This recipe will teach you to make traditional Chinese red braised pork belly.
To successfully make the dish, sugar is the key. Sugar gives the pork a beautiful red color and a sweet smell and taste.
Although the pork belly is rich with fat, it won't taste greasy after cooking.
Step 1: Materials
Pork Belly: Get around 2 lbs of pork and cut into chunks, around 1 inch.
Sugar: Around 15~20g (4 teaspoons or 1.5 tablespoons). Depends on how sweet you want. Crystal Sugar would be the best. Other kinds of sugar such as white and brown also work.
Soy sauce: Any kind. Depends on your preference. Personally, I use Kikkoman' soy sauce.
Oil: Vegetable oil is good enough.
Ginger: 4 to 5 slices
Cooking Wine: I use Shaoxing cooking wine which is the traditional cooking wine that used in China. But you can also use the wine you like.
Green Onion: Give some green color for the final red pork
Hot water: Best with 212 F temperature.
Note: The ratio of water and sugar should be 1:1.
Step 2: Clean Up the Pork
- Prepare some boiled water in a pot.
- Add the pork to the pot. Add the ginger slices and 2 tablespoons of cooking wine into the pot.
- Rinse the pork around 1~2 minutes and get it out. Wash in cold water and put on a plate.
Step 3: Stir Fry the Sugar: Part 1
This step is the most important one. By stirring fry the sugar, we can make a red sugar sauce for the pork.
I will divide this step into few parts.
Choose your favorite pan or wok and make sure it's cold. Add just a little oil in the pan/wok.
- Note: Oil is just a medium for sugar to melt down. So we just need a little oil that covers the bottom surface of the wok.
Turn the stove to medium heat. Add the sugar.
Step 4: Stir Fry the Sugar: Part 2
Keep stirring the sugar(use medium heat). The sugar is melting, just like liquid. You can see something similar to the picture.
Step 5: Stir Fry the Sugar: Part 3
Keep stirring until the sugar is completely melted(use medium heat). The liquid should start to turn blond. See the example picture above.
Step 6: Stir Fry the Sugar: Part 4
Keep stirring the sugar sauce(use medium heat). The sauce will start to turn light red. Just like the picture.
Step 7: Stir Fry the Sugar: Part 5
Keep stirring the sauce(use medium heat). As soon as you see bubbles appear, add the prepared hot water. This step will cause some splashing. Be sure to stand back from the pan.
Step 8: Stir Fry the Sugar: Part 6
After putting the water. Keep stirring the sauce(use medium heat). As soon as the sugar sauce doesn't splash anymore, we can proceed to the next step.
Step 9: Braise the Pork
- Now, put in the pork we prepared before. Stir the pork to cover the sauce.
- Add some soy sauce as much as you want. For me, I use around 1~2 tablespoons of soy sauce.
- Add enough water that nearly covers the pork and cover with the lid.
- Use low heat to braise for 45~60 mins.
Step 10: After Braising
After a long time of braising, you may see something similar to the picture. The pork is really tender and covered with red sugar sauce.
Step 11: Final Step
- Turn to high heat to thicken the sauce. Be careful with this step. You should watch the wok or pan all time to make sure the sauce is not over thickened. The time for thickening the sauce depends on the heat you use. So, just be patient.
- When the sauce coats the back of a spoon, get the pork from pan to a dish and spread some green onion on top of it.
- Serve with rice, noodle, spaghetti or something else you like.