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!

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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 of mine. It has been cooked the same way for generations, been improved and fine tuned for centuries, and now it’s my turn to make it mine.

All the way here in America, over twelve thousand miles away from my home in China, to share this recipe with you.

Previously, I have shared a few family favorites such as my Authentic Chinese Sticky Tofu and this hearty and wholesome 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 meaningful this dish is to me. So without further ado, let’s get into the recipe. 

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What Makes My Family Hong Shao Rou Recipe Special?

A blue plate with juicy and crispy Chinese braised pork belly covered in a sticky sauce.

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 adjustments 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, tender and full of umami flavor. In Chinese, we say that this pork belly melts in your mouth and that you get a layer of fatty juice that coats your taste buds.  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 with a delectable crunch.

My Family’s Twist on this Traditional Chinese Dish

sticky meat covered in an authentic Asian sauce

Are you ready for the plot twist…..ok, here it is….potatoes! Did you see that coming??

The traditional and by the book way of making this dish, Chinese braised pork belly recipes only have pork in it, no vegetables or starch. 

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 flavor, 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 irresistible. 

The potatoes are added a bit later on 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 For Your Chinese Braised Pork Belly 

glass bowls with soy sauce, oyster sauce, dark soy sauce, rice wine, and sugar

With only 10 main ingredients you can have the most amazing Chinese family dish. All you need is:

Main ingredients

  • Pork belly
  • Oil
  • Sugar (coconut sugar can be used here)

Braising liquid

  • Soy sauce (You can use coconut aminos for a soy free substitute)
  • Lao Chou (dark soy sauce)
  • Liao Jiu (Chinese cooking rice wine. Substitute for red wine if you can’t find it.)
  • Oyster Sauce
  • Salt
  • Water

Aromatics 

A plate with chopped up scallions, yellow onion and fresh ginger
  • Green Onion
  • Yellow Onion
  • Fresh Ginger

Optional Ingredients 

  • Potatoes – In my opinion it’s not really optional. But you can make the dish without potatoes if desired.

How to Make Chinese Braised Pork Belly

cubes of pork in bowls. one bowl has raw meat, the other one has boiled meat in it

Start by cutting the pork belly into 1 inch-size cubes. Try to make sure there is both meat and fat on each cube and they are all roughly the same size.

Then you will need 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, by using a strainer or spoon, remove the foam that will form on top on the liquid. 

Drain the pork belly using a strainer and gently pat the pork belly dry with a paper towel or a clean kitchen towel. 

sugar is being caramelized in oil

Now, heat the oil in a wok (a large pan or pot works too) until shimmering hot, and then add the sugar to the oil. Cook the sugar over medium to high heat to create caramelization or until the color is an amber brown. Make sure to stir constantly to prevent burning!

meat, ginger and onions are being pan fried

Then, add the pork belly, ginger, green onion, and yellow onion to the pan or wok.

Note: Yellow onion is optional here. It is another one of my family twists on this Hong Shao Rou recipe.

meat, ginger, potatoes, and onions are being pan fried

Then, add your chopped potatoes in 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 in your final product pic on Instagram!

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How to Serve Hong Shao Rou

A bowl with braised pork belly and while jasmine rice. a pair of chopsticks are about to dig in

Traditionally, this Chinese Braised Pork Belly dish is served over warm, sticky rice. 

It could definitely be served with noodles as well or cauliflower rice for a low-carb option. 

Of course, this childhood favorite of mine could be served with two other classics; Chinese Scallion Pancakes and my dad’s Chinese Cucumber Salad.

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. 

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How to Store Your Chinese Braised Pork Belly

A blue plate with juicy and crispy Chinese braised pork belly covered in a sticky sauce.

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. The flavors will build up and develop overtime making these leftovers even better than the night before.

You might be asking yourself, is this dish 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 when you’re ready to eat. 

I hope you enjoy this version of my family’s 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. 

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I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING YOUR CREATIONS! YOU CAN USE “TRIED IT” ON PINTEREST OR SHARE ON INSTAGRAM BY TAGGING #SHUANGYSEATS

A blue plate with juicy and crispy Chinese braised pork belly covered in a sticky sauce.

more delicious dinner recipes to make:

1. Instant Pot Peanut Butter Chicken

2. Whole30 Chicken Pad Thai

3. Chinese Chicken and Green beans

sticky meat covered in an authentic Asian sauce

Get the recipe:Chinese Braised Pork Belly {Hong Shao Rou}

This Chinese Braised Pork Belly recipe (Hong Shao Rou) is juicy, sweet, savory, melts in your mouth, and is packed with authentic flavors.
4.88 stars (8 reviews)

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lb pork belly
  • 2-3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1.5 tbsp sugar

Braising liquid

  • 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
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water or broth

Aromatics

  • 1 stalk green onion, chopped, green and white parts seperated
  • 2 inches of fresh ginger, largely sliced
  • 1/4 yellow onion, largely chopped (optional)

Optional

  • 2 medium potatoes, cubed

Instructions 

  • 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. 
    cubes of pork in bowls. one bowl has raw meat, the other one has boiled meat in it
  • 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. 
    sugar is being caramelized in oil
  • 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.
    meat, ginger, potatoes, and onions are being pan fried
  • 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!

Notes

* If you choose to use regular soy sauce, you can add less salt to taste.
Serving: 1g, Calories: 439kcal, Carbohydrates: 16g, Protein: 30g, Fat: 36g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 24g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 96mg, Sodium: 937mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 4g

The Nutrition Facts above are specific to the ingredients I chose to use for this recipe, which may vary.