Dong po pork (simplified Chinese: 东坡肉; pinyin: dōngpōròu) is a classic Hangzhou dish.The pork belly is cut thick, about 1.8 inches square, and consist equally of fat and lean meat. After a long time simmering, it is so tender that you can literally scoop it with a spoon.
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Chinese Braised Pork Belly Recipe (Dong Po Rou)
- Blanch the pork belly to remove the bad smell. Put it in cold water and bring it to a boil. Boil it for 2 or 3 minutes.
- Put it under running water to cool down the temperature.
- Cut it into 1.8 inches squares. Use a rope to tie it. This is totally optional. I do this just to keep the square shape and so it's easy to take out later. After simmering for a long time, the pork usually turns into a weird shape and it is so tender that you can barely pick up.
- You can use rice cooker/pressure cooker/regular pot/slow cooker to make this.
- Add a lot of spring onion. Just place it in, try to cover the whole bottom!
- Then put 8-10 slices of ginger and 8 cloves of garlic on top of it.
- Place your pork in, skin down. Then add the sugar and the soy sauce
- And 2 cups of shao xing wine. Don’t freak out with that amount of wine. This is like the soul of dong po rou. It gives the dish its signature aroma and rich taste. By the time it finishes, all the alcohol will evaporate, and you will be left with juicy and tender meat.
- Red yeast rice is the last ingredient. I like to use it as food coloring because it is natural. Soak it with 1/3 cup of water for 10 minutes. Press it down with a spoon you can feel that the rice is soft and you are able to crush it to get more color out of the rice. We use the liquid to add color. If you don’t have it, don’t worry, you can skip it or substitute with 1 tsp of dark soy sauce. It doesn’t affect the taste no matter what you use- just the color will be different. If you use dark soy sauce then the color will be dark brown, if you use Red yeast rice then it will be dark red which i think it looks better.
- Pour the color in and also add some water. We already added 2 cups of shao xing wine, so you don’t need a lot, just a little bit like that. You are free to add more water while it's simmering though. If you use a stovetop or another tool, the water will evaporate differently. You don’t want to burn it, so keep an eye on the liquid level.
- The whole technique behind this dish is to bring it to a boil and let it simmer for hours. As I said before, my rice cooker is really bad. It only has 2 settings - rice and congee. But even this one works. I just put it on the rice setting and let it cook for 2 hours. If you got a nice rice cooker which has fancy options like braising the pork. Pick that one. You can also do this in a regular pot, bring it to a boil and stew it on low heat for 2-3 hours. If you have a pressure cooker, you will only need 30 minutes... I am sure a slow cooker will also be good but I don’t have one so I can’t tell you how long it takes. You gotta figure that out. What ever you use please understand that the goal is to let it simmer until the meat is tender. Different tools require different cooking times. Use my video to help you know what it should look like.
- When it is done, there should be about a half cup of sauce left. Spoon out all the fat. Pour the sauce over the pork. You are done.