Chinese braised pork belly

Long, slow cooking makes Rachel Allens Chinese inspired pork dish meltingly moist and wonderfully tender
By Rachel Allen
Chinese braised pork belly
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the pork belly

  • 1 - 1.5 kg pork belly
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 tbsp caster or granulated sugar
  • 5 whole cloves garlic
  • 3 slices fresh root ginger
  • 4 whole star anise
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorns
  • 1 whole red chilli
  • 2 tbsp shaoxing cooking wine
  • 100 ml soy sauce
  • 300 ml chicken stock

For the pak choi

  • 400 g pak choi, 4 large or 8 small, quartered lengthways
  • 25 ml sesame oil
  • 25 ml light soy sauce
  • white and/or black sesame seeds, toasted

To serve

  • boiled rice
  • sliced spring onions

Tips and Suggestions

Buy the best-quality free-range pork that you can.


1. For the pork belly: season the pork belly all over with salt and pepper. Pour the oil into a casserole dish or large saucepan with a lid. Place on a high heat then lay the belly in the dish or pan and cook for a few minutes on each side until browned. Next tip the rest of the ingredients into the pan, stir to combine, bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 2-3 hours, turning over the meat a couple of times.

2. For the pak choi: when almost ready to serve, pour 50ml water into a large frying pan and place over a medium heat. Add 1 tsp salt and the pak choi. Cook, tossing occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until all the water has evaporated and the pak choi is just cooked - the leaves should be soft but the base of the stalks still slightly crunchy. Drizzle with the sesame oil and soy sauce, then sprinkle over the sesame seeds.

3. To serve, lift the pork from the pan and place on a board. Cut into thickish slices and serve with the sauce from the pork, the pak choi and some rice, and garnish with sliced spring onions.

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