Chairman Mao's Red Braised Pork Belly

Chairman Mao’s Red Braised Pork Belly

Here is a recipe for Chairman Mao’s Red Braised Pork Belly.

Many people look up to the recipe for Shanghai Braised Pork Belly, however I believe it is time for an update. The use of aromatics like scallions, ginger, garlic, and spices like star anise has been requested by many of you. There was some resistance from me because I prefer the more conventional flavors of pork belly prepared in Shanghainese style. Like a bowl of vanilla ice cream, it’s simple but satisfying.

When compared to the smoothness of Shanghai-style pork belly, Chairman Mao’s Red Braised Pork Belly can be thought of as the bumpy highway to enlightenment. In terms of food, I prefer the tried-and-true classics like vanilla ice cream and old-fashioned donuts. It’s true that smooth sailing isn’t always the best option.


Some helpful tips before you get started:

  • Dry, fiery chilies gain to heat the longer you cook them. If the dish becomes too spicy while it is cooking, you can remove them or leave them out.
  • I recently learned that adding half a teaspoon of sugar to pig braising at the end balances the bolder flavors of the soy sauce and the dried chilies. Test it out and report back with your thoughts.


  • 900g of pork belly (cut into ¾-inch pieces)
  • 6 slices of ginger
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 3 scallions (white and green parts separated; diced)
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1-2 dried chili peppers (optional)
  • 4 cups of water
  • ½ cup of Shaoxing wine
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar (plus ½ teaspoon)
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 3 tablespoons of light soy sauce
  • 1½ tablespoons of dark soy sauce


  1. The pig belly is first blanched, which gets rid of any blood or other contaminants. To do this, fill a pot with cold water until it covers the pork belly and add 3 slices of ginger. Do not lift the lid until the liquid is boiling.
  2. When the water in the saucepan boil, turn the heat down to a simmer and keep cooking for another minute. The pork belly was drained, rinsed, and set aside after being cleaned.
  3. Put the oil and rock sugar in the wok and cook it over low heat (or 3 tablespoons regular sugar). Be careful not to let the sugar burn while melting it. After that, throw in the pork belly, three pieces of ginger, and the scallion whites. You should raise the temperature to medium. Incorporate the sugar syrup and coat the pork belly.
  4. Soak the dried chili peppers in the water while you add the dark soy sauce, star anise, bay leaves, light soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, cinnamon, and water. Make sure everything is completely covered by stirring it. You should melt the caramelized sugar on your spatula in the water before covering the wok.
  5. Raise the heat to medium and simmer the mixture for an hour. Make sure the sauce doesn’t dry up on the pork by checking on it at regular intervals.
  6. When the pork has reached the desired degree of softness, increase the heat and, while turning regularly, cook off any remaining sauce. The pork belly will develop a glossy glaze from the reduced sauce.
  7. The final step is to mix in the remaining half teaspoon of sugar and the green sections of the scallions. Quickly combine ingredients, and serve.

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