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Braised Pork Belly (红烧肉)

by Kelly
Braised Pork Belly (红烧肉) that melts in your mouth, and super easy to cook

Braised pork belly has a long-standing history, with its roots tracing back to different regions and cuisines. While its precise origin remains uncertain, it has become an integral part of Chinese, Korean, and Southeast Asian cuisines, each offering their unique twist to this sumptuous dish.

In Chinese cuisine, braised pork belly is commonly known as “Hong Shao Rou / 红烧肉” or “Red-Braised Pork.” It is said to have originated in the Jiangsu province during the Qing Dynasty. Initially a delicacy reserved for the imperial court, the dish gradually gained popularity among the masses. Its distinct red hue and melt-in-your-mouth tenderness soon made it a favorite in households across China.

In Korean cuisine, braised pork belly is known as “Samgyeopsal,” a term that translates to “three-layered flesh” referring to the layers of meat, fat, and skin. Samgyeopsal has been a beloved part of Korean cuisine for centuries, often enjoyed as a part of communal meals or wrapped in lettuce leaves with various condiments.

Southeast Asian countries, such as Thailand and Vietnam, also have their own versions of braised pork belly. These dishes incorporate local spices and flavors, showcasing the diversity and adaptability of the recipe across different cultures.

Braised pork belly owes its irresistible allure to a symphony of flavors. The sweet notes of sugar, the warmth of ginger, the earthiness of star anise and bay leaves, and the subtle kick of pepper create a harmonious blend. The marriage of light and dark soy sauce imparts depth and richness to the sauce.

Braised Pork Belly takes a little longer to achieve that melt-in-your-mouth tenderness, but the actual recipe steps are so simple that anyone can do it, and the rich savoury sauce is perfect to pair with white rice. My kids love the tenderness of the pork and they always drizzle sauce all over their rice every single time 😂. So let’s get to it!

Watch How To Make It

Braised Pork Belly (红烧肉)

Braised Pork Belly has melt-in-your-mouth tenderness with a rich savoury sauce that is perfect to pair with white rice, with steps that are so simple, anyone can do it!
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Keyword: dinner, easy recipe, lunch
Servings: 2


  • 600 g pork belly


  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 5 slices ginger
  • 4 star anise
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 green onions
  • 1/3 cup cooking wine
  • 1/4 cup light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • hot water


  • Cut the pork belly into 1-inch chunks. Parboil pork belly for 4-5 minutes then remove the scum.
  • Put the pork into a pot without oil. You don’t have to add oil because the pork belly is fatty. Let it cook until the sides turn golden.
  • Add all the sauce ingredients and hot water until it covers most of the pork. Bring the liquid to a boil. Cover with lid and let it simmer over medium heat for 40 minutes until the pork is tender.
  • Remove the pot cover and crank up the heat to thicken the broth. Stir from time to time so that the bottom doesn’t burn.
  • Garnish with spring onion and serve!

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