Chairman Mao’s Red-Braised Pork

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Chairman Mao’s Red-Braised Pork Belly is simple and tasty!


Chairman Mao’s Red-Braised Pork

Chairman Mao’s Red-Braised Pork is a Hunanese dish that is inseparably bound up with the memory of Chairman Mao; restaurants call it “Mao Family’s red-braised pork”. Shanghai-Style Braised Pork Belly (hong shao rou, 红烧肉), or “red cooked pork,” is a very famous dish in China.

Serve this recipe with some fresh, crunchy Asian Slaw, Sriracha and SPAM Fried Rice or Spicy Shrimp and Pineapple Fried Rice.

  • Author: All Things Considered
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 60


  • 1 lb. pork belly (skin optional)
  • 2 tbsp. peanut oil
  • 2 tbsp. white sugar
  • 1 tbsp. Shaoxing wine
  • 3/4 in. piece fresh ginger, skin left on and sliced
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 dried red chillies
  • a small piece cassia bark or cinnamon stick
  • light soy sauce, salt, and sugar
  • a few pieces scallion greens


  1. Plunge the pork belly into a pan of boiling water and simmer for 3-4 minutes until partially cooked. Remove and, when cool enough to handle, cut into bite-sized chunks.
  2. Heat the oil and white sugar in a wok over a gentle flame until the sugar melts, then raise the heat and stir until the melted sugar turns a rich caramel brown. Add the pork and splash in the Shaoxing wine.
  3. Add enough water to just cover the pork, along with the ginger, star anise, chiles, and cassia. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 40-50 minutes.
  4. Toward the end of the cooking time, turn up the heat to reduce the sauce, and season with soy sauce, salt, and a little sugar to taste. Add the scallion greens just before serving.


  • Serving Size: 4



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