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Pork Recipe: Chinese Braised Pork Belly in Soy Sauce

Updated on March 16, 2015
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peachpurple loves to try out different salad recipes at home. Simple and easy salads for everyone

Hot pipping Chinese Pork Belly Stew with dark soy sauce
Hot pipping Chinese Pork Belly Stew with dark soy sauce | Source
3.7 stars from 3 ratings of Chinese Braised Pork Belly

Are you craving for a pork belly recipe or it is just me?

It has been a month since our family had any pork dish for dinner as the price of pork meat , regardless of the body parts are more expensive than chicken and fish.

Hence, our family consume pork dish once a month in order to cut down cost and calories too.

What is pork belly?

Pork belly is half meat, half fats plus the skin from the belly of a pig. It is usually boneless and a very popular ingredient in Asian cuisine especially Chinese and Korean food.

What are the nutrition in pork?

Do not be surprised. Frankly speaking, pork has its' benefits too. They are:

  • Pork has an excellent source of vitamin B, iron and protein.
  • The vitamin B in pork is particularly helpful to reduce stress and tensions.
  • In addition vitamin B6 with zinc helps women, ladies and young teens to ease PMS symptoms too.

Majority of modern pig breeds are low in fats as long as you avoid consuming the crackling ( well-cooked skin of roast pork, usually crispy and oily ). Nevertheless, pork has a little more fats than chicken , if you compare with these 2 domestic animals.

Choose lean pork chops and pork loin which contain modest amount of fats as pork belly has the most fats. Hence, always request the butcher for pork belly with less fats and more meat for healthier choice. It is advisable to purchase organic pork rather than the usual as these pigs are fed with organic food where you will get the lowest cholesterol and less calories pork meat even though you may have to pay a little more money.

Braised Pork Belly-Hainanese Style
Braised Pork Belly-Hainanese Style | Source
Braised Pork Belly- Hokkien Style also known as Tau Yew Bak
Braised Pork Belly- Hokkien Style also known as Tau Yew Bak | Source

2 Varieties of Chinese Braised Pork Belly

There are 2 versions of Chinese Braised Pork Belly cooked in soy sauce. The Hainanese and Hokkein cooking methods.

  • The Hainanese braised pork belly uses sweet ingredients such as red dates, Shaoxiang wine; a Chinese cooking wine and button mushrooms. On the other hand, the Hokkien community uses hard boiled eggs, spices such as star anise and cinnamon bark, pressed beancurd and beancurd puff.
  • The main ingredient which is the pork belly, is either sliced thickly, thinly or diced as according to each Chinese household traditional style of cooking. The main sauce remain unchanged for both Hainanese and Hokkein households. One or two tablespoon of oyster sauce, light soy sauce and dark soy sauce that are either marinate with the pork belly or add in later when the pork is semi-cooked.
  • This Chinese Braised Pork Belly dish requires fats from the pork belly itself in order to produce the tender, juicy, aromatic and tasty pork. Lean pork and chicken meat could not produce the same result as pork belly does, trust me. It just taste isn’t right.
  • If you are afraid of the excess calories that will put you on weight, remove the fats and skin from the cooked braised pork belly before eating. In addition, run around your house compound for 20 minutes to shed off your fear. I doubt having a few slices of pork belly would put you on weight since it is braised, not fried or roasted.

How To Cook Chinese Braised Pork Belly - Hainanese Style

Click thumbnail to view full-size
beancurd puffs-slicedbutton mushrooms - quartersred dates- slicedbig onions- halvescloves of garlic- leave them uncut
beancurd puffs-sliced
beancurd puffs-sliced | Source
button mushrooms - quarters
button mushrooms - quarters
red dates- sliced
red dates- sliced
big onions- halves
big onions- halves
cloves of garlic- leave them uncut
cloves of garlic- leave them uncut

Ingredients to Prepare:

  • 600g pork belly ( san zhen rou- Chinese), sliced thickly
  • 100g button mushrooms, quartered
  • 2-4 pieces beancurd puffs, sliced thickly
  • 1/2 big onion, cut into 1/2
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed with the side of the kitchen knife
  • 8 pieces red dates, pitted and cut into 1/2
  • 3-4 rice bowls Water, for braising
  • 1 tbs Shaoxiang wine, Chinese cooking wine
  • Prep time: 10 min
  • Cook time: 30 min
  • Ready in: 40 min
  • Yields: 4 people

Marinate Sauces

  • 1 tbs oyster sauce
  • 1 tbs light soy sauce
  • 1 tbs dark soy sauce
  • 1tsp pepper powder
  • 1/2 tsp sugar

Why use braise technique?

  1. Braise technique is used in this pork belly recipe as the pork meat are harder to chew compare to lean pork.
  2. Hence, braising the pork belly for 30 minutes or more will help to enhance the tenderness of the pork, delicious juicy and tasty black soy sauce that goes well with white rice and steamed buns.
  3. Braised technique is easy but not quick as it is time consuming.
  4. Get a deep pot, throw in all the ingredients together and pour in sufficient water , enough to cover the surface of the ingredients.
  5. Let them simmer under medium fire for the 1st 10 minutes and then turn to low fire for the rest 20 minutes.
  6. If you want to save the gas, braise the pork belly in a crock pot or slow cooker which will definitely induce much tender pork belly meat.

Marinate Time

Mix all the sauces together with the sliced pork belly.  Marinate for at least 20-30 minutes
Mix all the sauces together with the sliced pork belly. Marinate for at least 20-30 minutes | Source

Marinate pork belly with sauces

  1. Wash pork belly under running tap water. Make sure that all the dirt and pig's hair are removed.
  2. Cut pork belly into thin slices in order to have soft and tender pork. Thick slices of pork belly may take longer time to braise .
  3. Rinse the sliced pork belly and drain well.
  4. Put the sliced pork belly in a big bowl.
  5. Season with the marinate sauces. Mix well with a stainless steel spoon.
  6. Cover the bowl with a plate or a plastic wrap.
  7. Allow the pork to marinate for 20 min or even longer.

Step - by-Step Instructions :

  1. Heat up 1 tbs of oil in a deep pot or crock pot. Stir fry big onion and smashed garlic until you can smell fragrant aroma.
  2. Add in button mushrooms and the marinated pork belly pieces into the crock pot (deep pot ). Stir fry for a while.
  3. Add in the sliced red dates and mix well so that all the ingredients are well coated with the sauces.
  4. Pour in sufficient water that covers the brim of the pork belly pieces. Bring to boil for 10 minutes at medium fire ( heat ).
  5. Simmer the pork stew under low fire for another 30 minutes or until the pork belly pieces are tender. Remember to retain a little sauce for the pork belly. Taste nice with whit rice.
  6. Add in Shaoxiang wine ( chinese cooking wine ) and stir well.
  7. Turn off heat. Serve hot with white rice.

Sauteing Time

Add in the marinated pork belly after sauteing the garlic, ginger and onion.
Add in the marinated pork belly after sauteing the garlic, ginger and onion. | Source

Simmering Time

Add in sufficient water to let them simmer
Add in sufficient water to let them simmer | Source

Into My Tummy Time !

Look at the tender pork and sauce! Can't wait to bite them !
Look at the tender pork and sauce! Can't wait to bite them ! | Source

Tips for a delicious stew:

  1. Do not use a wok to simmer pork stew as the top layer of sauce dries up easily and you need to continuously add in water to simmer the pork meat. Takes much longer time compare to deep pot. Use a deep pot ( soup pot ) , crock pot or slow cooker. These big pots ensure all the sauces will absorb into the pork meat and enhance the chances for the meat to become tender.
  2. After 10 minutes into simmering, stir well the sauces before using a teaspoon to test out the sauce. The reason to stir the sauce is to ensure that all the thick and thin sauces are all well blend together as thick sauce will usually sink at the bottom.
  3. If it taste a little bland, add in 1 tsp of black soy sauce or light soy sauce . Stir again to ensure that the soy sauce is mixed together.
  4. When you use braising technique , do not leave the pot unattended. Remember to check out the sauce often so that it doesn’t dry out and burnt the pork belly instead. Make it a habit to check at every 15 minutes or set a kitchen timer in order to remind you to check out.
  5. Use a stainless steel fork to test out the tenderness of the pork belly. Poke it by pressing down the pork meat portion, not the fatty part. If it is still hard, add in more water to simmer further on, maybe another 10 minutes or so.
  6. A wise way to have tender and juicy meat, allow longer simmer time. Best choice would be using the slow cooker; cook from the morning until dinner time at low function. Do not turn to “high” switch as the sauce will dry up by afternoon and uses high electricity consumption too.
  7. For more ingredient choices, add in beancurd puffs that are cut into cubes, beancurd sheets cut into squares ore cubes of pressed beancurd into the pork stew at least 10-15 minutes before you turn off the heat. Do not use soft beancurd as it will mash it small pieces and spoil the taste.

© 2013 peachy

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    • Vacation Trip profile image

      Susan 4 years ago from India

      Wow. These recipes are simply mouth watering. Thank you PEACHPURPLE for sharing.

    • peachpurple profile image
      Author

      peachy 4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      @vacation

      thanks for dropping by. Hope that you will enjoy this pork recipe. I love the sauce with white rice.

    • WalterPoon profile image

      Poon Poi Ming 4 years ago from Malaysia

      Pork belly, my favorite!

      Peachpurple, the first photo, "Chinese Pork Belly Stew with dark soy sauce", looks yellowish and more like Malay cuisine. Is the color distorted? The Braised Pork Belly- Hokkien Style photo looks appetizing.

      I did try to photoshop your first photo but it seems the resolution is rather low, probably due to insufficient indoor lighting. If you would like to take a look, I can sent it to you.

    • peachpurple profile image
      Author

      peachy 4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      @Walter

      My indoor lights are dim. I tried using the camera flashlight so it must have look like a Malay cuisine. Yeah, sure. Do sent to my email address. Thanks

    • Indian Chef profile image

      Indian Chef 4 years ago from New Delhi India

      Peach purple,

      The recipe looked mouth watering and ur tips on braising technique are superb. Voting it up and awesome. Rated 5 stars

    • peachpurple profile image
      Author

      peachy 4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      @indian

      thanks very much. Your ratings improves my mood. Hope to get more comments from you for my other recipe hubs. Much appreciated.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Mmmm must try this one out ;so saved for future reference; I shall let you know how it turned out. Eddy.

    • peachpurple profile image
      Author

      peachy 4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      @eidd

      thanks for coming. Hope that you enjoy.

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

      Oooh, lovely! Pork belly is my guilty pleasure. I cook the Hokkein version pretty often but haven't yet tried the Hainanese style. Thanks for the recipe. It sounds really great.

    • peachpurple profile image
      Author

      peachy 4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      @om

      really? Yeah, hokkein pork belly is delicious and taste great with rice itself. Do try the hainanese. A little sweet. You can reduce the red dates if you don't like sweet recipes.

    • peachpurple profile image
      Author

      peachy 4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      @om

      thanks for reading. Do try the hainanese pork belly. It is a little sweet due to the red dates. You could lessen the amount.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      The dish looks delicious. Thanks for sharing the method to make it in such detail. Voted up, interesting and rated 5 stars.

    • peachpurple profile image
      Author

      peachy 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      @rajan

      Thanks for your ratings. Greatly appreciated

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Pinning. Miss this from my mum! Thanks for sharing, Peach Purple, and I am passing this around!

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 3 years ago

      @peachpurple this recipe seems absolutely delicious. I love trying new things ive never tried before and i love pork! Nom nom will try soon enough! Voted up

    • peachpurple profile image
      Author

      peachy 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      @midget

      @torrilynn

      Thanks folks. Greatly appreciated for the pinning and votes.

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 3 years ago from Thailand

      I think I have had these in Thailand and they were delicious. There are a lot of Chinese-Thai's, so it wouldn't surprise me if the dishes are originally Chinese. Either way, they taste great.

      Up, useful and sharing with followers.

    • peachpurple profile image
      Author

      peachy 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      @brett

      thank you. I thought thailand are vegetarians! Thanks for sharing and votes. Greatly appreciated

    • Kittymeowmeow profile image

      Kittymeowmeow 3 years ago from United States

      Took me a couple tries to get this recipe right. Great recipe.

    • peachpurple profile image
      Author

      peachy 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      @kitty

      glad to hear that you made it. Sorry to hear that you had to try several times. Did your family managed to finish up the stew?

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Sharing this again, peach purple!

    • peachpurple profile image
      Author

      peachy 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      @midget

      thank you very much. Greatly appreciated !!

    • Daniella Lopez profile image

      Danielle Lopez Newcomb 3 years ago from Arkansas

      I've never had pork belly but this looks amazing! Thanks for sharing!

    • peachpurple profile image
      Author

      peachy 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      delicious. DO try

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 3 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      Looks like a good dish for a cold day. I have tried Hokkien pork belly before and it is very nice, the sauce is delicious. What I like about Asian recipes is the interesting new flavours. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

    • peachpurple profile image
      Author

      peachy 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      thanks for reading

    • Rachel Kruse profile image

      Rachel Kruse 3 years ago from South Yarra, Victoria, Australia

      Interesting and healthy choice !! . I never knew this much about pork belly.

    • peachpurple profile image
      Author

      peachy 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      @Rachel Kruse

      Thanks for reading. Hope that you will enjoy

    • profile image

      mariewj 3 years ago

      Looks like a wonderful recipe. I love pork belly.

    • peachpurple profile image
      Author

      peachy 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      me too

    • Greg Chan profile image

      GChanMako 2 years ago from Syracuse, UT

      This looks yummy well done.

    • peachpurple profile image
      Author

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      thanks very much, have you tried this dish?

    • PinoyMom profile image

      Shiela Gerona 2 years ago from Philippines

      This looks tempting. I'll try to cook this dish one day.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I can tell from reading quite a few of your recipes that you are obviously a very good cook. The photos you took of this dish look wonderful. Many TV chefs like to cook with pork belly. Thanks for sharing your recipe with us!

    • peachpurple profile image
      Author

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      @pinoy

      thanks, do try to let me know

      @peggy,

      thanks, gee, you comment made me blush, So happy

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      It seems the cost of everything has gotten out of control. I was just looking at some pork the other day and did not buy any that day as I had no bag of gold with me.

      This sounds yummy though so I may have to give it a try.

      Thanks for sharing

      Angels are on the way to you this afternoon. ps

    • peachpurple profile image
      Author

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      change the pork to chicken, pork is expensive now

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