红烧肉 (Hong Shao Rou) is a very famous Chinese dish. It is usually cooked for special occasions and always a crowd pleaser. Using belly pork, this dish has slight variations throughout Asia. Here’s my version of the infamous Red Braised Pork and it is definitely one that my family enjoys!
Ingredients (serves 4)
- Pork Belly 800g
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 3 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tsp Chinese Vinegar
- 150ml Shaoxing Wine
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 star anise
- 2-3 dried chillies
- 2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
- Ginger 1 x 2cm (finely chopped)
- 1 tsp 5 spice powder
- Spring onion x 4 (separate the white part for cooking and green for garnish)
First, slice the pork belly to about a finger’s width (1-1.5cm). Some would first blanch the pork in boiling water for a few minutes before browning it. I prefer to brown it and do everything in one pot.
Heat the pan and when it is hot enough, put the sliced pork belly in. Lightly brown the pork belly, this would usually take about 3 – 5 minutes.
Next, add the brown sugar to caramelised the pork. Once the pork is caramelised, add the bay leaves, star anise, garlic, ginger and dried chillies. Fry for about 5 minutes, then add the soy sauces, Chinese vinegar and five spice powder. Bring to a boil, then add the Shaoxing Wine. Simmer for a further 5 minutes.
Now, add the spring onions. Transfer to the oven for a further 45-60 minutes at 170C. You can also opt to continue cooking on the hob over medium heat, occasional stirring to ensure the pork is well coated and the pot isn’t drying up! I usually use my cast iron pot so it’s easy to put everything into the oven – as one of my one pot wonders!
You can serve it straight from the pot or dish it out. With children, it is best to dish out. Garnish with some spring onions. To complete the whole Chinese cuisine experience, serve with rice and stir fry vegetables. Enjoy!