This Chinese Braised Pork Belly recipe, Hong Shao Rou, is packed with authentic Chinese flavors. The pork belly is juicy and umami. It melts in your mouth, but Without the greasy taste. I promise this Chinese Braised Pork Belly recipe is easy to make and i will show you exactly how to do it!
Meet my ALL TIME favorite childhood dish – Chinese Braised Pork Belly, or Hong Shao Rou!
This Chinese Braised Pork Belly recipe is a true family recipe. It has been cooked the same way for generations, been improved and tweaked for centuries, and now it’s my turn to make it mine.
It’s my turn, all the way here in America, tens of thousand miles away from my home in China, to share this recipe with you.
Previously, I have shared a few family favorites as well. Like Authentic Chinese Sticky Tofu and this healthy Paleo version of Orange Chicken. While they are utterly delicious, and you should defiantly try them out, they have nothing on this pork belly family recipe.
It almost makes me emotional writing this, trying to explain how big this is to me. So without further ado, let’s get into the recipe.
What’s special about my family’s Hong Shao Rou Recipe?
红烧肉 or Hong Shao Rou or “red-cooked pork” or braised pork belly is a very famous and traditional Chinese pork dish.
There are probably as many ways of making this recipe as there are Chinese families! Although the recipes are mostly very similar, there are small tweaks and variations in ingredients and their amount depending on who’s making it.
And while I might be biased, the way my family makes this recipe is the best!
This Chinese Braised Pork Belly is fatty, soft and full of umami. In Chinese, we say that this pork belly melts in your mouth and that you get a layer of fatty juice in your mouth. 满嘴流油
My mom has always liked to pan fry the pork belly just a touch longer than most other recipes would suggest. When doing that, the pork belly gets crispier on the outside, and more oil gets cooked out of the pork belly. The end result is a less greasy pork dish.
What’s my family’s twist on this traditional chinese recipe?
It is potatoes!
The traditional, by the book, Chinese braised pork belly recipe only has pork in it. No vegetables or starch.
It is greasy, shiny, and packed with umami.
In my family, my parents have always incorporated potatoes. And man, it really is the best part of the dish!
It is still greasy, shiny, and packed with umami. However, the potatoes soak up SO many flavors and fat, which is where all the flavor is anyway, and makes the potatoes super soft and so flavorful.
The potatoes are added a bit later in the cooking process because they would get too soft and mushy otherwise.
I don’t think I have had any western dishes that cook potatoes like that.
Anyway, that’s my family’s twist on this traditional Chinese Braised Pork Belly dish. You need to try it!
Ingredients needed to make Chinese Braised Pork Belly
With only 10 main ingredients you can have the most amazing Chinese family dish. All you need is:
- Pork belly
- Sugar (coconut sugar for Paleo recipe)
- Soy sauce
- Lao Chou (dark soy sauce)
- Liao Jiu (Chinese cooking rice wine. Substitute for red wine if you can’t find it.)
- Oyster sauce
- Green onion
- Yellow onion
- Fresh ginger
- Potatoes – In my opinion it’s not really optional. But you can make the dish without potatoes.
How to make Chinese Braised Pork belly
Start with cutting the pork belly into 1 inch-size cubes. Try to make sure there is both meat and fat on each cube.
Then, the first step is to skim off the meat. Add the pork belly into a large pot and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil and boil for 5 minutes.
Then, using a strainer or spoon, remove the scum (the foam) on top.
Drain the pork belly using a strainer. Pat the pork belly dry with a paper towel or a clean kitchen towel.
Now, heat the oil in a wok (a large pan or pot works too) until shimmering, and then add the sugar to the oil. Cook the sugar over medium to high heat to create caramelization or until the color is amber. Make sure to stir constantly to prevent burning.
Then, add the pork belly, ginger, green onion, and yellow onion.
Note: Yellow onion is optional here. It is another one of my family twists on this Hong Shao Rou recipe.
Then, add potatoes if using any.
Now, add boiling water, soy sauce, Lao Chou (dark soy sauce), Liao Jiu (rice wine), oyster sauce, and salt to the wok.
Lastly, close the lid and cook for 30 minutes or until the sauce has been reduced to a thick, shiny, syrupy liquid.
Make sure you show off to your family and friends that you have just made the MOST AUTHENTIC Chinese dish! Don’t forget to tag me on Instagram!
How to serve Hong Shao Rou
Traditionally, this Chinese Braised Pork Belly dish is served over sticky rice.
It could definitely be served with noodles as well or cauliflower rice for a low-carb option.
The most important thing is that you get plenty of the sweet and salty sticky sauce on your plate and some of those delicious potatoes.
How to store Chinese Braised Pork Belly
This flavorful Chinese pork dish can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days in an air-tight container.
In fact, the pork belly is great for meal prep since it reheats really well. So double up the recipe and eat it throughout the week.
If it’s freezer-friendly?
Absolutely! Go ahead and store the Hong Shao Rou in the freezer for up to 2 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge and reheat either on the stovetop or in the microwave oven.
I hope you will enjoy this Chinese Braised Pork Belly recipe!
If you have any questions about this recipe or anything else, leave me a comment below! And if you make this recipe, please leave me a review after you do. I would love to hear what you think about my family recipe.
more delicious dinner recipes to make:
- 1.5 lb pork belly
- 2-3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1.5 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp soy sauce (low sodium)
- 1 tbsp Lao Chou (dark soy sauce)
- 1 tbsp Liao Jiu (Chinese cooking rice wine, can be substituted for red wine)
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- 2 1/2 cups boiling water or broth
- 1 stalk green onion (chopped, green and white parts seperated)
- 2 inches of fresh ginger, largely sliced
- 1/4 yellow onion, largely chopped (optional)
- 2 medium potatoes, cubed
- Cut the pork belly into 1 inch-size cubes. Try to make sure there is both meat and fat on each cube.
- Add the ribs into a large pot and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil and boil for 5 minutes.
- Using a strainer or spoon, remove the scum (or the foam) on top.
- Drain the pork belly using a strainer. Pat the pork belly dry with a paper towel.
- Heat the oil in a wok (a large pan or pot works too) until shimmering and then add the sugar. Cook the sugar over medium to high heat, continue to stir to create caramelization for 2-3 min or until the color is amber. Make sure to stir constantly to prevent burning.
- Add the pork belly in and stir fry for 5 minutes on medium heat.
- Add ginger, the white part of the green onion (leave the green part for garnish), and the yellow onion (if using any). Sir-fry for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add the cubed potatoes and stir well.
- Add 1.5 cups of boiling water, soy sauce, Lao Chou (dark soy sauce), Liao Jiu (rice wine), oyster sauce, and salt to the pot.
- Close the lid and cook for 25 - 30 minutes or until the sauce has been reduced to a thick, shiny, syrupy liquid.
- Garnish with green onion, and enjoy!
* If you choose to use regular soy sauce, you can add less salt to taste.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 439Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 96mgSodium: 937mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 30g
The Nutrition Facts above are specific to the ingredients I chose to use for this recipe, which may vary.