Aug 9, 2022

Shaoxing Braised Pork Belly 紹興豬肉

Praise the wok! I got a new wok a while ago, despite it's a wee bit oversized for my cabinet, the wok works like wonder. It's basically a non-stick pan but in wok form. It doesn't stick, doesn't really get sticky if the sauce has been dried up, and super easy cleaning.

That also means for this Shaoxing braised pork belly, first of all I don't have to worry about the sauce gets cling on to the surface during extended braising time. Even though the sugary sauce hardens and turns sticky towards the end, just a few rinses under hot water, everything's nice and clean. Invest in a nice cookware if you may, it really unload tons of hassles in the kitchen.

Shaoxing braised pork belly 紹興豬肉 - 

Shaoxing braised pork belly


  • 750 grams skin-on pork belly
  • 3 slices ginger
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 stalk scallion
  • 1/2 cup rock sugar/crystal sugar (use 1/3 cup for less sweet result)
  • 3 tablespoons aged Shaoxing wine
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 2 1/2 cups hot water


Slice the pork belly to thicker pieces. Try to aim for partial fat, partial lean meat, and with a bit of skin on every piece. Must use skin-on pork because it's key to this recipe, otherwise the consistency and texture will be off without the collagen released from the skin.  

Skin-on pork belly

Peel and slice the ginger. Destem and slice the scallion into shorter sections, but take one string and give it a fine chop, which will be used as garnish in the end. 

Take a wok or a clay pot, add in pork along with ginger slices and scallion sections. No need to pour in any extra oil, the pork fat itself will do the work.

Turn to medium heat and cook till the fat starts to render. Continue to sear and flip half way through. Cook till the pork turns slightly browned on both sides.

Searing pork belly with aromatics

Scoop out the pork, ginger slices, and scallion. Drain out all the oil. The fat will continue to render during the braising process, so we don't want it to overflow with pork fat.

Still using the same wok or same pot, add in rock sugar or crystal sugar and pour in about 1/2 cup of hot water. Turn to medium heat and cook till all the sugar has been dissolved. The consistency will appear slightly thickened here due to the high sugar content. 

Cooking down rock sugar

Add the pork, ginger slices, and scallion back to the wok/pot. Give it a quick stir and cook for about one minute. 

Cooking pork belly in sugary water

Add in 1 bay leaf, 2 star anise, 3 tablespoons of aged Shaoxing wine, 3 tablespoons of soy sauce, and 3 tablespoons of dark soy sauce. Also pour in 2 extra cups of hot water.

Braising Shaoxing pork belly

Stir till evenly blended. Turn up the heat and wait till it starts boiling.

Lower the heat to keep it at a lightly bubbling stage. Cover with lid and cook for about one hour.

Remove the lid and check on the braise. If it appears too saucy still, turn up the heat to speed up the process. Cook till the sauce has been thickened, gooey, or more so sticky.

Reducing and condensing the sauce for Shaoxing braised pork belly

If there're more fat on the bottom, don't use it. Only scoop out the pork belly along with the sauce and garnish with chopped scallion.

Shaoxing braised pork belly

It can be very sticky. In fact, once it cools down, the meat might even cling to one another due to the glue-like sugary coating. The edge also hardens and turns slightly crunchy like brûléed sugar, which tastes amazing. 

Shaoxing braised pork belly

No worries if you're going to enjoy it the meal after. Despite that you might loss one degree of two on the crunchy coating, the sweet and savory flavor still standing strong.   

Other recipes using Shaoxing wine:

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