Dong Po Rou (Braised Pork Belly) – Delishar

I was at the wet market buying my weekly fresh produce. While I was at my butcher, I impulsively pointed at a slab of pork belly without really thinking about what I’m going to do with it. My first inclination was to make Siew Yok (Crispy Roast Pork Belly) but I just gave my oven a throughout scrubbing down just a day again, and I’m not planning to work those arm muscles the same way any time soon.

So the piece of pork belly was spared that day, but not for long! The next day, I tried my luck and invited my mum over for dinner. So happen, that social butterfly mother of mine was free for dinner! Without a thought, I knew I had to make dong po rou as I knew that my mummy will really enjoy it. I started preparing after I hung up the phone with her as the braising process is going to take hours to yield a melt in the mouth tender pork belly.

I’m so glad I made this for her that evening! If you know my mum, she is very typical Chinese, to get any kind of verbal affirmation or praise from her is almost like trying to teach pigs to fly. My husband can attest to that. So when I nervously served my dong po rou to her, she exclaimed “Wahhh!”. I silently affirmed myself, “Wah is good! Wah means good!”. Mind you, I’m confident when it comes to food and cooking, but satisfying my mummy’s tastebuds are not an easy feat.

Mummy didn’t utter a word during dinner, so after dinner I boldly asked her for her feedback. She sternly looked at me and said, “Mmm, got standard (Very good in singlish), good! But can’t cook even longer.” With my mum, there’s always room for improvement. I was beaming, super rare praises from mummy!  Woooo Hoooo! So to conclude this dish in three words, “Wah! Got standard!”  


Dong Po Rou (Braised Pork Belly)


Serves 2-3 as a main with rice

  • 600 g pork belly
  • 2 bunches of spring onions/ scallions cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 6 slices of old ginger
  • 1/4 cup shaoxing wine
  • 3-4 tbsp light soy sauce or to taste
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 50 g rock sugar or to taste chopped up
  • 1 cup hot water or enough to cover all sides of pork belly
  • Sliced spring onion to garnish
  • Wash and clean pork belly, then blanch in boiling hot water for 1 minute.

  • Drain and cut into 2×2 inch squares.

  • Line your clay pot / stock pot / sauce pan (use one with tall sides that’ll nicely fit your pork belly, do not use a wide or large pan.) with spring onions, then layer the ginger slices on top.

  • Place pork belly skin side down on ginger, and pour shao xing wine, light soy sauce, and dark soy sauce over.

  • Top with rock sugar, then pour water into the pot.

  • There is no need to stir.

  • Cover and bring to a boil over medium high heat.

  • Once boiling, lower heat to low, and simmer for 90 minutes.

  • After 90 minutes, carefully flip pork over and simmer for another 90 minutes, basting the skin occasionally.

  • Add some water if the liquid is evaporating too quickly.

  • Adjust seasoning to taste add more sugar or more soy sauce.

  • Sieve out grease before serving sauce over pork belly.

  • Garnish with spring onions.

Use a pot that will fit the pork snugly with a tight fitting lid on the lowest heat to avoid liquid evaporating too quickly. You can always reduce sauce after removing pork when done. The pork belly is tender and may fall apart when removing from pot. Be gentle. Or you can secure pork belly with kitchen twine to keep meat in place when braising and plating.
Adapted from The Wok of Life

Dong Po Rou 1

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Thai Style Stewed Pork Belly – Delishar

I’ve probably made soy sauce stew pork a gazillion times when I was living in Aussie. That was my go-to recipe when I want comforting Asian food that reminds me of eating at home. I always thought that will forever remain my favourite stewed pork recipe. But all that changed when I went to bangkok with a friend, and she ordered a bowl of stewed pork belly to share. 

Oh mah goodness! The spices made the stew sooooooo much better! So much warmer in terms of flavour, and so much more comforting. 

My littlest one (Peighton) has claimed this to be her favourite pork dish. She can’t stop asking for more meat, and was slurping down her gravy. Our plates were clean that night, not a one piece of pork was left, and there I was hoping there will be leftovers for my lunch the next day! Lol!


Thai Style Stewed Pork Belly


  • 500 g Pork Belly cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 tbsp 5 spice powder
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 coriander roots
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp white peppercorn lightly smashed
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp fish sauce or to taste
  • 10 cloves old garlic smashed
  • 2-3 tbsp palm or brown sugar or to taste
  • 3.5 – 4 cups water
  • 4 hard boiled eggs shells removed
  • Cilantro to garnish
  • Blanched xiao bai cai to serve
  • Bring 3.5 cups water to boil.

  • Put peppercorn, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and coriander seeds into herb bag

  • Add pork, garlic, corander roots, 5 spice, and spice bag into boiling water.

  • Bring to boil, cover and cook for 30 minutes on medium heat.

  • Skim off scum.

  • Season with fish sauce, dark soy sauce, and sugar.

  • Cover and cook for another 20 minutes.

  • Add some water if liquid evaporated too much.

  • Add hard boiled eggs and cook on low heat for 10 minutes.

  • Garnish with cilantro.

  • Serve with blanched xiao bai cai and steamed rice.

Use a sauce pan that fits all the ingredients snugly.
By using a wide pan or larger pan, the liquid will evaporate faster.
Adjust seasoning to taste. Always add less and adjust later.
Add some firm tofu for extra protein.

Stewed Pork Belly 2

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Pork Belly Adobo (Paleo, Keto, Whole30) – Delishar

Been trying to get back into the grove of eating better after falling off the wagon while we were in the USA. At the same time, trying to modify familiar Asian flavours to be compliant. To be honest, it’s not all that hard when you have the knowledge on how to substitute seasoning sauces. 

We love adobo at the Kay household. It’s difficult not to, given the serious seasonings that go into such a simple dish that produces an end product with deep flavours. You don’t have to brown your meat like I did, but browning the meat on its own without the marinade brings it to another dimension. 

Let the marinade cook down into a glaze, allow the meat to absorb all the flavours. Do it on a very low fire, but keep an eye out to make sure it doesn’t dry out and burn. Add water if necessary. Serve it with cauliflower rice for a complete meal. Use bone-in chicken thighs if you do not eat pork. Here’s how you make it.

First, slice the pork belly into bite size pieces, and marinate in seasonings and spices. Marinate for 4-24 hours.

Remove pork belly from marinade, and reserve marinade.

In a pan over medium heat, render fat of pork belly and allow it to brown. No extra oil is needed.

Once browned, add in the reserved marinade. Lower heat to cook for 30-40 minutes until sauce has been fully absorbed. 

Pork Belly Adobo


Serves 4 as a side

  • 1 kg pork belly sliced into bite size
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup tamari / coconut aminos
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp whole black peppercorn
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • 6 cloves garlic smashed
  • 1/2 yellow onion sliced
  • Cilantro for garnish
  • Place all the ingredients into a container.

  • Allow to marinate for 4-24 hours.

  • Remove pork belly from marinade.

  • Reserve marinade.

  • Heat a pan over medium heat, brown pork.

  • Once browned, add in the reserved marinade.

  • Turn heat to low, cover, and allow to cook until tender and marinade absorbed.

  • Check every now and then to make sure it doesn’t dry up and burn.

  • Garnish with cilantro and serve.

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