Braised pork belly
Food

Melt in Your Mouth Braised Pork Belly

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My Dad is a great chef and never follows a recipe.  So, in putting together these recipes, it’s my best attempt to extract the details from his brain and document them.  #DadsCooking

It’s no secret that Chinese people eat a lot of pork and we are no different.  Growing up though, I wasn’t (and still am not) a big meat eater.  I prefer my veggies, I’m a self-confessed carbaholic, and have a big sweet-tooth.  Days go by where I haven’t had any meat at all, and I’m not even consciously aware of it.  My Grandma and Dad would make these dishes of soft, tender, braised pork chunks, and I’d be very blase about them, only eating one or two small pieces, and spitting out the fatty bits (which they always claimed was the best part!).

Things are a tad different now; though I still don’t eat a lot of meat, I can appreciate some fat in my pork, when done the right way.  This recipe definitely shows respect for the meat, resulting in pieces of pork belly that are tender, juicy, and oh-so-flavourful!

Melt in your mouth pork belly

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time55 mins
Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 6 people

Ingredients

For the pressure cooker cooking part:

  • 1 slab pork belly About 2 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 5 slices fresh ginger
  • 3 stalks green onion Cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 tablespoons chinese cooking wine You can use your favourite white wine instead
  • 2 pieces star anise Broken up
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon Optional

For the stove top cooking part

  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

Instructions

  • Cut the pork belly up into 2 centimetre thick chunks.  This is the traditional Chinese way of serving it.  If you're serving this western style with sides, you may want to cut into bigger serving sizes.  
  • Place meat in pressure cooker, along with the other seasoning ingredients and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Remove all the ingredients from the pressure cooker and place in a large non-stick pan. Don't be alarmed if there seems to be more liquid, this is normal. Add the additional soy sauce and the brown sugar. Bring to a boil and then turn it down to a slow simmer. Cook until the liquid condenses into a thick gravy (about 25 minutes).
    That's it, ready to serve!

Notes

For more wow factor, you could also keep the meat as one single large slab and serve it whole, to be cut up at the table. You'll want to cook the meat for a bit longer in the pressure cooker if you do this.

You can use other meats for this recipe too. Below are some images of this same recipe done using beef shank. This was 25 minutes in the pressure cooker, followed by 50 minutes on the stove top till the liquid condenses into a thick gravy. If you want the beef more tender, keep it in the pressure cooker for 35-40 minutes.

Beef shank
The beef shank after 25 minutes in the pressure cooker
Beef shank
On the stove top for more cooking. Poking the meat helps to allow more of the flavours from the sauce seep into it.
Finished. The liquid has reduced into a thick dark gravy.

If you like this post, you should check out my recipe for Shanghainese style wontons.  Soooo delicious.

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