Red Cooked Pork Belly (Hong Shao Rou) (Ang Sio Bak)

nyonya, recipe, easy, Chinese, Straits born

Red Cooked Pork Belly (Hong Shao Rou) ( Ang Sio Bak)

This is a very simple recipe. Pork belly is normally used. I am using very lean pork belly compared to the normal one, which contains a lot of fat. I remove the skin and the fat attached to the skin, leaving only the fat that is in between the layers of lean meat.

pork, star anise, rock sugar, soy sauce, easy,

Easy red cooked pork. A delicious dish, easy to cook.

By using the leaner cut of meat, it loses the glossy shine when cooked as it is the fat that gives the dish its sticky glossy texture. I have to use corn starch or tapioca flour to thicken the sauce so that the gravy sticks to the meat and gives it its glossy sheen, and the sticky texture. This goes well with rice and some vegetables to complete a wholesome meal.

Time management tip:

Although it takes about an hour to cook, you can cook this and let it simmer while you prepare your other dishes and cook your rice. By the time the meat is cooked, you would have finished cooking your rice and other dishes and can serve dinner or lunch! This is the secret of managing your time in the kitchen.

Quick Info:

Serves: 4 to 6 with accompaniments
Difficulty: Easy
Cost: £
Time: 10 mins to prep, 1 hr to cook

500g           Lean pork belly – skin and fat removed, cut to 2cm x 2cm x ht of the meat
1½ Tsp       Rock sugar, or normal sugar
5 Tbsp        Chinese cooking wine
1 ½ Tbsp   Light soy sauce
¾ Tbsp      Dark soy sauce
1 cm           Ginger – thinly sliced
Cooking oil spray
750 ml       Water ( 3 cups)
1                Star anise
1 Tsp         Corn starch mixed with 1 Tbsp water
Garnish:    2 stalks Spring onion – cut 2cm diagonally


  1. Bring a pot of water to boil.  Put in the pork and blanch for a few minutes until the scum rises up. Remove the pork and rinse over tap water, set aside.
  2. In a work or a deep-frying pan, over low heat, spray with the cooking spray.
  3. Add in the sugar and let it and caramelised slightly. Add in the pork and toss. Turn up the heat and toss until the pork is lightly browned.
  4. Add in all the ingredients except the spring onions and the corn starch.
  5. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 45 minutes, turning occasionally.
  6. Check that the water does not boil off. Add a bit of water if it gets too dry.
  7. Check the pork for tenderness. Let it simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes if required.
  8. When done, check that you have the amount of gravy that you want. If it is a bit too dry, add some water. If it there is too much water, just bring to the boil to reduce.
  9. Check the seasoning.
  10. Add in the corn starch mixture and stir until you have a glossy and sticky sheen. The gravy should cling to the meat.
  11. Once you are satisfied, scatter the spring onion and dish up.
  12. Enjoy with rice and some vegetables.
pork belly, Chinese, easy,

Blanched pork belly


belly pork, Chinese, Easy.

The cooked meat. Notice the reddish colour. Hence the name, ‘red cooked’ meat.

I hope you enjoy this dish as I enjoy experimenting with it.

Please share and like my post. Do include a link to this blog/ page when sharing.

Thanks for the time!! And Enjoy cooking and eating!!

Penang Lassie.

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