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Braised Pork Belly (Hong Shao Rou) Buns

By: Briana Salim

The Recipe


Braised Pork Belly

  • 12 ounces lean, skin-on pork belly (340g)

  • 2 tablespoons oil

  • 2 tablespoon rock sugar

  • 3 tablespoons Shaoxing wine

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce

  • 2 cups water

  • Star Anise (3 pieces)

  • Ginger (1 inch piece)

  • Orange peel (quarter of an orange)


  • Frozen Steamed Buns (the ones specific for Gua Bao)


  • Cucumber

  • Cilantro

  • Green onions

  • Sesame seeds


  1. Cut your pork belly into 3/4-inch thick pieces.

  2. Blanch the pork belly in boiling water for about 3-4 minutes. This will start the cooking process and also help clean out the impurities.

  3. Take out the pork and rinse it out. Rinse and clean the pot as well.

  4. In your clean pot, add the oil and sugar over low heat. After 2-3 minutes, the rock sugar should melt slightly.

  5. Add in your pork belly pieces. Lightly brown them over medium heat.

  6. Then, turn the heat down to low and add Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, water, star anise, ginger and the orange peel. (Note: don't skip out on the dark soy sauce - it is what gives the dish the color!)

  7. Cover the pot and simmer on low heat for 1 hour until the pork is tender and the liquid has reduced slightly. (Note: I left my pot slightly uncovered to help reduce the liquid. Be sure to check in on it and stir every 15 minutes to prevent burning)

  8. While waiting for the pork, follow the packet instructions and steam the frozen Gua Bao. I steamed about 3 buns for 10 minutes and they came out perfect!

  9. Prep your garnish as well - cut up your cucumber, green onions and cilantro into thin slices.

  10. Once the pork is tender, uncover the pot and stir continuously until the sauce has reduced to a sticky coating.

  11. Time to assemble - Place a couple pieces of pork belly in between the steamed bun. Add the cucumber, green onions, cilantro and sprinkle some sesame seeds!

  12. Enjoy :)

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