Braised Asian Pork Belly

Braised Asian Pork Belly

Pork belly is glorious! I love how succulent the meat can be, due to the fat content. It’s delicious when it’s braised, like the way it is done in this recipe, because the herbs and spices get absorbed into all of the layers. James and I worked on this recipe for awhile, so we could make sure this tastes great!

It takes a little bit of time, but the wait is worth it! When we finished making our pork belly, we were able to store some for the following day. It’s definitely enough for a few meals between two people, and excellent as an appetizer for a gathering of eight. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!

Recipe for Braised Asian Pork Belly

  • About 2lbs of Pork Belly
  • Preparation:
  • Cooking:
  • Waiting:


  • 900g (about 2lbs) Pork Belly
  • 25g (2T) Lard
  • 5g (1) Cinnamon Stick
  • 5g (4 pieces) Sand Ginger
  • 4g (2) Star Anise
  • 2g (1) small Black Cardamom
  • About 2g (1t) Fennel Seed
  • 1½g (1t) Coriander Seed
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 6 Asian Shallots
  • 6g (1T) Ginger
  • 24g (8 cloves) Garlic
  • 120ml (½-cup) Shaoxing Wine
  • 830ml (3½ cups) Water
  • 60ml (¼-cup) Soy Sauce
  • 60ml (¼-cup) Dark Soy Sauce
  • 25g (2T) Granulated Sugar
  • 9g (2t) Sesame Oil
  • 4 dried Chilies
  • About 3g (1t) whole White Peppercorns
  • About 2g (1t) Five-Spice Powder
  • About 1g (1t) Sichuan Peppercorn
  • 1½g (½t) Ground Cumin


  • Put the pork belly into a pot, and fill with water until the meat is covered. On high flame, bring the pot to a boil, and continue to boil for 3 minutes. Toss out the water, rinse the pot, and dry it well.
  • On a cutting board, cut the length of the bellies in half so they are in large chunks. Thinly slice the shallots, cut the ginger into chunks, and leave the garlic whole.
  • Take the lard and fry the bellies in the pot, on all sides, until browned. Lower the flame to low, remove the meat onto a plate, and add the cinnamon, sand ginger, star anise, cardamom, fennel, coriander, and bay leaves. Heat the herbs and spices for 3-5 minutes.
  • Add the shallots and ginger to the heated herbs and spices. Bring up the heat to medium. Cook until the shallots begin to brown, then add the garlic. Once the shallots begin to crisp, de-glaze the pot with the Shaoxing wine.
  • Place the meat and the rest of the ingredients into the pot, bring to a boil, and then simmer, covered, for 2 hours.
  • Turn off the flame and let the meat rest in the liquid. Once it reaches room temperature, refrigerate 6-8 hours or overnight.
  • Take out the meat from the liquid, and set it aside. Bring the liquid back to a pot, and reduce until syrupy, about ¾-cup.
  • Slice the pork belly to desired thickness, glaze with the reduced sauce, and steam until just heated through.
  • Serve the meat with steamed buns, radish and carrot slaw, and pickled mustard greens!

*Bunny Wisdom*

  • The initial boil helps get rid of the blood and fluids in the meat. I also rinse and dry the pot to prevent splattering with the lard.
  • I cut the bellies in half so it's easier to flip inside the pot; plus, when simmering the meat, it lays flatter inside the pot.
  • We want to make sure we are heating through the herbs and spices, but not burning them.
  • Asian shallots are not as spicy, and they're much smaller than western shallots. You can find these and all of the herbs and spices at your local Asian market.
  • The shallots are thinly sliced so color gets on them quickly. Again, we don't want to burn the shallots, ginger, and garlic.
  • Letting the meat rest in the liquid allows the flavors to soak in. Refrigeration also lets the meat rest, and makes it easier to slice.
  • After glazing, you have the option to heat the meat through in the microwave.
  • I love adding cilantro!
  • Save leftover glaze for topping rice or eating with lotus leaf steamed buns.

Braised Asian Pork Belly - Spices
Some of the ingredients used for the pork belly. From top, going clockwise: sand ginger, star anise, cinnamon, coriander, white peppercorn, Sichuan peppercorn, fennel seed, five-spice powder, ground cumin, dried chilies, black cardamom.

Braised Asian Pork Belly - Shallot Size
On the left, you have the Asian shallot. On the right, a Western shallot.

**Here are some of the ingredients I use for this recipe. Please, feel free to browse and ask questions on anything you see listed below.**

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