Red braised pork belly (红烧肉)


  • 1 large cut of pork belly
  • Small piece of ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 5 dried red chilis
  • dash of cinnamon or cinnamon stick
  • handful of Szechuan peppercorns. I like a lot.
  • 3 star anise
  • 30g dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Xiaoxing wine
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup dark soy sauce

The aromatics are pretty awesome.


  1. Boil pork belly in water. Remove and cool. Reserve the porky water.
  2. Cut pork belly into bite-sized piece, including both meat and fat in each piece.
  3. Oil a pot, and cook first the red chilis, then the sugar.
  4. Add the pork belly and stir until coated and slightly caramelized.
  5. Add all the remaining ingredients.
  6. Pour in enough water to submerge all the contents.
  7. Cover and simmer on low for 90 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat and serve. Optionally garnish with sliced scallions.


  • An enameled dutch oven works really well for this recipe.
  • When serving, the pork can be removed from the pot, and the liquid can be reduced to form a sauce.
  • This dish is rich in flavor. It pairs nicely with a bowl of comparatively muted white rice.


This recipe was mainly inspired by a recipe shared Chinese Cooking Demystified. I have made some modifications.