Saturday, April 23, 2011

Dong Po Pork Belly


It is outrageously difficult to find a proper Dong Po Pork recipe on the internet. It seems that every website has a totally different recipe and a totally different picture. I must admit, it took me couple of tries before I can get the dish right. After about three tries, I've came up with a proper recipe. Chinese chefs always keep their recipes with chains and locks, so it's hard to find a proper recipe even in Asian countries.

A good Dong Po Pork recipe means the pork must be tender. The sauce must be sweet, savory and aromatic. The fat must melt in your mouth. And the color of the dish must be appealing. I could have left the pork belly overnight in the fridge to have the grease solidified and removed but I am very excited right now to post, so you will find that the pork belly in the picture is a bit on the greasy side.

Good news and bad news. The good news is that I'm sharing this recipe freely(as always) to everyone. The bad news is that the recipe may be troublesome to execute to some, as ingredients can be hard to get in western and European countries and the procedures may seem awfully annoying.

If you ever make this, drop me a comment or an email, I would love to know if you like it. Otherwise, I hope you are having a jolly good time indulging yourself in some food porn. Have a great Sunday. See you tomorrow, I'll be posting again!

serves 4

500g pork belly
1 thumb of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1 sprig of scallion, chopped into 3 cm lengths
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 tbsp rock sugar or brown sugar
2 tbsp soy sauce
2.5 cups lukewarm water
2 cups boiling water
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
peanut oil
1/3 cup shaoxing hua tiao wine
1 tsp cornstarch

- In a wok on medium heat, add peanut oil. Saute scallions, ginger and garlic for 2-3 mins until fragrant.

- Add sugar and further saute until sugar starts to melt. Add soy sauce, dark soy and wine. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn off heat and add lukewarm water. Set aside.

- While sauce is coming to a boil, slice pork belly into rectangular portions about 2.5 inch x 4 inch pieces. Place pork belly pieces on a chopping board or a tray and scald them on all sides with boiling water.

- Place the pork pieces skin side down in a pan large enough to fit all the pieces together and add the earlier sauce mixture.

- Bring to boil. Once boiling, turn down the heat to a low simmer and braise the pork for 30 mins, covered.

- After 30 mins, flip the pork belly pieces over so the skin is shown on top and continue braising covered for a minimum of 3 hours, basting the skin occasionally. (I braise for 4)


- When ready, remove pork belly pieces gently and set aside. Strain remaining sauce into a saucepan and bring to a low simmer.

(Optional) Up till this stage, you can cool the sauce and chill it overnight and have the grease solidify and removed before heating it up to a low simmer again on the next day. Do this if you want a cleaner finish.

- Mix cornstarch with 50ml of water and gently pour it into the sauce. Stir well until sauce becomes a shiny, sticky glaze. Turn off heat.

- To serve, gently place a piece of braised pork belly onto a plate and spoon over the sauce. Serve immediately with warm steamed rice or steamed buns. Enjoy!


  1. This looks delish! I must make these!

  2. Easter weekend has been rainy and miserable in New Zealand - and I have procrastinated doing anything constructive, owing to the fact that I am making this amazing dish. I have done it previously, using chicken - and eaten it in Indonesian style restaurants..... yet here it is with pork belly. Looks amazing - and serving it with fresh asian greens blanched briefly, and steamed rice..... I actually doubled the sauce, and always add a few star anise [ along with a few tablespoons of kecap manis....... }
    Love your blog and will most contentedly divulge in my food porn addiction with regularity here :) I soooo wish we were not on the other side of the globe and in different seasons as I suspect you are about to start blogging on the bounty of summer produce that I am now saying goodbye to....

  3. Thank you :) One thing is for sure, I cannot get tired of eating this.

  4. i'm trying to make this recipe right now!!!! i must be doing something wrong cause im on my 6th hour and it's looking no where like your pic. and i want to go to sleep.

  5. Dont worry about it looking not too fancy, it will all come together when you strain the sauce and thicken it with cornstarch. :) Did you use the exact ingredients?




  7. I usually add the Chinese Five Spice. It's the secret ingredients.

    anise seed
    fennel seed
    ground cinnamon
    whole cloves
    whole peppercorns

  8. oh my gosh, I just got back from china last month and I've been looking for this recipe EVERYWHERE, THANK YOU SO MUCH

  9. Hi Dillon,
    I'm cooking this for the 3rd time now. It's is so delicious that I decided to cook it for my guests today :) Thank you so much for sharing the recipe!

    Greetings from Austria (mid-western Europe)