Red Cooked Pork

December 19, 2022

We present to you today Red Cooked Pork or Hong Shao Rou, as prepared by our grandmother. As she puts it, this is the “true Shanghai style,” and she achieves it by using tofu and hard-boiled eggs.

Once again, the braised pig belly in Hong Shao Rou is what makes this meal so well-known in mainland China. There are several variations we enjoyed as kids. It depends on what sort of tofu Grandma has on hand; occasionally, she uses bamboo shoots.

But the one with the tofu puffs is one of my absolute faves. These golden tofu cubes soak up the sauce like sponges, transforming the Red Cooked Pork dish into something truly spectacular.


  • 700-900g of pork belly (cut into 1 ½ inch thick pieces)
  • 4-5 eggs
  • 1 package tofu puffs
  • 1 cup of water (more if needed)
  • ½ cup of shaoxing wine
  • 3 tablespoons of rock sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce


  1. Prepare the pork belly by first slicing it.
  2. Then, place your eggs in a saucepan of cold water. Bring the water to a simmer in the saucepan. Place the eggs in the boiling water for 5 minutes. Just drop them into a dish of ice water for 5 minutes to cool them down rapidly before peeling.
  3. Next, bring a big pot of water to a boil. To remove the pork’s extra fat and other impurities, blanch it for three minutes in boiling water. The meat needs to be drained and rewashed.
  4. It’s important to start with a dry and clean wok. About 3 tablespoons of sugar should be added to the wok and tossed about over medium-low heat without any oil. It will begin to take on an amber hue. Melt it down until it approaches the consistency of syrup.
  5. Place the meat in a single layer in the pan (still no oil necessary). Ten minutes should be enough time for the meat to brown evenly on all sides.
  6. Next, pour a half cup of Shaoxing wine, two tablespoons of dark soy sauce, two tablespoons of light soy sauce, and a cup of water. Stir.
  7. Simmer for an hour covered over low heat in the wok. Make sure it isn’t too dry by checking on it at regular intervals and adding water as needed.
  8. The eggs should be chilly to the touch by then. To get the sauce deep into the crevices of each hard-boiled egg, you must first peel and score them down their length. Carefully add them to the skillet and toss them around in the sauce without breaking them up. After 15 more minutes (and more water if necessary), remove the eggs from the pan. Check the saltiness of the sauce at this time. If you think it needs additional flavor, try adding a little soy sauce, one teaspoon at a time. We noticed that after the first 2 tablespoons, you didn’t really need anymore, but obviously, use your own discretion.
  9. Stir the tofu in very gently. Toss in some more vegetables and simmer for another 20 minutes.
  10. Put the eggs back in and give the mixture another toss.
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