Melt-in-Your-Mouth Braised Pork Belly

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This delectable braised pork belly recipe is sure to become a new favorite. The succulent pork belly simmers in a flavorful broth until it becomes melt-in-your-mouth tender, perfect for serving over rice or mashed potatoes. It’s surprisingly easy to make, requiring minimal prep work and delivering maximum tastebud satisfaction.


Chinese Braised Pork Belly (Hong Shao Rou)
Chinese Braised Pork Belly (Hong Shao Rou)

2 pounds bone-in pork belly, skin on (skin scored in a diamond pattern)

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 4 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced (for garnish)

  • Instructions:

    1. Sear the Pork Belly: Heat the vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, sear the pork belly on all sides until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes per side. Remove the pork belly from the pot and set aside.

    2. Sauté the Aromatics: Reduce the heat to medium and add the diced onion to the pot. Sauté for 5 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook for an additional minute, stirring constantly until fragrant.

    3. Deglaze and Simmer: Pour in the soy sauce, chicken broth, brown sugar, rice vinegar, star anise, black peppercorns, and cinnamon stick. Deglaze the bottom of the pot by scraping up any browned bits. Bring the mixture to a simmer.

    4. Return the Pork Belly: Carefully return the seared pork belly to the pot, ensuring it’s submerged in the liquid. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1.5-2 hours, or until the pork belly is very tender and easily pierced with a fork.

    5. Finish and Serve: Once cooked, remove the pork belly from the pot and transfer it to a cutting board. Let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing into thin pieces. Increase the heat of the remaining braising liquid to medium-high and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until slightly reduced and thickened.

    6. Assemble and Enjoy: To serve, spoon the braised pork belly slices over rice or mashed potatoes. Drizzle with the flavorful sauce and garnish with sliced scallions.

    Nutrition Facts (per serving):

    Calories: 500 (approx.)

  • Fat: 30g (approx.)
  • Protein: 35g (approx.)
  • Carbohydrates: 20g (approx.)
  • Sodium: 800mg (approx.)

  • Please note: This is an approximate nutritional breakdown and may vary depending on the specific ingredients used.


    This braised pork belly recipe offers an explosion of flavors and textures in every bite. The tender pork belly practically melts in your mouth, while the rich and savory sauce complements it perfectly. This easy-to-follow recipe is perfect for a comforting and delicious meal that’s sure to impress your family and friends.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

    1. Can I use boneless pork belly?

    Yes, you can use boneless pork belly for this recipe. However, bone-in pork belly adds extra flavor to the broth. If opting for boneless, adjust the cooking time slightly, checking for tenderness after 1 hour of simmering.

    2. What can I substitute for brown sugar?

    You can substitute honey or maple syrup for brown sugar in a 1:1 ratio. However, brown sugar adds a slight caramel flavor that complements the savory sauce nicely.

    3. How long will the leftovers last?

    Store leftover braised pork belly in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop over low heat until warmed through.

    4. Can I make this recipe in a slow cooker?

    Absolutely! Sear the pork belly as directed in step 1. Then, transfer it to a slow cooker along with all other ingredients. Cook on low for 7-8 hours, or until the pork belly is tender.

    5. What other vegetables can I add to this recipe?