This page may contain affiliate links. So, I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using my link. Here is a post about the incredible Chinese braised pork belly dish called Dong Po Rou!
1,000 Foods To Eat Project
In this book, the author Mimi Sheraton lists her choices for the 1,000 Foods of the World that you MUST try.
Ms. Sheraton includes the INCREDIBLE Chinese pork belly dish called Dong Po Rou (or Dong Bo Rou) in her book. Dong Po Rou, a masterpiece of Chinese cuisine, is food #45 in my 1,000 Foods To Eat Project!
What Is Dong Po Rou?
Dong Po Rou comes from Hangzhou, city and capital of Zhejiang province, China. It is named after the amazing Chinese poet and statesman of the Song dynasty, Su Dong Po, who had been banished to Hangzhou.
Legend has it that Su Dong Po discovered this dish by accident! It seems that he became engrossed in a game of chess, completely forgetting about the pork that he was cooking. He was only reminded of it when the aroma became intense after a long cooking time and went to check on it! He discovered that the dish he thought to have ruined, was actually more delicious and incredible than he could have imagined. Hence Dong Po Rou was born!
The Ingredients You Will Need For This Pork Belly Recipe
I have great news for you! You only need a handful of ingredients to make this scrumptious Chinese red braised pork belly called Dong Po Rou!
The ingredients include:
- Pork belly (try to pick pieces that are ½ fat and ½ meat)
- Green onion (scallions) - chopped into 2" pieces
- Garlic sliced
- Fresh Ginger sliced
- Shaoxing Wine (rice wine) aka Chinese cooking wine
- Peanut oil
- Light Soy Sauce (I used Pearl River Bridge Brand)
- Dark Soy Sauce (I used Pearl River Bridge Mushroom Flavored for a more intense flavor, but regular dark soy sauce is fine!)
- Rock candy (rock sugar) - can sub 1.5 tablespoon of white sugar or brown sugar for the rock candy
We are using two types of soy sauce in this recipe. If you don't have access to the light soy sauce and the dark soy sauces, you can sub regular soy sauce for these if necessary. However it's highly recommended to use the two types as listed in the recipe ingredients.
Shaoxing Cooking Wine is an absolute essential ingredient in Chinese cooking. It is an amber colored rice wine which comes from the city of Shaoxing, in China, which is famous for making rice wine. This ingredient will add a depth of flavor to our dish, so you will definitely want to have this!
That's it! You should be able to get everything from your local Asian grocery stores. I have also linked to Amazon for some of the items for convenience sake.
The Easy Method To Make Dong Po Rou!
You won't believe how easy it is to make this braised pork belly! There is a little slicing and dicing, then a tiny bit of frying. It's mostly hands off after that!
The braising cooking time takes about 90 minutes - 2 hours (I recommend the 2 hours). You can enjoy the incredible aromas and build up an awesome appetite during the slow braising process!! I promise the end result of melt in your mouth pork belly with the most delicious flavor will be worth the wait!
Prepare The Pork For Braising
First, you will fry the pork belly in a tablespoon of oil, browning all sides.
Second, place the cut up green onions and sliced ginger and garlic in a saucepan. You want the saucepan to be able to fit the pieces of pork belly rather snugly. I used a medium sized saucepan to cook this Dong Po Rou. You could also use a Dutch oven that the pork will fit tightly in so the pork belly doesn't fall over.
I started with 2 rather long pieces of pork belly. The pieces needed to fit snugly in the saucepan, so I cut each piece in half, to make a total of 4 pieces.
Lay the pork belly pieces SKIN SIDE DOWN to begin with, on top of the green onions, ginger, and garlic. Add the rock candy as well as all of the liquids at this time.
Braise The Pork
Next, you will cover the saucepan and bring the contents to the boil on medium-high heat. Once boiling lower to a simmer for 1 hour. After 1 hour, turn the pork belly slices over, and simmer for another hr.
Feel free to add a little water here and there if it seems there is not much braising liquid during the braising process.
Reduce The Sauce
You are ALMOST ready to enjoy this amazing dish! The last step is to reduce the braising liquid to thicken it. Once thickened you can spoon as much of the delicious sauce over your Dong Po Rou as you fancy!
吃吧 Chī ba! Let's Eat!
It's now time to enjoy Dong Po Rou, one of the 1,000 Foods To Eat Before You Die! I served it with white rice and Chinese buns, with braising sauce spooned over everything and garnished with more green onions.
This Chinese dish is absolutely exquisite! Please be sure to admire the gorgeous red color and enjoy the tender pork belly.
I served one of the four pieces of pork belly (about ½ pound) intact per person. You could also cut and serve them in smaller pieces.
If you have a large slab of pork belly, just cut it up into your preferred way of serving it.
However you decide to serve this, you will absolutely be blown away by the amazing flavors and melt in your mouth texture!
I feel pretty confident that you will have some Dong Po Rou on your dinner plate soon.😊
These dishes are similar, but they are different. My understanding is that these dishes come from different regions and the cooking methods also differ. Also, Dong Po Rou typically uses larger pieces of pork belly, whereas Hong Shao Rou uses smaller pieces of pork. Hong Shao also commonly includes spices such as star anise, which Dong Po does not include.
Allow the pork to come to room temperature and then place in an airtight container and put in your fridge. This is best consumed within 2-3 days of preparation.
This dish is traditionally cooked/steamed in a clay pot. Sometimes you see this served in smaller pieces which have been wrapped in twine, and looks like a wrapped present.
Some Other Recipes You May Enjoy!
1,000 Foods To Eat Project
Please join me on this quest to try the 1,000 Foods To Eat Before You Die, from the book by Mimi Sheraton! Join me in this journey and discover new foods, experiences, and cuisines which I hope will add inspiration, fun, and joy to your life! Visit the 1,000 Foods to Eat Project page to view a list of the foods tried so far.
If you'd like to follow along and be a part of the 1,000 Foods Project, please sign up to get the latest recipes and inspiration for you to expand your food comfort zone! It's an incredible journey, please join me by signing up here.
Dong Po Rou - Chinese Braised Pork Belly
- 2 lb pork belly you can use one slab of pork belly, or 2 large pieces about 1 pound each
- 8 each green onions cut into 2 inch pieces
- 8 cloves garlic peeled and sliced thinly
- 1 inch ginger peeled and sliced thinly
- ½ cup Shaoxing rice cooking wine
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- 2 tablespoon light soy sauce I used Pearl River Bridge brand
- 4 tablespoon dark soy sauce I used Pearl River Bridge brand mushroom flavor, but regular dark soy sauce is fine
- ½ cup water
- 1 large piece Chinese rock candy can sub 1.5 tablespoon of white sugar or brown sugar
- Heat up the peanut oil on med high heat in a large skillet. Once hot, add the pork belly and brown on all sides approximately 3 min per side.
- Place the cut up green onions and sliced ginger and garlic in a saucepan. You want the saucepan to be able to fit the pieces of pork belly rather snugly. I used a medium sized saucepan to cook this Dong Po Rou
- Add the pork belly SKIN SIDE DOWN on top of the green onions, ginger, and garlic. I cut up my pork belly slices so that I had four pieces that would fit snugly in the saucepan. Then add the rock candy and all the liquids (Shaoxing wine, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and water).
- Cover the saucepan and bring to the boil on medium-high heat. Then lower the heat (low to med low) and simmer for 1 hour. After 1 hr, turn over the pork belly and simmer for another hr, this time skin side up.
- Remove the pork belly (and keep warm) and turn up the heat in the saucepan to reduce the braising sauce (about 3 min boiling). Serve the Dong Po Rou with this delicious reduced sauce spooned over it!