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Red Cooked Pork (Chinese Braised Pork Belly)

Red Cooked Pork

Recipe shared with permission of author.
Course Entree
Cuisine Chinese
Author Kian Lam Kho


  • 1 1/2 lbs . pork belly meat
  • 3 T water
  • 2 T sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic (I minced out of habit)
  • 2 inch scallions cut into 2- long pieces
  • 3 whole star anise
  • 2 T dark soy sauce
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Shaoxing wine (I could not find and had to use white wine)
  • 1 1/2 cups clear stock or water or the liquid from the par-boiling step


  1. Put the entire pork belly in a large pot covered by enough water to cover the meat completely. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to medium to maintain a low boil. Continuously skim off the scum as it forms on top of the boiling water. Boil for about 20 minutes uncovered and then drain the pork belly and place on a plate to cool. The boiling liquid can be reused for braising after filtering through a fine sieve. When the pork belly is cool to touch cut it into pieces of about 1.5 inches cubes.
  2. Melt the sugar and the water in a wok over medium high heat. Continue heating until the sugar is yellow at the edges (do not cook further so that the sugar coats the meat rather than crystalizing). Add the cubed pork belly and brown it in the caramelized sugar. Toss the pork regularly to prevent burning--and if needed, brown the pork in 2 batches.
  3. Add the garlic, scallions, star anise, dark soy sauce, soy sauce, wine and clear stock (or water) into the pan. Bring to a boil, scrape the bottom of the pan and then transfer the contents of the pan into a braising pot, such as a Dutch oven.
  4. Cover the Dutch oven and simmer over low heat. Stir the meat every 15 minutes to make sure the pork at the bottom of the pot does not get burnt. Do this for 1 hour or until the meat is tender. Remove the cover and remove the pork with a slotted spoon. Turn the heat to medium high and boil the liquid to the desired thickness. Pour over the meat to serve.
  5. You can serve this dish right away or keep overnight and reheat the next day before serving. (I chose to garnish this dish with snipped scallions.)