This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

When you’re craving a dish that’s both comforting and impressive, look no further than this Braised Pork Belly recipe. Adapted from Fuchsia Dunlop’s James Beard Award-winning cookbook, “Every Grain of Rice: Simple Chinese Home Cooking,” it’s a perfect example of how a few simple ingredients can be transformed into something truly special. In about an hour, you can have a restaurant-quality meal on the table, without any fancy techniques or hard-to-find ingredients.

Close-up picture of braised pork belly in bowl, garnished with chopped green onion

As a pork belly enthusiast, I was immediately drawn to this recipe, which Dunlop calls Red-Braised Pork or Hong Shao Rou in the cookbook. It’s her favorite version of the dish, drawing from recipes she’s gathered in eastern China, and it’s easy to see why. The tender, succulent pork belly is braised in a fragrant sauce infused with ginger, green onion, and warm spices like star anise and cinnamon, creating a deeply satisfying and memorable meal. It’s no wonder Dunlop’s book has earned high praise from renowned chefs like David Chang of Momofuku, who called it “a must-have for anyone who wants to cook Chinese food at home, home cooks and professionals alike.”

Braised Pork Belly Ingredients

All raw ingredients need to make braised pork belly, in prep bowls, arranged on a table.
  • Pork Belly: boneless, with skin
  • High Heat Oil: such as avocado oil or other neutrally flavored oil
  • Ginger: fresh, unpeeled
  • Green Onions: use white parts for cooking, chop green parts for garnish
  • Shaoxing Wine: a Chinese rice wine that adds depth and complexity
  • Low-Sodium Chicken Stock: the braising liquid that helps create a luscious sauce
  • Dark Soy Sauce: for rich color and umami flavor
  • Honey: a touch of sweetness to balance the savory elements (I swapped in honey where the author called for sugar)
  • Star Anise: a warm, licorice-like spice common in Chinese cooking
  • Ground Cinnamon: just a pinch to add warmth and depth (the author called for a cinnamon stick or some cassia bark, but I substituted ground cinnamon for ease)
  • Fine Sea Salt: to season and enhance all the flavors

My Recipe Tips

  • Cut the pork belly into uniform 1-inch chunks for even cooking and to maximize surface area for the sauce to cling to.
  • Don’t skip the initial high-heat searing step – it helps develop flavor and caramelization on the pork.
  • Be patient during the braising process. The longer it cooks, the more tender and flavorful the meat becomes. Plan for at least 1 1/2 hours, and up to 3 hours for the most succulent results. Keep in mind that the pork belly can become so tender that it may start to fall apart.
  • If you want a glossy, thickened sauce, use a slotted spoon to remove the pork belly from the cooking liquid once it’s tender. Then, turn up the heat and boil the liquid until it reduces and becomes syrupy. Gently stir the meat back into the reduced sauce until it’s heated through, and serve.
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning at the end. Depending on the saltiness of your chicken stock and soy sauce, you may need to add a bit more salt to make all the flavors pop.
Braised pork belly in a bowl garnished with chopped green onion.

3 More Tips from Fuchsia Dunlop

In her cookbook, Fuchsia shares a few more tips to help you make the most of this recipe:

  1. To reduce the amount of oil in the final dish, make it ahead of time and refrigerate overnight. The next day, you can easily scrape off the solidified fat from the surface. But don’t toss it – this flavorful fat is perfect for adding a flavor boost to your stir-fried veggies or mushrooms.
  2. While pork belly is the traditional cut for this dish, Fuchsia suggests that pork ribs or shoulder can also be magnificently red-braised if you prefer a less fatty option.
  3. For a more hands-off approach, you can cook the pork slowly in the oven instead of on the stovetop. It’s not the traditional Chinese method, but it’s definitely more convenient. Just remember to preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C) before getting started.

Storage Tips

Leftover Braised Pork Belly keeps for up to 3 days, refrigerated in an airtight container. However, it doesn’t freeze well as it changes the texture of the fat.

Overhead picture of braised pork belly in a bowl.

Serving Suggestions

Braised Pork Belly can be served over noodles or rice. And here are a few of the author’s suggested additions that can be added to the pot during the last part of cooking:

  • Fried tofu
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Presoaked, dried vegetables like string beans or bamboo shoots
  • Root vegetables like potato, taro root or carrot, added to the pot during the last 30-60 minutes of cooking, depending on the desired tenderness and flavor absorption.

How to Make Braised Pork Belly

To start, cube the pork belly into 1-inch pieces. Then, heat oil in a heavy pot over medium-high heat and sauté the ginger and green onion whites until they release their aroma. Add the pork, letting it cook for a couple of minutes before deglazing the pot with a splash of Shaoxing wine.

Next, pour in the chicken stock, soy sauce, honey, star anise, cinnamon, and salt, giving it all a good stir. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat, cover the pot, and let it simmer away for 1 1/2 to 3 hours, checking and stirring now and then to make sure there’s enough liquid.

When the pork is tender, fish out the star anise, ginger, and green onion whites, and give the dish a taste, adjusting the seasoning if needed. If you want a thicker sauce, remove the lid, crank up the heat, and let it reduce until it coats the pork belly. Add a sprinkle of chopped green onion for garnish and it’s ready to serve!

Recipe Video

Braised Pork Belly

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 2 hours
Total: 2 hours 15 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Calories: 665
Servings: 6 servings
Tender, succulent pork belly in a fragrant sauce of ginger, green onion, and warm spices. A comforting Chinese dish made easy. Adapted from Every Grain of Rice: Simple Chinese Home Cooking, by Fuchsia Dunlop

Ingredients  

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless pork belly with skin
  • 2 tablespoons high heat oil such as avocado oil or other neutrally flavored oil
  • 4 thick slices fresh ginger unpeeled, about a 2-inch piece
  • 3 green onions white parts only, chop green parts for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 star anise
  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt

Instructions 

  • Cut pork belly into 1-inch chunks.
  • Heat oil in a large, heavy bottomed pan over medium-high heat until nearly smoking. Add ginger and green onion whites; cook and stir until fragrant. Add pork; cook and stir 2 minutes, then drizzle with Shaoxing wine.
  • Add chicken stock, soy sauce, honey, star anise, cinnamon and salt and stir well to combine; bring mixture to boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for at least 1 1/2 hours and up to 3 hours. Stir occasionally and do not allow the liquid to boil dry; add more stock or water if needed.
  • Remove and discard star anise, ginger and green onion whites. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. To thicken any liquid that remains, remove lid and increase heat to medium-high; cook and stir to thicken sauce and coat pork belly. Serve garnished with chopped green onion.

Nutrition

Calories: 665kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 65g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 32g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 511mg | Potassium: 321mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 72IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Leave a comment & rate the recipe below!

Related Recipes

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. Ben | Havocinthekitchen says:

    5 stars
    I’ve never cooked pork belly this way, but OMG – it looks and sounds terrific! Loving the addition of aromatics like spices and honey, too.

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      Thanks, Ben! It is incredible, I promise.