Unlock Culinary Bliss with Irresistible Chinese Braised Pork Belly Rec – Seaco Online
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Unlock Culinary Bliss with Irresistible Chinese Braised Pork Belly Recipe

Hong Shao Rou is the famous braised pork belly that you should try if you have a great love for Chinese cuisine. This succulent and flavourful dish is a staple in Chinese cuisine and is enjoyed by many around the world. The dish is made by braising pork belly in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, and spices until it becomes tender and flavourful.

A pot of simmering soy sauce, ginger, and garlic. Pork belly slices caramelizing in the rich, savory broth. Steam rising, filling the kitchen with an irresistible aroma

To make this dish, you'll need a few essential ingredients, including pork belly, soy sauce, sugar, and spices. Preparation techniques include blanching the pork to remove impurities and pan-frying it in a mixture of oil and sugar to caramelize the surface. The braising process involves simmering the pork in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, and spices until it becomes tender and flavourful. Once the dish is ready, it can be served with rice or noodles and paired with a variety of side dishes.

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese braised pork belly, also known as hong shao rou, is a popular and flavourful dish in Chinese cuisine.
  • Essential ingredients for this dish include pork belly, soy sauce, sugar, and spices.
  • Preparation techniques include blanching and pan-frying the pork, while the braising process involves simmering the pork in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, and spices.

Essential Ingredients

A large pot simmering on a stove, filled with chunks of succulent pork belly, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and star anise. Steam rises, filling the kitchen with a rich, savory aroma

When it comes to making Chinese braised pork belly, there are a few essential ingredients you'll need to have on hand. Let's take a closer look at each of them.

Selecting the Pork Belly

The star of the show is, of course, the pork belly. Look for a piece that is well-marbled with fat, as this will help keep the meat moist and tender during the braising process. You'll want to select a cut that is about 1kg in weight, with the skin still attached.

Aromatics and Spices

To add flavour to the dish, you'll need a selection of aromatics and spices. Ginger and scallions are a must, as they provide a fresh, aromatic flavour that complements the richness of the pork belly. Star anise and cinnamon are also commonly used, as they add a warm, slightly sweet flavour to the dish.

Sauces and Seasonings

To give the dish its signature colour and flavour, you'll need a few sauces and seasonings. Soy sauce is a must, as it provides a rich, savoury flavour and helps to darken the dish. Both light and dark soy sauce can be used, with the latter providing a deeper colour and flavour. Shaoxing wine is also commonly used, as it adds a slightly sweet, nutty flavour to the dish. Finally, rock sugar or granulated sugar is used to balance out the flavours and add a touch of sweetness.

If you're feeling adventurous, you could also consider adding some seafood to the dish. Shrimp or scallops would work well, as they provide a delicate, sweet flavour that complements the richness of the pork belly. Just be sure to add them towards the end of the cooking process, so they don't overcook and become tough.

Preparation Techniques

Pork belly being marinated in soy sauce, ginger, and spices in a large pot. Onions and garlic being sautéed in a separate pan

Preparing Chinese braised pork belly requires a few essential techniques to achieve the perfect texture and flavour. This section will guide you through the three main steps of preparing the dish: cleaning and blanching, cutting and searing, and layering flavours.

Cleaning and Blanching

Before cooking, it is important to clean and blanch the pork belly to remove any impurities and excess fat. Start by rinsing the pork belly under cold running water to remove any dirt or debris. Then, place the pork belly in a pot of cold water and bring it to a boil. Once the water boils, remove the pork belly and rinse it again under cold running water. This process will help to remove any impurities and excess fat, resulting in a cleaner and healthier dish.

Cutting and Searing

After cleaning and blanching, it is time to cut the pork belly into 3/4 inch thick pieces. This will help to ensure that the pork is cooked evenly and absorbs all the flavours of the dish. Once the pork is cut, sear it in a mixture of oil and sugar until the surface is caramelized and golden brown. This step is crucial for creating a crispy texture and adding depth of flavour to the dish.

Layering Flavours

To create a rich and complex flavour, it is important to layer the aromatics and seasoning throughout the cooking process. Start by adding ginger, garlic, and scallions to the pan and stir-fry until fragrant. Then, add the pork belly and sear until golden brown. Next, add soy sauce, dark soy sauce, rock sugar, and rice wine to the pan and stir to combine. Finally, add water or broth to the pan and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the pork belly until it is tender and the sauce has thickened.

As a suggestion, you can also add seafood such as prawns or scallops to the dish to add a unique flavour and texture. Seafood can be added towards the end of the cooking process and should be cooked until just tender. Prawns or scallops would be a great addition to this dish, adding a delicate sweetness that complements the rich and savoury flavour of the pork belly.

Braising Process

Pork belly simmers in soy sauce, ginger, and spices, filling the air with a rich, savory aroma

Cooking the Dish

To cook the perfect Chinese braised pork belly, start by preparing the pork belly. Cut the pork belly into 3/4 inch thick pieces and remove any hair and impurities on the surface of the skin. Then, blanch the pork to remove the impurities and rinse it in cold water.

Next, heat up a pan and add oil and sugar to caramelize the surface of the meat. Once the meat is browned, add in the braising liquid, which is made with soy sauce, sugar, and various aromatics and spices.

After that, bring the liquid to a boil and then turn down the heat to low. Cover the pan with a lid and let the pork simmer for about 2-3 hours until it is tender and juicy. Remember to check on the pork occasionally and add more liquid if necessary.

Achieving the Perfect Texture

The key to achieving the perfect texture for Chinese braised pork belly is to cook it low and slow. This means that it should be cooked over low heat for a long period of time. The braising process allows the meat to cook in its own juices, making it incredibly tender and flavourful.

To ensure that the pork is cooked evenly, make sure that the liquid covers at least two-thirds of the pork belly. This will help to prevent the meat from drying out and becoming tough.

If you want to add some seafood to the dish, you can try adding some shrimps or scallops to the braising liquid. These seafood options will complement the pork belly and add a delicious flavour to the dish.

Braised pork belly is a delicious and satisfying dish that is perfect for any occasion. With the right technique and ingredients, you can create a dish that is sure to impress your guests.

Serving and Pairing

A platter of Chinese braised pork belly with steamed bok choy and a side of jasmine rice, paired with a glass of oolong tea

Plating the Dish

When it comes to plating your Chinese braised pork belly, presentation is key. A simple and elegant way to present the dish is to place the pork belly on a bed of steamed rice and garnish with chopped scallions. You can also add some bok choy or other greens to the plate to add some colour and balance out the richness of the dish.

Another option is to serve the pork belly on a bed of noodles, such as egg noodles or udon noodles, for a heartier meal. You can also add some sliced vegetables, such as carrots or mushrooms, to the noodles to give the dish some texture and flavour.

Accompaniments

To pair with your Chinese braised pork belly, you can serve it with a variety of accompaniments. Steamed rice is a classic pairing that helps to soak up the rich sauce and balance out the flavours. You can also try serving the pork belly with coconut jasmine rice for a fragrant and slightly sweet twist.

For a bit of crunch and freshness, you can add some pickled vegetables, such as pickled cucumbers or daikon radish, to the plate. This will help to cut through the richness of the pork belly and add some tangy flavour.

If you want to add some seafood to the dish, you can try adding some shrimp or scallops to the sauce during the last few minutes of cooking. This will give the dish a bit of surf and turf flair and add some extra protein to the meal. Just be sure to use fresh seafood and cook it thoroughly before serving.

Nutritional Information

A plate of Chinese braised pork belly with a side of steamed vegetables, accompanied by a bowl of white rice

If you're looking for a healthy meal, braised pork belly may not be the best option. However, it can still be enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Here's a breakdown of the nutritional information for this dish:

  • Calories: A typical serving of braised pork belly contains around 500-600 calories.
  • Sodium: The high sodium content in this dish comes from the soy sauce used to flavour the pork. One serving can contain up to 2,000 milligrams of sodium, which is the recommended daily limit.
  • Saturated Fat: Braised pork belly is high in saturated fat, which can contribute to high cholesterol levels. However, it also contains unsaturated fats, which can be beneficial in moderation.
  • Cholesterol: Pork belly is a high-cholesterol food, with one serving containing around 100 milligrams.
  • Carbohydrates: There are minimal carbohydrates in this dish, making it a good option for those on a low-carb diet.
  • Protein: Pork belly is a good source of protein, with one serving containing around 20-25 grams.
  • Fibre: This dish does not contain any fibre.

If you're looking to make this dish slightly healthier, you could try using leaner cuts of pork or adding more vegetables to the recipe. Additionally, you could consider adding seafood to the dish to increase its nutritional value. For example, you could add prawns or mussels to the braising liquid to create a delicious surf and turf dish.

Frequently Asked Questions

A simmering pot of Chinese braised pork belly with aromatic spices and soy sauce, surrounded by ingredients like ginger, garlic, and green onions

What's the secret to getting melt-in-your-mouth pork belly?

The secret to getting melt-in-your-mouth pork belly is to braise it slowly over low heat. This allows the fat to render out and the meat to become tender. You can also try using pork belly with a higher fat content for an even more succulent result.

How can I add a five spice twist to my braised pork belly dish?

To add a five spice twist to your braised pork belly dish, simply add a pinch of five spice powder to the braising liquid. This will give your dish a warm, aromatic flavour that pairs perfectly with the richness of the pork belly.

Can you suggest a quick method for preparing braised pork belly?

While braised pork belly is typically a slow-cooked dish, you can speed up the process by using a pressure cooker. Simply sear the pork belly in a hot pan, then add your braising liquid and pressure cook for 45 minutes to an hour.

What's the simplest way to make a tasty braised pork belly?

The simplest way to make a tasty braised pork belly is to use a classic Chinese braising liquid made with soy sauce, sugar, and rice wine. This will give your pork belly a sweet and savoury flavour that's hard to resist. You can also add aromatics like ginger and garlic for extra depth of flavour.

Should I braise my pork belly with the skin facing up or down?

It's best to braise your pork belly with the skin facing up. This will allow the fat to render out and the skin to become crispy. If you prefer a softer skin, you can braise the pork belly with the skin facing down.

How long should I cook pork belly in a slow cooker to achieve perfect tenderness?

To achieve perfect tenderness, cook pork belly in a slow cooker for at least 4-6 hours on low heat. This will allow the collagen in the pork to break down and the meat to become tender. You can also add seafood like prawns or scallops to your braising liquid for an added depth of flavour.