Food, My Recipes

Braised Pork Belly (Hong Shao Rou)

27 March, 2016
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I moved about two months ago and for my housewarming party, I invited a couple friends over for lunch. After much pondering and research into what I should cook, I finally settled on braised pork belly, or hong shao (红烧肉).

While pork belly may not win any awards in the healthy food category, we all deserve the occasional indulgence! Moreover, it is a really cheap cut of meat. 1kg costs something like £5, so you can definitely feed a large party on a budget. While the cooking process from start to finish is quite long, the results are definitely worth it! I usually cook 1kg at a time and freeze half of it for another recipe (which I’ll share with you guys at a later date). So here’s me sharing the love and hoping you guys like this recipe as much as I do!

hong shao rou2

Braised Pork Belly (Hong Shao Rou)
for 3-4 people


500g pork belly
2T brown sugar (I used half dark muscovado sugar)
2T light soy sauce
1T dark soy sauce
1T oil


  1. Cut up the pork belly into 2cm (3/4 inch) wide pieces. Don’t cut it too small as it will disintegrate during the cooking process.
  2. Blanch the pork belly in boiling water for a few minutes to remove the impurities, then drain well.
  3. In a wok or large pan, heat up the oil over a medium heat. Add the drained pork belly and sugar and stir fry them together until the meat is nicely caramelised. The heat should not be too high or the sugar will burn.
  4. When the meat is sufficiently caramelised, add enough water till the meat is covered and then add the light and dark soy sauce. Bring the water to a boil.
  5. Turn down the heat to low once the water boils and simmer covered for about 2.5h. A low heat is important if you want the pork belly to melt in your mouth and not just disintegrate during cooking.
  6. When the pork is sufficiently tender and the fat melts in your mouth, drain out the braising liquid into a separate pan and reduce it over a medium heat.
  7. When the liquid reduces to a black, sticky sauce with the consistency of honey, add the pork belly pieces back in and gently stir to coat the pieces evenly.
  8. Continue cooking until you are happy with the consistency of the sauce.

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