Hong sao rou – red-braised pork

1 hour 50 minutes


  • 700g of pork belly strips, without rind
  • 2 tbsp of rapeseed oil, or groundnut oil
  • 1 tbsp of ginger, grated and peeled
  • 3 tbsp of Shaoxing wine, or dry sherry
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 tsp sichuan peppercorns
  • 3 dried red chillies
  • 250ml of chicken stock
  • 80ml of dark soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp of soft brown sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt


Bring 1.5 litres of water to the boil in a large pan. Add the pork belly slices and simmer over a medium heat for 30 minutes. Remove the pork and drain well, then pat dry with kitchen paper and slice into 2x2cm pieces
Heat a wok over a medium heat, add the rapeseed or groundnut oil and give the oil a swirl. Add the pork pieces and brown for 2 minutes
Add the ginger, rice wine or dry sherry, the star anise, Sichuan peppercorns, dried chillies, chicken stock, dark soy sauce, brown sugar and salt. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook over a medium heat for 45 minutes
After this time, the liquid will have reduced into a thick sauce and be a glossy reddish-brown colour. For a smooth cooked sauce, strain through a sieve and discard the whole spices, or you can just eat around them like the Chinese do! Remove from the heat and serve with steamed jasmine rice and stir-fried greens of your choice