Braised Pork Belly (Hong Shao Rou/红烧肉), an Easy Version
Tender, gelatinous and aromatic, Chinese red braised pork belly is scrumptious and comforting. This recipe shows you how to cook it effortlessly.
Blanch the pork
Cut pork belly into 2-3 cm chunks (about 1 inch). Put into a pot then fill with cold water. Boil over high heat.
Once it starts boiling, you’ll see froth appearing on the surface. Skim it off with a spoon.
Drain the meat in a colander then rinse under running water.
Braise the pork
Put the pork into a clean pot (ideally, a small one, see note 3). Pour in Shaoxing rice wine and hot water (barely covering the meat). Add light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, ginger, star anise and bay leaves.
Bring the liquid to a full boil. Cover with a lid and leave to simmer over low heat for 1-1.5 hour until the meat is fork-tender (During the process stir the meat around a few times).
Thicken the broth
Uncover the pot. Add sugar then turn the heat to the highest. Leave to boil fiercely (Stir from time to time) until the broth reduces to just enough to cover the bottom of the pot.
Serve immediately with plain steamed rice and vegetable dishes of your choice.
Store and reheat
The cooked pork belly can be stored in the fridge for up to three days or in the freezer for 2 months.
Reheat in a pot (defrost first if frozen) over low heat. Add a little water to help to heat the pork thoroughly.
1. A very common and versatile condiment, Shaoxing rice wine (绍兴酒) can be found in Chinese/Asian stores and world food sections of some mainstream supermarkets.
2. Dark soy sauce plays an important role in this dish so I recommend you make an effort to source it. If unavailable, replace it with ½ tablespoon of regular soy sauce.
3. I use a 20cm/8inch small pot so that I don’t need to add too much water to cover the meat.
Serving: 1serving | Calories: 427kcal