Red-braised Pork (Hongshao Rou)

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Ready In: 55 mins
Serves: 2
Photo: Red-braised Pork (Hongshao Rou)

Red-braised pork, or 红烧肉, is about as scandalously sinful as a dish comes. There are many local twists to this dish, but the general method for making it — slow-braising caramelized cubes of pork belly — is largely the same the country over. It’s little wonder it was the Great Helmsman’s favourite dish.


  • 500 g skin-on pork belly
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Chinese cooking/sherry wine
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 scallions (optional)


  1. Cut pork belly into 3 cm cubes and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a wok on low heat. Add brown sugar to the wok and melting it slightly.
  3. Turn up the heat, add the pork cube in the wok and brown it with the caramelized sugar for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add dark and light soy sauce, and cooking wine to pork, mixing well for 2 minutes.
  5. Turn down the heat, add 2 cups of water to the wok (enough to cover over the pork), add star anise, cover the wok and let it simmer for about 40 minutes -- giving it a stir every 6-7 minutes to prevent burning and add more water if gets too dry.
  6. Once the meat is tender, turn up the heat, and remove the lid to reduce the liquid, stirring continuously until the sauce reduces to a smooth consistency (~5 min.).
  7. Place contents of wok on a serving plate, sprinkle finely chopped scallions over the dish and serve with rice or steamed buns.


Photo Credit: vinwim (文森特)


    • Hi Laura, very sorry about the terribly late reply, and thanks for pointing out that it was missing in the recipe. I’ve updated the recipe – you add the wine at the same time as the soy sauces.

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