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Red-Braised Pork Belly (Hong Shao Rou)

Prep Time

    •    Prep and cook time: 1 hour & 20 minutes
    •    Yield: Serves 8


    •    ¼ cup sugar
    •    1 star anise pod
    •    ¼ cup light soy sauce
    •    2 garlic cloves, crushed
    •    Cooked short-grain rice (for serving)
    •    1 2" piece ginger, peeled, thinly sliced
    •    ¼ cup Shaoxing wine (Chinese rice wine)
    •    2½ lb. skin-on, boneless pork belly, cut into 1" pieces
    •    4 scallions, white and pale green parts coarsely chopped, dark green parts thinly sliced


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pork and cook, skimming off foam from surface, 5 minutes (this blanching step gets rid of any impurities on the pork, making it more tender; don't skip this step!). Transfer pork to paper towels to drain.

  2. Wipe out pot. Heat 3 Tbsp. water in pot over medium-high. Add sugar, stir to dissolve, and cook, stirring constantly, until syrup thickens and turns a pale amber color, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and return pork to pot, swirling so all sides are covered in caramel. Add white and pale green parts of scallions, ginger, garlic, and star anise. Cook, tossing, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add soy sauce and wine and cook, stirring, until slightly reduced, about 1 minute.

  3. Pour in 3 cups water (it should just barely cover pork; add more if needed). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cook, partially covered and stirring occasionally, until pork is tender, 50–60 minutes.

  4. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pork to a plate; remove pot from heat. Let sauce cooking liquid cool slightly so rendered fat can rise to the surface. Using a ladle, skim off as much fat as possible (save it for another use).

  5. Return pot to medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened and glossy, 12–15 minutes. Return pork to pot and toss to gently reheat and coat with sauce.

  6. Transfer pork to a platter. Pour sauce over. Top with dark green scallion parts and serve with rice alongside.

This great family recipe is thanks to bon appetit Recipes at


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