Home Cooking: Braised Pork Belly (东坡肉)

Heya peeps, it’s me again. I am going to share another recipe. Told you, all recipes I posted is my favourite “go-to” foods. No matter when or where, if I miss home then I will find one or two things I would like to eat to feel home (although I am home). This time is 东坡肉 – dong po rou a.k.a braised pork belly. There are so many versions of this dish, but my favourite is my 中国菜 (Chinese version)… wait,… It’s a Taiwanese version though. Although I never mind with Balinese version, I just taste the Chinese version is lighter and adaptable in my palate. What?! Hahaha… Just saying. You know nothing can beat the tenderness of a pork belly. Once you go porky, you go all out.

Again, since I am an inexperience cook, I try hard to avoid an advance technique (there are a lot I need to learn, especially cooking for my love ones). I want to be a stay-home Mum, looking after my children and taking care the house and of course my husband. I never said a stay-home Mum an easy task, but I am determined to dedicate my life for my family (and I have to earn from home too, only for me to feel secure). And so, I keep learning and never stop cooking. Hehe… Enough with my side story, here we return the first page, my braised pork belly.

If you a regular in a Chinese restaurant, I believe most of them will serve this dish. It is like “all time favourite” for many, especially people like me. Loh?! 🙂 Then about this recipe, I got this recipe from several posts on the internet but most of them using a similar technique and I am applying the closest, simplest and easiest technique. Anybody can cook it, only need a little more time with a very simple ingredients. Are you ready?

What do we need?

Ingredients:

  • 250gr pork belly (I am cooking for y self, you may multiply the recipe)
  • A slice of ginger (3-6 cm length)
  • 3 stalks spring onions
  • 1 cup light soya sauce (I am trying to use a low sodium soya sauce, taste lighter but healthier)
  • 1/4 cup dark soya sauce
  • Rock sugars
  • water to cover the meat
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • 3 tbsps Shaoxing wine (sometimes I substitute it with regular rice wine)
  • 2 tbsps cooking oil (I use corn oil)

Methods:

  1. Cut and divide the pork belly into 2 cm thick (or thicker, based on your preference). Blanch the pork belly on a hot boiling water for 3 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  2. Over a low heat, add oil ginger and rock sugar. Let it caramelised. Turn the heat into medium high. Add pork belly, let it simmer for a minute.
  3. Turn the heat to medium low and add shaoxing wine, spring onions, cinnamon stick, star anise, dark and light soya sauce and cover with water.
  4. When all of the ingredients added. Turn the heat to medium and let simmer for 30-45 minutes (if you make a bigger batch, please adjust the cooking time).
  5. Every 3-5 minutes stir evenly to prevent it from burning and add more water if it is too dry.
  6. Once the pork belly is tender, the braised pork belly done. If there are still many liquid left, open the lid and let it simmer for some times.
  7. Keep stiring until the liquid almost gone. Then, what are you waiting for?! It is best served with hot steamed rice. Nom nom!

NOTE: There are many variations of this dish. Different colour and taste can be found too depends on the origin of the dish. In Shanghai, they call it Hong Shao Rou. It is reddish in colour but almost similar in taste.

Happy cooking.

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x’o’x

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