Slow-Braised Belly Pork with Soy, Ginger, and Garlic

Updated June 29, 2016
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Editor's Note: If you're thinking of trying out a new pork belly recipe, this Slow-Braised Belly Pork with Soy, Ginger, and Garlic is a must-make. Tender pork, infused with the flavors of ginger and garlic, falls off the bone and melts in your mouth. This belly pork recipe is a delicious main dish and goes well with any number of sides. The best part is that pork belly is typically a very inexpensive cut of meat, so you don't have to shell out to enjoy this flavorful Asian-inspired dish.

Braised belly pork given this treatment ends up as a wondrously tender and melting piece of meat. The recipe has evolved from various ideas, with both European and Asian influences. Most of the time it ends up slightly different from the time before, with a lot of trial and error, but that’s the fascination of cooking. The right thing to serve with this would be some briefly fried spinach or, if you happen to live near an oriental supermarket, then get some bok choy (Chinese greens) and some egg noodles.




Total Timeunder 4 hours

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe CourseMain Course



Taste and TextureGarlicky, Meaty, Savory, Spiced, Umami


  • 4 pints water
  • 4 Ib belly pork, in one piece, rind and bones intact
  • ¾ cup dry sherry or sake
  • 3 star anise
  • 2-inch cinnamon stick
  • 15 thin diagonal slices of fresh root ginger
  • ½, tsp (or less) dried chilli flakes
  • 1 1/3 cups good-quality soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp red currant jelly
  • 6 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 30 garlic cloves
  • 6-7 spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced into shreds
  • Cilantro sprigs
  • 1 large red chilli, seeded and cut into thin strips


Bring the water to the boil in a shallow pan that the pork will fit into quite snugly, but with a few gaps to spare. Put in the pork and when it comes back to the boil, remove any scum.

Add the sherry or sake and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the spices, ginger, chilli flakes, soy, red currant jelly, and balsamic vinegar. Bring back to the boil and simmer, covered, on a very low heat or in a very low oven for 2–3 hours, carefully turning the meat from time to time.

Add the garlic after 1 hour of cooking.

When a thin skewer inserted into the meat offers absolutely no resistance, then the meat is cooked.

Gently remove onto a serving dish along with the pieces of ginger and garlic, and keep warm.

Reduce the sauce until of a syrupy consistency but watch out for excess saltiness due to the soy sauce, so keep tasting.

Spoon the sauce over the meat and strew with the spring onions, cilantro sprigs, and chilli. The meat can be eaten with a spoon, the bones will just slip out and the fat and rind will be lusciously soft and melting.


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