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Red Braised Pork Belly with Bamboo Shoots

Red Braised Pork Belly with Bamboo Shoots

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We love making red braised pork belly – and sometimes we like to make modifications to it! For example, we have a family friend that has fresh bamboos in their yard, and so every year when it’s bamboo shoots season – we make red braised pork belly with bamboo shoots 竹筍紅燒肉!

By the way if you are unfamiliar with this dish, red braised pork belly is a Chinese dish that is braised. 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.

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 michiuMichiu 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.

Bamboo Shoots

When you think of bamboo, do you think of bamboo trees that’s green and pretty hard? Can you imagine eating that? It would be horrible! Good thing we’re not eating that!

Bamboo shoots aka bamboo sprouts are actually the tiny beginning shoots of those bamboo trees, and when it is just sprouting it is still soft, and edible! They are often times used as veggies in lots of Asian cuisine. You can buy them fresh, dried and canned.

What do bamboo shoots taste like? Bamboo shoots are tender and crunchy. They remind me of baby corn but much more delicious in my opinion. They have a slight hint of sweetness, and cooked in this dish it goes super well with pork.

How to make Red Braised Pork Belly with Bamboo Shoots

First, gather and prepare your ingredients:

  • 1 lb pork belly, cut in to 1-1.5 inch cubes
  • 1 lb bamboo shoots, 1-1.5 inch chunks
  • 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)

In a large skillet or wok, add cooking oil and sugar. Let the sugar melt, and then add pork belly and garlic. Brown the pork, making sure both sides are lightly browned.

Then add the bamboo shoots, chili bean paste, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and michiu.

Now, usually I transfer to a clay pot or medium sized pot, but technically if your wok is large enough and you have a cover for your wok, you can keep it there, because we are about to add some sauces and liquids in there.

On low heat, add water.

Cover and simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and serve!

Red Braised Pork Belly with Bamboo Shoots

Red Braised Pork Belly with Bamboo Shoots

Red braised pork belly with bamboo shoots - tender pork belly chunks simmer and braised in soy sauce mixture along with bamboo shoots. This classic dish is so delicious and decadent! Here's how to make it!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Additional Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb pork belly, cut in to 1-1.5 inch cubes
  • 1 lb bamboo shoots, 1-1.5 inch chunks
  • 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 and garlic. Brown the pork, making sure both sides are lightly browned.
    2. Then add the bamboo shoots, chili bean paste, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and michiu.
    3. Now, usually I transfer to a clay pot or medium sized pot, but technically if your wok is large enough and you have a cover for your wok, you can keep it there, because we are about to add some sauces and liquids in there.
    4. On low heat, add water.
    5. Cover and simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally.
    6. Remove from heat and serve!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 458Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 95mgSodium: 626mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 3gSugar: 9gProtein: 29g

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. Keep in mind that if there is a marinade, often times not all the ingredients will be consumed.

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

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Duncan Edwards

Thursday 30th of June 2022

Tenderness and taste make this a summer addition to your party favourites😛

TinaTsai

Friday 1st of July 2022

Thank you!! :D

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