The best cure for a homesick heart, according to Cindy Zhou aka @ChubbyChineseGirlEats on Instagram, is her mom’s Hong Shao Rou, or red braised pork belly. This Shanghainese classic can be found in restaurants with nostalgic names like “Grandma’s” or “Mama’s.”
Each family has their own version, and like most kids who grew up with this dish, Zhou likes her mom’s best.
These melt-in-your-mouth cubes of pork belly with a little gelatinous bite left on the skin are sure to please. The tender meat and eggs are coated in a sweet and savory sticky soy sauce glaze that’s just perfect over rice.
Mama’s Red Braised Pork Belly
1 1/2 pounds of skin-on pork belly
6 boiled or soft-boiled eggs (your preference)
1 can 12-oz beer (lager)
1 tbsp of oil
5 slices of ginger
1/2 cup of dark soy sauce
2 tbsp of Chinese rock sugar
1 tsp salt
1. Cut pork belly into 2″ x 2″ cubes.
2. Put pork belly in a stock pot.
3. Cover with water and set on high until it boils.
4. Drain the pork immediately after water boils.
5. Wash away any impurities on the pork belly with cold water.
Hard boil or soft boil to your liking.
Gently score vertical lines around the egg for maximum flavor.
In a braising pot, add 3 tbsp of oil over high heat.
Add in ginger and then the pork belly.
Let it sear for about 2 minutes. Stir constantly.
Add in scallions and beer. Bring it to a boil.
Add dark soy sauce and salt. Stir.
Turn heat to low. Cover and let it cook for 25 minutes.
Add rock sugar and let it simmer for another 15 min. Stir occasionally.
Add in eggs and let the sauce reduce uncovered (about 5–10 min), until it’s a little sticky and the meat is tender. Stir bottom constantly so it doesn’t burn.
This recipe comes to us courtesy of FreshDirect, the online grocery delivery service that serves the tri-state area year-round and the East End seasonally, as an early part of their Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebrations, which include promoting AAPI-operated food brands such as Sanzo, Momofuku, Mushroom King, Noona’s Ice Cream and Nguyen Coffee Supply.
To learn more, visit freshdirect.com.