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How to Make Authentic Red Braised Pork

Red braised pork originated in the Jiangsu and Zhejiang regions of China. It appeared as early as the Three Kingdoms period(220-280 AD). At that time, the Emperor of the Wu Kingdom, Sun Quan, had a strong appetite for meat but often forgot to eat due to his busy schedule of state affairs.In order to ensure that he could have a proper meal, his mother invented this dish. The recipe for red-braised pork has been passed down through generations and gradually evolved into its current form.

This dish typically presents a vibrant reddish-brown color, which is not only visually appealing but also a sign of its delicious taste.

Cooking Method ,
Courses , ,
Difficulty Intermediate
Prep Time: 20 min Cook Time: 60 min Rest Time: 5 min Total Time: 1 hr 25 mins
Servings 2

Red braised pork is renowned for its vibrant red color, tender texture, rich flavor from the slow stewing process, and the perfect balance of fat and lean meat. During cooking, the meat slowly absorbs the aroma of the seasoning, enhancing its richness. Additionally, the slow stewing method preserves the original flavor and juices of the meat, resulting in a more delicious taste for this dish.

  • 450 grams pork belly
  • 1/4 stalk scallion
  • 3 pieces sliced ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 10 grams rock sugar
  • 15 milliliters cooking wine
  • 60 milliliters light soy sauce
  • 10 milliliters dark soy sauce
  • 1 piece cinnamon
  • 1 piece star anise
  • 1 piece bay leaves
  1. Cut 1/4 of a scallion into sections.

  2. Slice 3 pieces of ginger.

  3. Flatten 4 cloves of garlic with a knife.

  4. Wash of pork belly with skin, then cut it into Mahjong tile-sized pieces.

    Mahjong is a traditional Chinese tabletop game typically played by four players, involving a combination of tiles to achieve victory.
  5. Prepare star anise, cinnamon, and bay leaves.

  6. Place the pork belly in the pan without oil and fry over medium-low heat until the surface is golden brown.

  7. Turn the heat to low, add rock sugar, scallion, ginger, garlic, star anise, cinnamon, and bay leaves, stir-fry until the rock sugar melts.

  8. Pour 15ml of cooking wine along the edge of the pan, heat over medium heat until the alcohol flavor evaporates.

  9. Pour light soy sauce and dark soy sauce along the edge of the wok, stir-fry evenly.

  10. Pour in 800-1000ml of boiling water.

    Adding cold water will make the meat tough.
  11. Cover the pan with a lid and stew over low heat for at least 1 hour.

    If the water level is low, you can add a small amount of boiling water as needed, but try to add water all only once. When the fatty parts of the meat have softened, remove the lid, increase the heat to high, and reduce the sauce until it thickens.
  1. Pork belly does not need blanching. It's best to select fresh ones when choosing pork belly. Don't using frozen meat if possible.
  2. Pork belly contains a lot of fat, so no oil is needed when frying it in a non-stick pan. If using other cookware, you can add a small amount of oil as needed to prevent sticking.
  3. If you're concerned about excessive fat, after step 6, you can pour out as much oil as possible after frying the meat. This oil is very fragrant when used to stir-fry vegetables.
  4. Keep the heat low when frying rock sugar to prevent it from burning and turning bitter.
  5. When pouring in the seasoning such as light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and cooking wine, pour them along the edge of the pan to maximize the release of their aroma.
  6. When stewing meat, it's essential to add boiling water. This makes the meat tender and soft. Adding cold water, on the other hand, will make the meat tough.
  7. Stew over low heat in a pan (such as an iron or stainless steel) for 1 hour, or in a cast iron pan for 40 minutes. This is to ensure that the braised pork is rich but not greasy, tender, and delicious.
  8. The saltiness of light and dark soy sauce is already enough, and the evaporation of water during stewing will intensify the saltiness. If you prefer a lighter flavor, there is no need to add additional salt.
  9. As long as it is stewed for enough time, the braised pork will naturally be rich but not greasy, plump, and delicious. The fatty parts will be tender and not greasy, while the lean meat will not be dry.
  10. For friends who enjoy the aroma of alcohol, you can replace the boiling water with beer. The enzymes in beer have the effect of softening meat fibers. It is recommended to use light beer, otherwise it may become bitter.
  11. After stewing, turn up the heat to reduce the sauce until it thoroughly coats the meat. Once the sauce has been reduced and the heat turned off, quickly cover the pan and let it sit for 3 to 5 minutes. This step is crucial for achieving a tender and smooth texture.
  12. Each step mentioned above is crucial and contributes to achieving a dish with a perfect balance of color, aroma, and flavor.
Keywords: Homecook Cuisine, Sweet and Salty, Pork