Pork belly lovers, today is your lucky day! I am sharing the recipe of one of the most popular pork belly dishes in China, the braised pork belly.
It has a perfectly balanced sweet and savory flavor. The texture of the slow-cooked pork is soft and could almost melt in your mouth. My mouth is literally watering as I am writing about this dish right now.
Start with ingredients, I used about a pound of pork belly and cut them into 1-inch cubes. Besides the pork belly, I also prepared ginger, star anise, bay leaves, rock sugar, dried chili peppers and seasoning sauce in advance.
In the recipe “Sugar-brasied chicken wings“, I introduced what is rock sugar. It is commonly used in Chinese cooking and can be easily found in Asian grocery stores. It looks like a crystal rock and tastes slightly less sweet than the cane sugar. If you can’t find rock sugar, it is perfectly fine to use cane sugar to make this dish.
The first step is to pan fry the pork belly. I used a non-stick pan and didn’t add any oil. Because I know pork belly will release a lot of fat later when cooking.
When the pork belly has browned, I added the sugar into the pan first and waited until the sugar has melted before adding everything else into the pan for stir-frying. After that, I moved the dish into a clay pot to get ready for braising. I added water into the clay pot and braised the pork belly for about a hour until the sauce has thickened.
The pork belly in this dish is tender and full of flavor. I like to top with some toasted sesame seed when serving this dish.
Below is how I made this dish step-by-step. The total time needed is about 60 minutes!I hope you enjoy making this mouth-watering braised pork belly at home. If you like this recipe, please leave a rating and share it with your friends!
- 0.8 pound pork belly with skin, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon rock sugar or cane sugar
- 2 slices ginger
- 2 star anise
- 2 bay leaves
- 1-2 dried chili pepper, optional
- 2 cups hot water
- 1 touch of toasted white sesame seeds for topping
- For the sauce:
- 1 tablespoon cooking wine
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
- Mix cooking wine, soy sauce and dark soy sauce in a container for later use.
- Heat a non-stick pan, stir in the pork belly, pan fry under medium-low heat for about 5 minutes until browned, stir occasionally.
- Toss in the sugar, carefully stir to help the sugar melt, add in the ginger, star anise, bay leaves and dried chili pepper, sitr fry for about 2-3 minutes.
- Carefully pour in the sauce and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
- Move all the ingredients into a clay pot or a slow cooker, add in the hot water and simmer for about 50 minutes under medium-low heat until the sauce has almost gone.
- Top with the toasted white sesame seeds and serve.
I love pork belly and this looks awesome- A definite try out as soon as I can. Rated on looks alone
Thanks for the support, appreciated!
Tried this last night. Really authentic. Loved it. Have signed up for MORE recipes. Thank you.
Hi, I have cooked this recipe five or six times now! It gets better every time I do it, I cook it in a wok only, no clay pot, it seems too work well ,the dish always goes down well with any one who tries it. Thank you very much for a brilliant recipe. Regards Paul.
Thanks for the wok tip I was thinking oh I don’t have a clay pot or slow cooker!
No problem, glad you find it helpful!
White or red cooking wine?
I generally use white cooking wine 🙂
try replacing the water with your favorite beer for added depth to the flavor
What can you use in place of a clay pot? Does it go in the oven, or cook on the stove top?
I mistakenly bought 7 lbs of pork belly thinking it was bacon.This looks like a great recipe to try.
Ceramic pot or dutch oven are both great alternatives! I normally cook this dish on stove top.
Here are other pork belly recipes you might find useful as well:
Twice-Cooked Pork Belly
Braised Pork Belly Over Rice
Pork Belly and Kimchi
Korean Style Pan-fried Pork Belly
Enjoy cooking pork belly!
If you dont have a Claypot, turn the fire/stove lower and put on the lid for the non-stick pan.
This looks great. My mother is on her toes to try this NOW. Hope she makes it with perfection. Han, my mom is a big fan of yours 🙂
My pleasure! 🙂
This was amazing. The taste is beyond imagination. It was tenderer than butter and full of captivating aroma. Finger lickin goood 😉
If I double the amount of pork belly do I double the rest of the recipe? Thank you
Yes, that’s a good idea. 🙂
The first time I fixed this it tasted wonderful and following recipe was easy, but the saying to much of a good thing can be bad isn’t far off. The second time I prepared this for a group of people, so I multiplied the recipe by five. The end result did not turn out so well.
I am sorry to hear that. Could you describe why you don’t like the end result when cooking for a group of people? Was it too salty? Too sweet? Took too long to boil down?
I would love to help! What I normally do when I am modifying or multiply a recipe is to do taste test while cooking. If is too sweet, then I add a little more salt until it tastes right to me.
I hope this helps!
Being diabetic I substituted monk fruit sweetener for the sugar. I also used hoisin with Worcestershire sauce instead of dark soy. I cooked everything in a deep sided cast iron skillet with a lid and served over long grain white rice. It was fabulous!!!
Does it necessary need to be rock sugar? Can i replace it with normal sugar, does it affect the result of the taste?
The difference between rock sugar and granulated sugar is that the later is slightly more sweet in taste. So feel free to substitute it with granulated sugar. However, I would recommend adjusting the amount a little by tasting while cooking.
Hope it helps!
Made today for lunch. Delicious, thank you.
You are very welcome! I am glad you enjoyed this recipe 🙂
Can i add the same amount of water if cook double portions? Because i will cook in the buffalo smart rice cooker and it doesn’t require a lot of water due to the water doesn’t evaporate much from the cooker.
In that case, I’d suggest using a bit less than double the portions. But it’s hard to decide how much exactly. You’ll have to trust your gut feeling. However, don’t worry if you add more water than it needs. You could always cook longer until the sauce thickens. What you don’t want is adding not enough water and the pork belly is tough or burned. Hope it helps!
Looks delicious, can’t wait to try this recipe 😉
So you leave the skin on? Is it not tough and chewy? Thank you
Thanks for asking. The skin is actually my favorite part of the dish. Cooked long enough, it won’t be touch but will remain a bit chewy. If you don’t like the skin, it’s completely fine to leave it out 🙂
Looks great. I’ve often heard of pouring boiling water over pork belly before cooking. Your opinion?
I assume belly without bone?
Yes, pork belly without bone.
Hi there! I’m currently making this dish (thanks for the recipe) but I was wondering, how come the coloring of the food is so much more vibrant in the photo you have? Did you add a glaze or something on top?
Eden, just add in a bit corn flour and it will make your food more vibrant.
Have made this several times and have enjoyed it every time. It cooked beautifully in the pressure cooker too. Yum!
How long did you have to cook in pressure cooker? And did you use less water? In what quantities?
Pork belly without bone….Wow Love it.!
Delicious and yummy. Thank you very much.
Thank you very much. Couldn’t wait to try this yummy looking dish.
Hi just wondering I was waiting for my partner to come over to cook so I took out of freezer but today was two days so I decided to slice it thick then simmer for ten minutes in water spices garlic ginger etc
I’m hoping I’m ok to now cook this tomorrow but should I marinate it now or just leave it in a container in fridge? Thanks
Sorry for coming across your question just now. Hope you worked out whether to marinate right away or wait overnight!
Love your recipe! Very easy to follow and it’s really good. Thank you ❤️
Thank you! It makes me really happy to hear that!
Made this today and hubby loved it ! Thank you for sharing your recipe !
This recipe looks super doable and tasty! Just one quick question — if you do this in a slow cooker, you’d probably just use the “high” setting (since slow cookers don’t get as hot as stoves) and just leave the lid off so the liquid can evaporate?
This is great! The pork belly is yummy and the recipe is clear, concise and easy to follow. I don’t have a clay pot or a slow cooker, so I simmered it in a saucepan for two hours and it came out well. Do you have any suggestions for a side to soak up the sauce? (I’m bored of mashed potatoes.)
How long should I cook it in the crockpot slow cooker?
This dish was amazing, it is the first recipe I have tried from your blog and I cannot wait to try more! Thank you!
I love pork belly, in fact, my whole family does! For our family reunion, I had my whole family come over (152 members total.) I made this recipe for them, but there was not enough, for some weird reason, doing the math in my head, I thought it would be enough.:(((( I ended up feeding them to my dogs, and they ate every last bite! I assumed my dogs loved them because they licked the plate, (but did end up eating the plate hahaha.) My kiddos got a little upset so we tried your carrot cake recipe but it turned out as a crispy, creamy, soupy, gooey mess:( We are very upset too, do you have any suggestions. I will be sure to check out Ree Drumsticks recipes as a substitute. Thank you for your time, as we say in Silbelia, (have a creamy good time, my friend:)
I love this dish!!! I had it in Shanghai at a friend’s house. So it was home made. It was so good!!!! Thank you for the recipe
I just started cooking using this recipe ~20 mins ago. I tried the sauce before adding in the hot water. Insanely delicious and the sauce and the food smell and taste so so so good 😀 🍁 🐓
Glad you liked it!