January 18, 2024

Red-braised Pork Belly

Recipe: Jing Gao

“Thick slabs of fatty pork belly are braised until the meat is tender and melts in your mouth.” – Jing Gao


  • 1 lb. pork belly, cut into 1″ chunks
  • 2 tbsp neutral oil
  • 4 scallions, green and white parts only, chopped into 1″ segments
  • 1/4 cup Shaoxing wine
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 piece rock sugar (about 2 oz.)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 or 2 pieces star anise
  • 1 piece cassia bark
  • 1/2 tsp black vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Sichuan Chili Crisp
  • White rice, for serving


Yield: Serves 3 or 4

Make Pork Belly

  1. In medium pot over high heat, bring water to a boil and blanch pork belly pieces for 2 to 3 minutes. In colander, drain and rinse pork with running water to remove impurities from meat. Set aside.
  2. In wok or donabe over medium-high heat, add oil, scallions and pork belly. Fry for a couple minutes, until scallions become fragrant and pork is seared and golden brown. Add wine, dark and light soy sauces, rock sugar, water, star anise and cassia bark. The liquid should cover most of the pork. Bring mixture to a boil and lower heat to lowest setting. Cover and cook for about 60 minutes.
  3. At this point, meat will be very tender. Uncover wok and turn heat up to high. Once liquid reaches a boil, it will start to reduce quickly, so pay attention. Using spatula, mix in vinegar and Sichuan Chili Crisp. After 1 to 2 minutes, sauce will have reduced to thick consistency, coating pieces of pork in shiny, dark red elixir.
  4. Transfer pork and sauce to bowl or serve directly from wok. Serve with rice to soak up the ridiculously decadent sauce and rich chunks of fatty meat.

The Book of Sichuan Chili Crisp by Jing Gao. ©2023 Jing Gao. Photography by Yudi Ela Echevarria and Robert Nilsson. Published by Penguin, an imprint of Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved