Red braised pork belly is a very classic, famous dish in China. There are many variations across the regions. But the ingredients are mostly the same. The most famous styles are Chairman Mao’s and Shanghai style, which is what I am going to introduce below.
When choosing the pork belly, it should have even layers of fat and meat. Rock sugar is commonly used for this dish. If you don’t have it, brown sugar works fine. Most recipes would blanch the pork belly. Some don’t. I tried both methods, and like the one that‘s not blanched. It not only preserves the flavors of the pork, but also allows the fat to come out when it’s stir fried so that it’s really fragrant but not greasy.
There’s also a really key step during the cooking that requires a little bit patience called caramelization. By cooking the sugar slowly, the flavors become more complex and the color turns brownish red. It also gives the pork a beautifully shiny glaze.
This dish is easy to make. All you need is patience and time. Enjoy and let me know what you think!