Dongpo Braised Pork Belly Recipe

Dongpo meat or Dongpo braised pork belly is a slab of pork belly slow cooked with some herbs and basic sauces. The tenderness of the meat and the unique taste of the sauce make it one of the favourite traditional Chinese braised pork/stew dishes.

There seem to be a lot of fat in it but the lengthy cooking time somewhat makes it less fatty when done. Goes great with Chinese Tea boiled rice and Chinese Flower Buns/Pillow Buns.

Ingredients:

  • 600g squarish multi-layered pork belly, skin on
  • 6-8 stalks spring onion
  • 3-4 slices ginger
  • 3 whole star anise
  • 125ml dark soya sauce
  • 125ml light soya sauce
  • 300ml Shao Xing rice wine
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons rock sugar, ground
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cloves bulb, cut half across the middle
  • Some lettuce or Chinese cabbage

Preparation:

  1. In a large bowl, mix the light and dark soya sauce, Shao Xing rice wine with 1 cup of the water. Set aside for later.
  2. Clean up the pork belly, cut into about 5x5cm squares (or divide into equal squares depending on the dimension of the meat you have).
  3. Tie each square with kitchen strings in crisscross pattern to prevent meat from falling during cooking process.
  4. In a large deep stock pot, place the remaining water, spring onion, star anise and ginger slices. Add in the meat and bring to the boil, then continue to boil for 40 minutes on low.
  5. Remove the meat, place it in a bowl of cold water to cool. Once cooled, drain and dry the meat in a colander or baking rack.
  6. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok, add in the meat and the ground rock sugar, and cook until browned. Pour in the soya sauce and rice wine mix and bring to the boil.
  7. Transfer it to a large claypot, add in the garlic and simmer on lowest heat you can get, for 2 hours, covered.
  8. To serve, arrange the lettuce or Chinese cabbage (if using this, scorch it with boiling water for about 2 minutes prior to serving) in a deep serving dish, place the meat over the vegetable then pour just the gravy over the meat.
  9. Remove strings before serving.
  10. Serves 5-6.

Versatility Note:

  1. The pork belly should have a good mixed layers of fat and lean meat, with skin on. This is what gives the meat the tenderness.
  2. If you don't have a claypot, a slow cooker can be just as good.