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Hunan - Chairman Mao's Red Cooked Pork Belly

Updated on October 18, 2012

Chairman Mao's Red-Cooked Pork Belly

Red-cooked Pork belly
Red-cooked Pork belly
Pork Belly
Pork Belly
Fresh ginger Root
Fresh ginger Root
Cinimon Sticks
Cinimon Sticks


Chairman Mao’s Red Cooked Pork Belly


Chairman Mao was born in Shaoshan, Hunan province. His favorite food was reported to be red-cooked pork belly and this is the recipe for it. The government officials in China are so protective of this dish that they provide official guidelines to restaurants in China as to how to make it. They even insist that it must be made from the local rare Ningxiang pigs.


You can make it with ordinary pork belly, which is just unsmoked bacon. Your local butcher should be able to supply you with this cut of meat. Otherwise, any Chinese grocery should have it. I suppose if you can’t find anything else, you could use salt pork but it is not the same and you will have to get rid of some of the salt first.


This dish can also be refrigerated of frozen for future use. It can also be used to make Japanese braised pork belly buns and similar dishes.




Preparation Time:

30 Minutes

Cooking Time:

60 Minutes



1 Lb. of Lean Pork Belly (unsmoked bacon)

2 Tablespoons Cooking Oil

2 Tablespoons Sugar

1 Tablespoon Dry white Wine

Water to Cover

¾ Inch Piece of Fresh Ginger unpeeled and thinly sliced

1 Whole Star Anise (8 Points)

2 Whole Dried Red Chili Peppers

2 Inch Piece of Cinnamon Stick

3 Scallions cut into three inch lengths including the green part


Cooking Instructions:

  1. Place the pork belly in a three-quart saucepan, cover it with water and parboil it for five minutes.
  2. Drain the pork and let it sit on a plate until it is cool enough to cut into one-inch squares.
  3. Put the oil and sugar into the same pan that you used to parboil the pork and cook over medium heat while stirring with a wooden spoon until the sugar caramelizes to a rich brown color.
  4. Lower the heat and add the wine and water to just cover the meat.
  5. Add the ginger, cinnamon stick, chili peppers, star anise and scallions and simmer covered for 45 minutes until the pork is fork tender. At this point the pork should be mahogany in color and the sauce should be reduced by half.
  6. Taste the sauce and adjust with soy sauce and sugar if necessary.
  7. At this point, the pork may be refrigerated or frozen for future use.
  8. To serve, transfer to a bowl leaving the seasonings behind and sprinkle with additional chopped scallions. Serve with rice.


Hunan Cooking

1 star from 2 ratings of Red Cooked Pork Belly

Red Cooked Pork Belly

Changsha - the capital of Hunan Province

Changsha Montage
Changsha Montage

Hunan Provence - Birthplace of Chairman Mao

Changsha, Hunan, China

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Shaoshan, China where Chairman Mao was born:
Shaoshan, Xiangtan, Hunan, China

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Hong Kong:
Hong Kong

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