Pork belly’s back! Ask your butcher for a square piece: It’ll make for even slices and a good fat-to-meat ratio.
- 1 12-ounce piece skin-on pork belly (about 4x3½x1¼ inches)
- Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, divided
- 2 Persian or kirby cucumbers, thinly sliced
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- ½ red chile (such as Fresno or jalapeño), thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)
- 1 small head of lettuce (such as Little Gem or romaine hearts), torn
- Gochujang, a mixture of miso and hot chiles, is available at Korean markets and online.
Diagonally score fat side of pork belly, cutting through fat but stopping at flesh and spacing about ¼" apart. Season pork with salt and pepper and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp. brown sugar. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and let sit at least 2 hours, or chill up to 2 days.
Preheat oven to 400°. Unwrap pork and place in the smallest baking dish you can. Add chiles de árbol, star anise, soy sauce, remaining 1 Tbsp. brown sugar, and 1¼ cups water. Roast until most of fat has rendered, meat is tender, and top is browned and crisp, 2–2½ hours.
Meanwhile, toss cucumbers, scallions, red chile, and vinegar in a small bowl to combine. Mix gochujang and miso in another small bowl.
Transfer pork to a cutting board; let rest 10 minutes. Pour off pan juices into a measuring glass. Skim fat from surface.
Slice pork into ½" slices, transfer to a platter, and pour pan juices over. Serve with lettuce for wrapping and cucumber salad, mint, kimchi (if using), and gochujang-miso mixture for topping.
Do Ahead: Pork can be cooked 2 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill. Reheat before serving.