Cooking Braised Pork Belly

One of my favorite Chinese dishes is braised pork belly. My mom used to make this quite often, but when my sister and I entered university, our mom no longer makes this dish – so it was up to my sister and I to learn how to make this ourselves. I’ve been cooking this for about a year or two now, and I am finally comfortable making this for my friends and family. How I make this dish is completely different from my mom’s. I would say my mom’s version is a lot more complicated. This is an easier way to cook braised pork belly, but it still taste great.

For this recipe, I’m sticking with the basics – soy sauce, sugar, water, and a little Shaoxing cooking wine.

Ingredients:

2 pounds of pork belly
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of ground pepper
2 long green onion cut in half
1/2 an onion
3 slices of ginger
3 garlic gloves
1 cup of soy sauce
1 cup of water
1/2 or 1 cup of sugar (adjust to your liking)
1 tbsp of Shaoxing cooking wine

First, cut the pork belly into approximately 1-inch pieces. In a large pan, on medium-high heat, add in a little oil (just enough to coat the pan), and seasoned with salt and pepper. Fry the pork belly until it’s brown. Note: the pork belly does not need to be cooked thoroughly.

After browning, transfer the pork belly into a clay pot. If you don’t have a clay pot, you can use any deep pot you have in your kitchen.

Then add in the long green onion, onion, ginger, and garlic.

Add-in soy sauce, water, and Shaoxing wine. Cover the lid and bring to a boil.

Once boiled, lower the heat to medium-low and cook for another 10-15 minutes. After 10-15 minutes, remove the green onion, onion, ginger slices, and garlic gloves. Skim out the oil and scum to remove the bitter taste.

Next, simmer the pork belly for 30 minutes on low heat with the lid on. Stir every 10 minutes so the pork belly will be evenly covered. After 30 minutes, add in the sugar. If you prefer this dish to be a little more on the sweeter side, add in more sugar and stir. Simmer for another 30 minutes to an hour. In the meantime, cook rice while the pork belly is simmering.

The broth should reduce and caramelized after 1 hour. Depending on your preference, you can continue to cook it on low for a thicker sauce. I cooked it on low heat for an extra hour for a thick sauce. This dish is done once the meat is tender, and the fatty part of the meat easily melts in your mouth.

I like to cook soft boiled eggs and steamed bok choy as a side for this meal.

I invited a friend over to try this dish out with my sister and me. She brought some red wine in return haha. This is a heavy meal for dinner, and we were glad that we ate a light lunch. We finished everything!

– Cindy

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