This dish is called red-cooked pork, or hong shao rou in Mandarin. It's delicious served on steamed buns or over rice. Caramelized sugar, star anise, and sherry give the braising liquid a complex flavor, and a combination of soy sauce and molasses gives the finished sauce its rich, mahogany color. Serve on steamed buns (such as Andrea's Steamed Buns on this site).

Gallery

Recipe Summary

prep:
15 mins
cook:
2 hrs 25 mins
total:
2 hrs 40 mins
Servings:
12
Yield:
24 pieces
Advertisement

Ingredients

12
Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Cut pork into eight 2x3-inch pieces.

    Advertisement
  • Heat oil in a 6-quart Dutch oven over high heat. In 2 batches, sear pork, fat sides first, until light golden, 30 to 60 seconds per side. Transfer to a plate. Pour out all but 1 to 2 tablespoons of the drippings.

  • Add 1/3 cup sugar to pot; melt, stirring if needed, over medium-high heat. Cook until a light caramel color, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium, then return pork to pot, turning pieces to coat. When sugar darkens to an orange color, after about 1 minute, add water; stir to loosen any sugar stuck to the bottom.

  • Add green onions, garlic, sherry, soy sauce, molasses, star anise, and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. If needed, add up to 1/2 cup additional water to nearly cover pork. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, covered, turning occasionally, until a knife inserted 1/4 inch into the fat layer meets little resistance, about 1 hour and 45 minutes.

  • Transfer pork to a plate with a slotted spoon; loosely cover. Skim fat and drain solids from cooking liquid. Return 4 cups liquid to pot and bring to a boil; simmer over medium-high heat until reduced to about 1 cup, about 30 minutes. Sauce will thicken more as it cools.

  • Slice pork into twenty-four 1/2-inch-thick pieces. Working in batches, warm pork with half the sauce in a large nonstick skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Turn pork frequently to coat and, if desired, let sear slightly. Garnish with cucumber slices and sliced green onion.

Cook's Notes:

Look for pork belly at Asian markets or specialty butchers. If you can't find it, you can use pork shoulder as a substitute; just shred it and discard the fat after braising.

Pork and sauce can be made up to 3 days ahead and chilled separately in airtight containers.

Nutrition Facts

279 calories; protein 15g 30% DV; carbohydrates 15.6g 5% DV; fat 17g 26% DV; cholesterol 41.2mg 14% DV; sodium 1284.5mg 51% DV. Full Nutrition
Advertisement

Reviews (2)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
02/05/2018
I made this with Andrea's recipe for steamed buns. I don't eat pork so I can only review based on my experience of cooking and my kids' opinions. Cooking was relatively straightforward though I probably could have sliced the pork more accurately. The sauce reduced nicely. I added cilantro and coarsely crushed peanuts as well to serve. Read More
2 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 1
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
07/18/2020
My husband is Chinese and he missed eating Chinese food. So I used this recipe to re-create the Chinese braised pork. They came out so yummy and he was mad I didn’t make more lol Read More
Rating: 4 stars
02/05/2018
I made this with Andrea's recipe for steamed buns. I don't eat pork so I can only review based on my experience of cooking and my kids' opinions. Cooking was relatively straightforward though I probably could have sliced the pork more accurately. The sauce reduced nicely. I added cilantro and coarsely crushed peanuts as well to serve. Read More
Advertisement