Red Cooked Pork 紅燒肉

how to cook Red Cooked Pork Belly 紅燒肉 aka Hong Shao Rou or Red Braised Pork
Hope everyone had a nice and relaxing summer.

To celebrate the fall season and to keep my promise from a few weeks ago, I am very excited to share this hearty and delicious Red Cooked Pork 紅燒肉 aka Red Braised Pork or Hong Shao Rou.

Red Cooking Technique

For the readers who haven’t heard of it, red cooking is a Chinese slow cooking technique used to prepare a wide range of ingredients.

The technique requires braising or stewing ingredients in a sweet and savory sauce with just enough liquid over a period of time.
how to cook Red Cooked Pork Belly 紅燒肉 aka Hong Shao Rou or Red Braised Pork
As the name suggested, this technique gives your final dish that signature appetizing red appearance which is a factor used to judge the quality of a dish in Chinese cooking.

There are a few ways to achieve that magic look. The most traditional way is to incorporate a caramel-like sugar mixture with other ingredients. Alternatively, you can add red yeast or dark soy sauce to the dish. Sometimes one more one method is used to get the best balance.

Among all red cooked dishes, Red Cooked Pork holds a special status in Chinese cuisine.

Red Cooked Pork to Chinese cuisine is Chicken potpie to American cuisine. It’s a traditional dish you’ll find at fancy Chinese resultants just as often as at household dinner table.

It’s also one of the few dishes I grew up eating almost once every week at family gatherings.
how to cook Red Cooked Pork Belly 紅燒肉 aka Hong Shao Rou or Red Braised Pork
Although there are many regional variations and secret sauces from each family, the basic ingredients are just pork belly, sugar, and cooking wine. Today’s recipe is just one variation (and a really good one!)

New YouTube Video

Because it’s such a special dish, I even made a YouTube recipe video for this dish!

It’s my first recipe video in almost 3 years and I am super excited about it. Head over to my channel now to check out this some of my other videos too.

If you haven’t done so, please subscribe to my YouTube channel so you won’t miss my upcoming videos that I am really pumped up about! And if you find my videos helpful, please kindly give me the thumbs up 🙂

Lastly, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment on my Youtube channel and let me know how I can make my next video more helpful to you.

About this Red Cooked Pork Recipe

The recipe I am sharing today is adapted from chef Kian Lam Kho’s award-winning cookbook: Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees. It’s a great book for anyone’s interested in Chinese cooking and you can read about my review here.

I’ve done Red Cooked Pork plenty of times using the recipe taught by my grandfather and I have to say that chef Kian’s version is very straightforward and stress-free, making it perfect for readers who are new to this dish.

As seen in the recipe, it’s amazing how few ingredients are required to make this tender and flavorful pork heaven. The pork belly is slowly braised in a sweet and savory sauce until it become really tender and flavorful while the fat is being rendered off and turning into part of the sauce. The end product are chunks and chunks of mouth-watering meat candies that’ll melt in your mouth.

I’d also like to give credit to the Anolon Vesta cast iron braiser which made cooking this dish easy and fun.
how to cook Red Cooked Pork Belly 紅燒肉 aka Hong Shao Rou or Red Braised Pork
The heavy construction and seasoned interior of this his 5-qt beast produced a perfect sear I needed before braising. The spiky self-basing lid keeps all the flavor and moisture in the dish while speeding up the cooking process.

Giveaway Deadline Friendly reminder

This is the LAST WEEK (giveaway ends on 10/9/16) you can enter to win this Anolon braiser along with Anolon stir-fry pan and a copy of chef Kian’s Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees Cookbook (a $20o value)

If you haven’t done so, please take 30 seconds to enter to win by leaving a comment here.Free Anolon-Nouvelle-Copper-12-inch-stir-fry-pan

Step-by-step

Red Cooked Pork 紅燒肉

Yield: 4 Servings

Prep Time:30 mins

Cook Time:90 mins

Total Time:120 mins

Learn to make this classic Red Cooked Pork following my step-by-step instructions at http://yireservation.com

Ingredients:

  • 1.5lb pork belly
  • 1.5cup water/pork broth from step 1
  • 2tbsp sugar
  • 1tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 3 star anise
  • 1/2cup shaoxing cooking wine
  • 3 clove garlic
  • 2 scallions, cut into 2 inch segments

Directions:

Parboil the pork belly in a large pot of water for 20 minutes. Skim off any foam or scum on the surface. Transfer the pork belly out and let it cool to room temperature. Save 1.5 cups of pork stock for later use.how to cook Red Cooked Pork Belly 紅燒肉 aka Hong Shao Rou or Red Braised PorkCut the pork belly into smaller pieces. I generally prefer 1”x1” but you can go up to 1.5”x1.5”. Anything larger than that will be hard to bite into.how to cook Red Cooked Pork Belly 紅燒肉 aka Hong Shao Rou or Red Braised PorkIn a skillet or dutch oven, combine ½ cups of water and the sugar and cook over medium heat.how to cook Red Cooked Pork Belly 紅燒肉 aka Hong Shao Rou or Red Braised PorkOnce the mixture starts to caramelize, add the pork to the skillet and let it brown.how to cook Red Cooked Pork Belly 紅燒肉 aka Hong Shao Rou or Red Braised PorkMake sure to stir and turn the pork chunks regularly to prevent from sticking to the bottom and get a nice and event browning.how to cook Red Cooked Pork Belly 紅燒肉 aka Hong Shao Rou or Red Braised PorkThen add garlic, scallions, star anise, dark and regular soy sauce, cooking wine, and pork stock from step 1 to the skillet. Stir to mix.how to cook Red Cooked Pork Belly 紅燒肉 aka Hong Shao Rou or Red Braised PorkBring to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer and cook for 1.5 hours with lid on. Stir periodically to prevent the meat from sticking to the bottom. Alternatively, you can also transfer everything to a slow cooker and cook until meat is tender.how to cook Red Cooked Pork Belly 紅燒肉 aka Hong Shao Rou or Red Braised PorkLast step, with the lid off, reduce the sauce to a rich and thick consistency and serve the pork with a side of steamed rice.how to cook Red Cooked Pork Belly 紅燒肉 aka Hong Shao Rou or Red Braised Pork
Recipe adapted from Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees by Kian Lam Kho

P.S.

After you finish the pork, you’d most likely be left with some very rich sauce from the red cooked pork. You can simply discard it but I always try to make use of it. The sauce is packed with tons of flavor so I like to roast some potatoes using that sauce.

Leave a comment if you have any other ideas!
how to cook Red Cooked Pork Belly 紅燒肉 aka Hong Shao Rou or Red Braised Pork

37 comments

  1. 18

    Ohhh my you made me drool instantly when i saw that first photo! A good bowl of that plus a freshly cooked rice will definitely make my day.

  2. 17

    Congrats on the YouTube channel. Have subscribed. Looking forward to future videos!

  3. 16

    So many wonderful tempting recipes on your blog!
    Have a great weekend.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  4. 15

    OMG, I used 12 tbs of sugar, There should be some punctuation marks somewhere. This is going to be candied pork for sure. Oh my, I thought it was a lot.

    • 15.1

      Hi Janet, I apologize. I just reformatted the ingredient list so the ingredients are in separate rows now. Sorry for the confusion.

  5. 14

    Hi yi. 12 tbs sugar oh quite a  lot .  Can i put less n wont affect the taste tks\

    • 14.1

      Hello Tong, you actually just need 2 tbsp of sugar. I just double checked the ingredient list and it’s corrected stated. Hope this answers your question. Thanks for checking out the recipe.

  6. 13

    im going to make this tonight or this weekend. you cant imagine the shock i had when i got notification that a new video has been posted to your channel. Its been a loooooonnng time!
    Hope to see more videos on there (not after another 3 years i hope lol)

  7. 12

    This looks absolutely unctuous. Thank you for breaking down the steps to creating perfectly soft and flavorful pork – you really made it easy to understand and accessible. I am excited to try!

  8. 11

    Sorry my word promoter changed your name in my post.

    • 11.1

      No worries and congratulations to the restaurant opening and selling out daily! I am so jealous of you! I am really happy to hear that you have found my blog helpful and that means a lot. Would love to see some of your dishes on social media 🙂

  9. 10

    Hello Ying,
    I’m giving this a good tomorrow or the next day. I’m in Thailand. I’m from the US. But have lived here a long time. Your Char siew recipe was great. I just opened a small everyday restaurant with my wife. We’re just making simple fare. Haianese Chicken. Crispy Pork, Char Siew. Only been open a week now but we sell out daily. Your blog helped a lot. I’m sure it will continue to do so. Funny, we use the exact black dishes as in the above picture.

  10. 9

    Now this is one tasty dish! I love eating it but have not made it home in a long time. I love your idea of using the leftover sauce in a potato dish. Brilliant. CNY comes a little earlier this year. Will you be going back home? Sharing your delicious recipe!

    • 9.1

      Hi Bobbi, thanks for stopping by. I am already excited about the Chinese New Year (CNY) although it’s still months away. Will definitely share some festival recipes regardless where I’ll be around that time 🙂

  11. 8

    Bet this is good with noodles and maybe a red vinegar dip.

  12. 7

    Bet noodles would be nice with the red gravy!

  13. 6

    Just love these fabulously delicious recipes popping up in my inbox. This red cooked pork belly recipe is a keeper along with so many of your others that I’ve made. Thank you, Yi!!

  14. 5

    This yummyness reminds me of “lap mei” or like “lap yuk.” That salty, sometimes greasy dried pork put in a clay pot of rice mixed with some sweet soy sauce. Om nom noms.

    I think one of these days I’m going to try this recipe out. I rarely cook Asian dishes because my mom always cook for me lol. But I think if I can make this dish, it will impress just about anyone.

    • 5.1

      Hello Coralie, I know exactly what you are referring too. The salty persevered meat aka lap yuk is sooo good. I’ll have to get a recipe from my dad one of these days.

      • Hi Yi! That’d be awesome!! I’ve always wanted to know how they make that dehydrated fatty meat. It tastes so gewwd with the clay pot of rice. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy your other recipes :).

  15. 4
    Beatrice Boschulte Reply

    I think your YouTube video was very good. It made me hungry just watching it. The only change I would make make would be to remind your audience the exact amounts you used as you are adding things together. If they did like me and head to the video first and not the recipe.All in all I can’t wait for your next. My family is gonna love this!!!
    Thanks Yi !!!!

  16. 2

    Oh Yi…this is one of my favorite dish…but somehow never made it myself…thanks for the recipe I will sure give this a try…looks so tasty…I just need a bowl of rice to go with it!
    Hope you are having a fabulous week 🙂

  17. 1

    Love red cooked pork! Such a flavorful dish. Looks great, too. Best way to cook pork belly IMO. Well, making bacon out of it is darn tasty, too. 🙂

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