One piece belly pork wet-cured, the other dry. Dry-curing seems to be a little quicker and produces a better texture in the end product, but the wet-cure is much easier and can be done in a Ziplock plastic bag. The cure is pretty basic and is just salt water, some Japanese brown sugar, freshly ground black pepper, bay leaf and pinch of cayenne.
Final product after smoking, over sakura chips:
After slicing off a few rashers and grilling them, they came out perfect, and made the filling for an excellent blt sandwich:
The bacon is also very acceptable for use in regular cooking, and I made a Navy lobscouse for some hungry anglers with a mix of belly and loin. The meat is steeped and boiled for a few hours, which makes it less salty and it comes out very tender when re-heated with onions, leeks, potatoes and a host of spices.
Totally unrelated, but the day after the lobscouse was the July full moon or Buck Moon, or in Japanese, the day curiously known as unagi-eating day. It looked much redder in reality than I was able to capture with my Olympus digital camera, and one could make out a number of the seas on its surface.