, I’ve tended to eat in cycles, picking one thing to eat for a week or two at a time. Sometimes, that thing is bagels slathered with cream cheese. Sometimes, it’s whole boxes of Cheez-it crackers. Lately, though, I’ve had a nearly insatiable craving for habanero peppers.

I’ve been mixing up quick-pickled habanero to ladle onto leftover pot roast nachos. I’ve been spiking my otherwise pretty gross canned Chunky soup with overly-aggressive shakes of Cholula. I’ve been adding green El Yucateco sauce in reckless amounts to jarred salsa, and then running around the house carrying on about my burning, blistered mouth. Each day, though, I wake up unsatisfied, ready to continue the never-ending assault on my palate with ever more heat.

It wasn’t long before I began trying to figure out a way to make eating tacos for breakfast socially acceptable, the way they do in Austin, Texas. Oh, sure, the world already has huevos rancheros; I was looking for something simpler, a more direct method for applying hot sauce to the insides of my sinuses.

The secret here is twofold. First, cook the scrambled eggs slow and low. They should take a fair investment of time to cook over low heat, while you lazily scrape a wooden spoon along the bottom of the pan occasionally. Cook them on as low a flame as you can muster, and be patient. For breakfast tacos, I like the scrambled eggs to be just barely set, creamy, with a custard-like consistency. “Fluffiness” should only be the goal of a scrambled egg that is made from a powder and about to be served at the free continental breakfast in the lobby of a Quality Inn; your scrambled eggs should be soft, curdy, and ever-so-slightly underdone when you take them out of the pan.

The second part of the secret to this dish (and it’s really no secret to anyone), is that crunchy-fried bits of pork fat and skin instantly send any breakfast into the stratosphere. We used some leftover skin-on pork belly from a porchetta we had cooked a few days before, scoring the skin so that it puffs and crackles in a hot pan. The combination of tender meat, flavorful fat, and crunchy skin make the perfect compliment for the velvety eggs. And of course, if you don’t have a fridge full of leftover pork belly the way we usually do, you can always substitute some crumbled, thick-cut bacon.

You can invite your guests to assemble these tacos themselves, using any combination of toppings they like. We serve ours with sliced green onions, diced tomatoes, a sprinkle of cotija, and our patented fakey-crema (sour cream diluted with milk). You could also try adding some black beans, refried beans, or jalapenos. Of course, as with everything else I am eating these days, a liberal application of habanero hot sauce is recommended.

Breakfast Tacos with Crispy Pork Belly
Serves 4
Take some time to scramble your eggs, so that the soft curds balance the salty crispness of the pork.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
507 calories
29 g
510 g
32 g
28 g
13 g
293 g
538 g
2 g
0 g
15 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 507
Calories from Fat 283
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 32g
Saturated Fat 13g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 11g
Cholesterol 510mg
Sodium 538mg
Total Carbohydrates 29g
Dietary Fiber 4g
Sugars 2g
Protein 28g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 1 cup skin-on pork belly, finely chopped (see note)
  2. 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  3. 10 eggs
  4. 5 tablespoons water
  5. 1 tablespoon butter
  6. Salt and pepper
  7. 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend, such as Jack or Cheddar
  8. 3 scallions, finely sliced
  9. 1 tomato, diced
  10. 1/4 cup Mexican crema or sour cream
  11. 2 tablespoons cotija or Parmesan cheese
  12. 8 small corn tortillas, warm
  13. Hot sauce
  1. In a small frying pan over high heat, warm oil until nearly smoking. Add pork belly and cook, stirring occasionally, until pork is brown and crunchy, about 10 minutes total. Remove with a slotted spoon to drain on paper towels, and set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine eggs and water. Whisk until eggs are smooth, with whites and yolks incorporated. In a medium frying pan over very low heat, melt butter. Add eggs, and salt and pepper, to taste. Cook slowly, dragging a wooden spoon across the bottom of the pan when curds begin to form, about 5-7 minutes. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until eggs just barely begin to set. Add cheese, and continue cooking until cheese melts and eggs are no longer runny, about a minute more.
For each taco
  1. Place a few spoonfuls of egg on a tortilla. Top with cooked pork belly, scallions, tomato, crema, and a sprinkle of cotija. Serve with hot sauce.
  1. Don't have any leftover pork belly? Substitute one pound of thick-cut bacon, cooked until crispy and crumbled.
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Malcolm Bedell

Malcolm loves Mexico, speaks fluent taqueria Spanish, and totally has Mexican friends. Author of both "Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road," and food blog From Away, his writing and photography credits include Serious Eats, Down East Magazine, The LA Weekly, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and more. His seasonal food truck, "'Wich, Please," was named "Hottest Restaurant in Maine" for 2015 by Eater, and he finds trying to write this in the third person to be muy chistoso.

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