Chinese Braised Pork Belly
Two types of soy sauce and a touch of sugar give this dish—beloved throughout China—its signature glossiness and a deep red-brown tint. Everyone knows it, and there are many versions and twists based on the original. This is a great dish to introduce Chinese cuisine (more specifically, home-style Shanghai) to those who’ve only eaten Chinese takeout.
3 /4 lb. of lean pork belly (cut into 3/4-inch thick pieces)
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon sugar (rock sugar is preferred if you have it)
3 tablespoons shaoxing wine
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
½ tablespoon dark soy sauce
2 cups water
Step 1: Cut up the pork belly first. Then bring a pot of water to a boil. Blanch the pork for a couple minutes. This gets rid of impurities and starts the cooking process. Take the pork out of the pot and set aside.
Step 2: Over low heat, add oil. Then add garlic and ginger. Stir fry for 30 seconds. Add the pork. Raise the heat to medium and cook until the pork is lightly browned.
Step 3: Turn the heat back down to low and add Shaoxing cooking wine, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar and water. It’s very important to the color and flavor of this dish that you have both kinds of soy sauce! Just head to your local Asian market, buy a bottle of each, and it will last you a year!
Step 4: Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour until pork is fork tender. Every 5-10 minutes, stir to prevent burning and add more water if it gets too dry. Once the pork is fork tender, if there is still a lot of visible liquid, uncover the wok, turn up the heat, and stir continuously until the sauce has reduced to a glistening coating.
Then it is time to eat!