Wednesday, April 9, 2014

shanghai style braised pork belly (紅燒肉)

I had a pack of pork belly that I wanted to cook for my Dad. I kept staring at it, and felt a need to cook SOMETHING DIFFERENT.

The question was, WHAT???

Well, when I need answers, I turn to Uncle Google. And I found this recipe for braised belly, Shanghai style.

I really liked the sound of this recipe because I love braising pork belly. Braising makes everything so soft and melt-in-your-mouth pork is really yums!

To make this, you need to start by blanching the pork belly in boiling water to (1) start cooking it; and (2) get rid of the impurities and any porky smell.

So into a boiling pot of water, I added the pork belly, and gave it a few minutes to cook. Then I removed the pork and set it aside.

Into a clean skillet, I added a little oil and rock sugar. Once the sugar had melted, I added the pork.

BE VERY CAREFUL! It may splatter quite a bit!

I cooked this until the pork turned light brown. Then I added Shaoxing wine, light and dark soy sauces, water and pepper. This was stirred to mix.

I covered the skillet braised the pork on low heat for about 45 minutes, stirring every 5 to 10 minutes.

Once the pork had softened, the dish was ready. I added some spring onion, and turned the heat off.

If there is a lot of liquid, you may want to continue cooking on a higher heat with the lid off until some of the liquid has evaporated.

This was really good. The pork was tender and flavourful, and while it was a little sweet, it was not over-overwhelmingly so.

The kids loved this. Which made my day because Mr Picky Eater ate meat!

So I guess I will be cooking this again pretty soon!

Shanghai Style Braised Pork Belly (紅燒肉) (Serves 4)
Adapted from

500g lean pork belly (cut into 2cm thick pieces)
2 tablespoons oil
1 ½ teaspoons rock sugar
3 tablespoons Chinese cooking wine
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
½ tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 cup water
spring onion, chopped, to garnish

1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Blanch the pork for a couple minutes. This gets rid of impurities and starts the cooking process. Take the pork out of the pot and set aside.
2. Over low heat, add oil and rock sugar to your wok. Melt the rock sugar slightly and add the pork.
3. Raise the heat to medium and cook until the pork is lightly browned.
4. Turn the heat back down to low and add cooking wine, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and water. 5. Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour until pork is folk tender. Every 5-10 minutes, stir to prevent burning and add more water if it gets too dry.
6. Once the pork is fork tender, if there is still a lot of visible liquid, uncover the wok, turn up the heat, and stir continuously the sauce has reduced to a glistening coating.
7. Garnish with chopped scallions and serve.


  1. Another new dish for the dinner table. Thanks Diana for your awesome homecooked recipes! :D

  2. I just saw this on Facebook and to come over to pin it. This looks amazing! Thanks for sharing your recipe. I am now following you on Google+ and look forward to finding more of your delicious recipes.

    Best wishes,
    Natasha in Oz

    1. Hi Natasha, thanks for leaving a comment - I have added you back on Google+ :)

  3. Hi Diana
    I chance upon you after I stop by at The Home Bakers site and I shall say, a beautiful blog you have. I love pork belly dish and I believe this dish taste wonderfully delicious!

  4. Wow.. so simple!!! Definitely gonna try it soon. And maybe I can also add in hard boiled eggs to braised too.. yummy!!!

  5. Hi Diana, I saw a recipe on this but the method is slightly different. Yours look simple enough yet the end result is tempting. I think I must cook this soon.