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Braised Pork Belly, 红烧肉
Sweet and savory candied pork belly
Have you ever told a parent that you like a particular dish? Now every time you go home, they make this dish? This dish is that perpetual dish for my brother. To his credit, it is pretty tasty.
4 lb pork belly
When picking pork belly, choose one with many layers (meat/fat/meat/fat/meat/fat/etc). Aunt Kim says 7 layers is the best.
The worst meat is one with a very thick fat layer and very thick meat layer. This leads to too much fat and tough meat.
2 teaspoon white vinegar (for cooking meat)
1/2 teaspoon salt (for cooking meat)
1/2 lb sugar
1/2 cup of soy sauce
1/2 cinnamon stick (~1.5in)
3 pieces of raw licorice tablets (甘草片)
2 tsp cooking wine
Prepare the pork by cleaning it and plucking out the hairs. We give our pork the tweezer treatment.
Cut the pork belly into cubes.
Boil water in a pot. Place half of the water in a wok. Add vinegar and salt to the wok. Add the pork cubes to the wok and boil for one minute.
Move the pork belly into the pot of hot water without vinegar and salt.
In a clean wok, stir fry the sugar over medium heat until the sugar is liquefied into a brown substance. Make sure to stir vigorously to avoid burning. At the same time, separately boil a new pot of water.
Add some boiling water to the sugar mixture to make a thick congealed gel.
Add the pork to the sugar mixture and fill the wok with the freshly boiled water, just enough to cover all of the meat. Bring the water to a boil. Add soy sauce, cooking wine, licorice, cinnamon stick. Then turn the heat to medium heat and boil for two more minutes.
Add to a slow cooker and cook on high for one to three hours.
When done cooking, remove the pork from the mixture. Mix some cornstarch with water. Then remove some of the mixture from the slow cooker to combine with the cornstarch to solidify the sauce in a pot or wok.
Pour the sauce over the pork.
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