As we embark on our journey into the middle age phase of life, my friend Bill and I have made a conscious effort to eat healthier and consume less meat. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not health nuts or anything, but we do try to avoid those dreaded muffin tops. However, there’s one exception to our meat-cutting mission – Shanghai-Style Braised Pork Belly!
Picture this: we stroll into a bakery or gourmet shop, mostly just to browse. But when it comes to Shanghai-Style Braised Pork Belly (or hong shao rou as the Chinese call it), we can’t resist. It’s a dish that simply demands our attention and indulgence.
Now, you might think that with our newfound dedication to health, we would steer clear of pork belly dishes. But let me assure you, today, we’re making an exception. Thanks to all you viewers out there, we’re dishing up some succulent pork belly for dinner. Of course, we’ll also throw in a vegetable for good measure. After all, we’re here to give the hungry public what they want!
Shanghai-Style Braised Pork Belly is a famous and beloved dish in China. It has countless variations and twists, each with its own unique flair. You’ll find recipes that include surprising additions like squid, hard-boiled eggs, and tofu knots. Trust me, the combination may sound peculiar, but it’s undeniably tasty. If you’re curious about these variations, check out my mother’s recipe for Hongshao Rou.
While there are other pork belly favorites like Mei Cai Kou Rou (a famous steamed pork belly dish), braised pork belly with arrowroot (a Cantonese New Year’s favorite), Cantonese roast pork belly, and twice-cooked pork belly, I’m partial to the unembellished Shanghai-style version. Being from Shanghai, it’s the recipe I know best.
This Shanghai pork belly recipe is designed to serve two to three people. If you’re cooking for a larger crowd, feel free to double or triple the recipe. Just remember to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Now, let’s talk about the ingredients. You’ll be surprised at how simple they are: pork belly, oil, rock sugar or granulated sugar, wine, soy sauce, and dark soy sauce. That’s right, just six ingredients! It’s crazy how something so delicious can be made with such simple components.
Shanghai Braised Pork Belly: Recipe Instructions
To start, cut your pork belly into 3/4 inch thick pieces. Then, bring a pot of water to a boil and blanch the pork for a couple of minutes. This step helps remove impurities and kickstarts the cooking process. Once blanched, set the pork aside.
Next, heat oil and sugar in a wok over low heat. Let the sugar melt slightly and then add the pork. Increase the heat to medium and cook until the pork is lightly browned.
Reduce the heat back to low and add Shaoxing cooking wine, regular soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and water. Having both types of soy sauce is crucial to achieve the perfect color and flavor. Head over to your local Asian market, grab a bottle of each, and you’ll be set for a whole year!
Cover the wok and simmer the pork over medium heat for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until it becomes fork-tender. Stir the dish every 5-10 minutes to prevent burning and add water if it starts to dry out. Once the pork is tender, uncover the wok. If there’s still too much liquid, increase the heat and stir continuously until the sauce reduces to a glossy coating.
And voila, your Shanghai-Style Braised Pork Belly is ready to be devoured! Let us know in the comments if you’re interested in trying any other variations of this dish. We love experimenting and are always looking for excuses to cook it again (not that we need any)!
For those planning to entertain guests, we recommend serving your Shanghai-Style Braised Pork Belly in one of these stylish clay or earthen pots. It adds an authentic touch to the dining experience.
So, if your taste buds are craving a delectable plate of Shanghai-Style Braised Pork Belly, head on over to Hook’d Up Bar and Grill. They specialize in serving up this mouthwatering dish that’s sure to satisfy your cravings. Plus, you’ll enjoy a warm and friendly atmosphere that’ll make you feel right at home. Don’t miss out on this culinary delight!