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Pork Belly Chinese Recipe – Red Braised Pork Belly

Pork Belly Chinese Recipe – Red Braised Pork Belly

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Pork Belly Chinese Recipe – Red Braised Pork Belly or hong shao rou 紅燒肉 was one of my favorite dishes growing up. Back when I was basically known as a carnivore in my family. I think I find this understandable. I loved ALL the meats. Red braised pork belly is so tasty and goes so well with any veggie and rice!

By the way if you are unfamiliar with this dish, red braised pork belly is a Chinese dish that is braised. It’s called ‘red braised’ because the ingredients used in cooking the pork makes it ‘reddish’ in color.

This recipe here is how my mom makes it and what I grew up eating!

Why is it called Red Braised Pork Belly?

This dish is called Red Braised Pork Belly because in Chinese it is called Hong Shao Rou 紅燒肉. Hong Shao 紅燒 = Red Cooked. Rou 肉 = Beef!

The mix of chili sauce, soy sauce, star anise, and other ingredients in the braising broth causes the beef and the sauce/broth/soup to turn in to a reddish color.

Where Does Pork Belly Come From?

Pork Belly, like bacon, is a boneless cut from the underside or the belly of the pig, after the loin and the spareribs have been removed. It is not the stomach but actually the flesh part.

What is the difference between Pork Belly and Bacon? Pork belly is basically the uncured, unsmoked and uncut bacon. Or I should say you make bacon from pork belly. Once you pork belly is cured, smoked and sliced, it is officially called bacon.

Red Braised Pork Belly Customizations

You can customize this Red Braised Pork Belly dish! For example, every time we have fresh bamboo shoots, we make this Red Braised Pork Belly with Bamboo shoots recipe:

Red Braised Pork Belly with Bamboo shoots

Some other ideas:

What to serve with Chinese pork belly?

Since Chinese Pork Belly is so flavorful, it goes super well with white rice. I always make sure to add a lot of delicious sauce all over my rice.

Also, I usually eat this dish with a veggie side – here are some recommendations:

Stir Fry Asparagus with Garlic

Shanghai Bok Choy Stir Fry with Garlic

Broccoli Stir Fry with Garlic

About the Ingredients

I want to provide some additional information to the ingredients used for your reference – if you already know about them, feel free to skip!

Rock Sugar

Rock sugar is normally used for this recipe. It’s not super common to find this one in your nearest non-asian grocery store so if you can’t find it you can use normal sugar (preferably brown sugar), however, rock sugar is traditionally used.

Soy Sauce

Also, I use two types of soy sauces here. There’s regular soy sauce and then there’s a dark soy sauce. Dark soy sauce is thicker, darker, and slightly less salty then regular soy sauce. It’s flavor is stronger and it also adds a darker color to food you are cooking. If you can’t find any – use regular soy sauce.

Rice Wine / Michiu

There’s also a type of alcohol used in this dish, called michiu. Michiu aka Rice Wine is commonly used as a cooking wine and contains about 19.5% alcohol. It’s commonly used in Taiwanese cooking so it’s always in my pantry.

How to make Chinese pork belly?

Here’s the good stuff – I will show you how we make Chinese Red Braised Pork Belly at my house!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb pork belly, cut in to 1-1.5 inch cubes
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 5-7 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp sugar (rock sugar is recommended but not necessary)
  • 3 tbsp michiu (aka rice wine)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 tbsp chili sauce (we prefer chili bean sauce aka doubanjiang)

Instructions

In a large skillet or wok, add cooking oil and sugar. Let the sugar melt, and then add pork belly.

Brown the pork, making sure both sides are lightly browned.

Add garlic and chili sauce, and stir together.

Now, transfer to a clay pot or medium sized pot. On low heat, add michiu, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and water.

Chinese Red Braised Pork Belly

Cover and simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and serve!

Chinese Pork Belly Recipe - Red Braised Pork Belly
Chinese Pork Belly Recipe - Red Braised Pork Belly
Chinese Pork Belly Recipe - Red Braised Pork Belly
Chinese Pork Belly Recipe - Red Braised Pork Belly

Instant Pot Version

If you have an instant pot and would like to use it for this recipe, you’re in luck! Here’s how to make Chinese Pork Belly Recipe – Red Braised Pork Belly in the instant pot version!

Instant Pot Instructions

Turn on the sauté setting on your instant pot and add cooking oil, sugar, and pork belly. Brown the pork and make sure both sides are lightly browned.

Add garlic, chili sauce, michiu, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, water.

Add garlic and chili sauce, and stir together.

Now, transfer to a clay pot or medium sized pot. On low heat, add michiu, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and water. Close the lid (make sure your vent is set to not venting) and cook pork for 20 minutes on high pressure setting.

Naturally release after the time is up, and once it’s safe, open up the lid and remove from heat and serve!

Pork Belly Chinese Recipe - Red Braised Pork Belly

Red Braised Pork Belly

Ingredients

  • 1 lb pork belly, cut in to 1-1.5 inch cubes
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 5-7 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp sugar (rock sugar is recommended but not necessary)
  • 3 tbsp michiu (aka rice wine)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 tbsp chili sauce (we prefer chili bean sauce aka doubanjiang)

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet or wok, add cooking oil and sugar. Let the sugar melt, and then add pork belly.
  2. Brown the pork, making sure both sides are lightly browned, and then add garlic and chili sauce, and stir together.
  3. Now, transfer to a clay pot or medium sized pot. On low heat, add michiu, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and water.
  4. Cover and simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally.
  5. Remove from heat and serve!

Notes

Instant Pot Instructions

Turn on the sauté setting on your instant pot and add cooking oil, sugar, and pork belly. Brown the pork and make sure both sides are lightly browned.

Add garlic, chili sauce, michiu, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, water.

Add garlic and chili sauce, and stir together.

Now, transfer to a clay pot or medium sized pot. On low heat, add michiu, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and water. Close the lid (make sure your vent is set to not venting) and cook pork for 20 minutes on high pressure setting.

Naturally release after the time is up, and once it's safe, open up the lid and remove from heat and serve!

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 437Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 95mgSodium: 618mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 1gSugar: 7gProtein: 27g

The nutrition information for this recipe is an approximate total per serving. Please double check the nutrition information for your exact ingredients and brands for more precise nutrition information.

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Chinese Pork Belly Recipe - Red Braised Pork Belly

If you love the chinese braised meat of this Pork Belly Chinese Recipe – Red Braised Pork Belly, you’re going to also love Taiwanese Braised Beef dish! Here’s the recipe!

If you’re looking for more delicious Chinese pork recipes – check out my 10+ Delicious Chinese Pork Recipes!

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Duncan Edwards

Monday 16th of August 2021

Looking at this presentation reflects an amazing specialty we all love this😛

TinaTsai

Monday 16th of August 2021

Thanks so much!!

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