Chinese Dongpo Pork (Braised Pork Belly)

Here’s a new delicious Chinese dish for you: Dongpo Pork (or Braised Pork Belly). It is a notable signature dish in Hangzhou cuisine. Believe it or not, it was invented more than 1000 years ago by Su Dongpo, who was regarded as the very best poet, calligrapher, and writer in Chinese literary history.

Chinese Dongpo Pork (Braised Pork Belly) 4

Probably all Chinese people love this classic dish. It’s made from a slab of pork belly. After being simmered, braised and steamed, the meat should be so tender and so flavorful. There is a lot of fat, but after the lengthy cooking time, the fat should be much less greasy. The meat is so delicious that it’ll melt in your mouth.

Chinese Dongpo Pork (Braised Pork Belly) 1

Chinese Dongpo Pork (Braised Pork Belly) 2

Chinese Dongpo Pork (Braised Pork Belly) 3

Chinese Dongpo Pork (Braised Pork Belly) 4

Dongpo Pork (Braised Pork Belly)

  • Prep time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 3 hours (Braising for 2 1/2 hours and steaming for 1/2 hour)
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
  • Serving Size: 4


  • 1 lb pork belly
  • 4 scallions
  • 5 slices of ginger
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 1/3 cup of soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup of Shaoxing wine, aka hua diao wine
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 cup of water

Step by step

  1. Slice the scallions and ginger.
  2. Blanch pork in a pot of boiling water. Then remove the pork belly from the water and throw out the water. Cut the pork belly into 1″ to 1.5″ cubes.
  3. Put scallions, ginger, and star anise into a wok. Add soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, sugar and water.
  4. Put sliced meat into the wok and then bring to a boil for 5 minutes.
  5. Reduce heat to a simmer, put a lid on, and let the pork belly simmer for at least 2.5 hours. You will smell the fragrant aroma from the lengthy braising, but don’t open the lid! Just wait and this is one dish that is definitely worth the wait.
  6. Transfer the meat and sauce to a bowl and put it into a steamer. Steam for 30 minutes. P.S. Dongpo Pork being famous for having fat yet not tasting greasy is because of this secret step.  
  7. Remove Dongpo Pork to a serving dish.


See all Chinese MAIN DISH recipes



  1. October 19, 2015 / 2:10 pm

    Love your beautiful photos! I am even more thrilled to discover authentic Chinese recipes in English. A wish fulfilled! I would love your chicken feet recipe. If you have a good one, please share that one soon. Beef tendon is another recipe I would enjoy.
    I teach the low-oxalate diet, which omits cumin, cinnamon, and curry powder and several vegetables. When I get a chance, I may convert one of your recipes to a low-oxalate version. Congratulations on your beautiful, classy work. Thank you.

    • October 19, 2015 / 2:30 pm

      Hi Sally, thank you so much for liking my posts as well as the photos! It really means a lot. And thanks for the great suggestions. Chicken feet and beef tendon would be wonderful hearty winter dishes. I’d love to share! I’ll let you know when I post. Hope you will love my recipes. Let me know if you try any! Thank you Sally and have a wonderful day!

  2. November 11, 2015 / 10:03 am

    I’m excited to try this recipe, Charlotte! It looks great. Pork belly is a favorite among Appalachian country cooks, also. We fry it up like you would bacon or add it to a big pot of green beans for flavor. A lot of people turn their noses up to it, but you and I know what’s good! 🙂

    • November 11, 2015 / 10:37 am

      Aww thank you so much for your comment! Pork belly is so delicious, we never go wrong with it! Hope you like this recipe as much as you like yours! XX

  3. December 10, 2015 / 5:33 pm

    Everything is better with pork belly. :-9

    • December 11, 2015 / 8:40 am

      Yes, yes! So tender and flavorful! Pork belly is my fav!!! 😀

      • December 11, 2015 / 9:41 am

        I am cooking some pork jowl tonight, which is also a great cut. Similar to belly.

        • December 11, 2015 / 11:31 am

          Sounds great!! I haven’t tried pork jowl before, but I’m sure it’s as delicious as belly!

  4. Ian Ibbetson
    January 9, 2016 / 10:47 pm

    I don’t follow this step…
    Transfer the meat and sauce to a bowl and put it into a steamer. Steam for 30 minutes. P.S. Dongpo Pork being famous for having fat yet not tasting greasy is because of this secret step.

    Do you steam the meat only and add back to the sauce.

    Not sure what difference steaming it in a bowl will do?

    • January 12, 2016 / 11:10 pm

      Thanks for pointing this out! Yes, steaming the pork is my little secret step to make the meat less fatty and more tender. You can certainly skip this step and still make an absolutely delicious Dongpo pork dish!

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