Red braised pork belly or Red-cooked pork belly (红烧肉)is one of the most famous Classic Chinese dishes. By mention it, what will you think about? The heavy and savory taste or the brightly red color?
For me the most attracting thing is the juicy, soft but not fatty taste.
In china, there are different variations of red braised pork belly. The differences lay in whether the pork belly should be boiled firstly and the orders of the seasonings. For example we have Su Dong Po style Sushi red cooked pork belly(苏氏红烧肉) and Maoshi red cooked pork belly.
Mao style re braised pork belly(毛氏红烧肉) belongs to Hunan cuisine with a spicy and savory taste. I think that you have gotten that Mao style red cooked pork is famous due to Chinese chairman Mao zedong. While su style red braised pork belongs to Zejiang cuisine.
Now there are many other recipes developed from the basic method of making red cooked pork belly. For example in winter you can try to braise pork belly with white radish and Shanghai Su style Hong Shao Rou.
The recipe introduced today is a human cuisine Mao style red cooked pork belly. This version is also quite popular in Sichuan province.
The key step of making a successful red cooked pork belly at home is to pick the right pork meat.
- 1 pound pork belly
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon cooking wine
- 1 inch root ginger sliced
- 3 garlic cloves slices
- 4 star anise
- 2 cassia
- 10 dried chili peppers
- 1 teaspoon rock sugar
Cut the pork belly into cubes around 2 cm and the. Add some clean water in a large bowl and add 1 tablespoon cooking wine. Soak the pork belly in clean water for around 15 minutes. Move out and drain.
Place the pork belly in a pan and stir fry until the surface becomes slightly brown.
Add dried chili pepper, star anise, ginger slices and garlic slices to stir fry until aroma.
Add 1 tablespoon cooking wine and soy sauce in. Keep frying for another 2 minutes.
Pour in boiling water and simmer for around 1 hour.
Thick the sauce and transfer out.
Light soy sauce can add fresh flavor while dark soy sauce can help to darken the color. So I recommend using a combination.
Add some rock sugar can help to improve the color comparing with white sugar.