Red Cooked Pork 红烧肉


Red Cooked Pork is a Chinese dish where fatty pork belly is braised in a spicy soy sauce until the pork is so tender, it literally melts in your mouth. In a way, it is also very similar to dong po rou, one of the most delicious dishes I’ve ever made in my kitchen, except that dong po rou is not spicy.

Ingredients (serves 3-4)

  • 1 pound pork belly, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 4 star anise
  • 3 dried red chili, soaked in warm water
  • 2 cloves whole garlic, unpeeled
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sweet dark soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup Chinese cooking wine
  • 1 tablespoon sugar



In a pot, add water and bring to a boil.

Place the pork belly pieces in the water for about two minutes, or until white scum comes out from the pork. (Like in Picture 3.) Remove the pork pieces from the water (don’t worry, they won’t be cooked) and set aside. Discard the water used for boiling.


In the same pot, add the water, soy sauce, sweet dark soy sauce, cooking wine, dried red chili, star anise and garlic. Add the pork belly pieces into the pot as well, and bring the contents to a boil.

When the contents come to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and let simmer for at least two hours (I simmered for 3 hours!)

After simmering, remove the meat pieces from the gravy gently. At this point, they are so tender, they might fall apart with minimal poking.

Leave the wet contents in the pot and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce the sauce until half its volume.

Return the pork pieces back into the gravy, serve and enjoy!



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