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Monday, July 26, 2010

Fragrant Spicy Pork Belly 香辣猪腩

I got this recipe from this site.  I like recipes from Meishi China. It's like a Chinese Tastespotting or Foodgawker. I’ve followed a few with my limited knowledge of the Chinese written language, and so far they haven’t failed me. Maybe sometimes, I need to add a bit more of this, or reduce a bit of that, but overall, I follow 90% of it, and it works.

I don’t want to use pork trotter, so I changed it to pork belly. Made very minor changes but kept the rest as near to the original recipe as possible.

This is my first time using Szechuan Peppercorn. I got mine at a Chinese Medical Hall. 50 sen is a lot, few tablespoons. I wonder when can I use up the 50sen. Maybe forever.
The outcome is very nice. Mike ate so much rice with this. My mother in law wants me to make this for next year’s CNY reunion dinner. One miss only.. not spicy enough for me. I’ll add 2 more dried chilies next time.

So here goes my translation and adaptation

Fragrant Spicy Pork Belly Recipe

800gm pork belly with skin, cut into large cubes, about 3cm
1 Tbsp oil

15gm ginger, peeled, sliced
2 shallots, peeled , halved (I added this because I don’t have 15gm of white parts of green onion)
2 sprig green onion, white parts only
3 cloves garlic, skin removed, whole pieces
3 dried chillies, seeds removed, more if you like it extra spicy
1 star anise (2 if it’s small or not very very fragrant)
½ tsp szechuan peppercorn ( original recipe called for 10 pcs only, but I’m lazy to count)

Seasoning (please use a proper measuring spoon, if not the taste will not be accurate)
2 Tbsp Hot Bean Paste (Lee Kum Kee brand)
1 Tbsp cooking wine
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar

Few cups of water for braising

1. Bring a pot of water to boil. Put in pork belly cubes and boil until meat turns opaque. Pour meat into a colander and drain the water properly.
2. Heat a wok/claypot. Put in oil, swirl the oil around. Put in the scalded pork pieces, make sure they are spread around in one layer. Do not move them with a spatula for 30 seconds. Then toss and fry the meat until it is slightly browned.
3. Put all the aromatics onto the pork and continues to toss and fry until you can smell the aromatics.
4. Put in all the seasonings except the sugar and continue to fry for one minute. (When you put in the seasonings, do turn the heat to low, when you’re done putting in all the seasonings, return to high heat and cook)
5. Put in few cups of water (let the water cover all the meat) and bring it to a boil. Cover wok/pot with lid. Turn heat to medium and simmer until meat is tender (penetrable with your spatula or a chopstick, always check water level, add more if it dries up.
6. When meat is tender, turn on high heat, put in sugar and let the gravy reduce to preferred consistency.

* Be careful. The gravy can dry up quite fast and burn.

The skin and fatty layers is tender and doesn't taste fatty at all. Very nice.


  1. I like spicy food, and this must be delicious with rice. :)

  2. This is super yummy dish go with a bowl of rice. I like it!

  3. Wah, sinfully MIL sure likes this--with all the fatty pork!
    I'd like to ask you about the star in-laws say it is very "poisonous", they never put any (or even the cinnamon stick) when braising pork/sea cucumber. Sometimes when we eat bakuteh outside,they'll say: Actually bakuteh is very "poisonous" coz they put the star anise inside...(I don't know how to explain, but you know...the traditional chinese Ah Pek or Ah Soh way of saying "poisonous")

  4. Wah! Wendy, my hubby will be drooling if he were to see the pics! He loves belly pork, the more fat the better. BUT I only cook it about twice a month. Have not done it spicy before. So when it's time to do a belly pork dish, then I will try this recipe. Bookmarked!

  5. This is my hubby favorite. Look so delicious must bookmark it.

  6. Wah, your family really likes this kind of fatty, melt-in-your mouth pork huh? I will pluck at the lean part only... :)

  7. Little Inbox,
    Yup, guarantee lots of rice with this!!!

  8. Ktichen Corner,
    I can sense the "love" you have for this.

  9. Mel,
    I understand what you mean by "dook".
    Try to make a trip to the Herbal shop with them, and ask the herbal practitioner about it, right infront of them. If you ask, then tell them later, they won't believe you one. Must let them listen to it directly.

    Spices are actually good for you. Scientifically, cinnamon is good for diabetes. Chinese medicinal will say good for colds, flatulence, nausea, diarrhea, and painful menstrual periods.
    Star anise is used in making vaccine for H1N1 ,remember Tamiflu??, and it's good for digestion, skin disease and headaches.

    I always believe in moderation. we don't chew on cinnamon and we don't suck star anise the whole day long.

  10. Anncoo and busygran,

    Hahaha, why is it always the husbands that loves pork belly??? Why no one admits they themselves like this too!!!

  11. Shirley,
    Hahaha, both my sides of family loves pork belly, but must be made in such a way that it doesn't smell "fat". The belly's texture is different from other meats and is definately when braised for a long period of time.

    Actually this was cut off from the parts I used to make Dong Po Pork that was posted long ago.

  12. I love this type of dish with gravy as this goes well with rice. But if I make this I have to use lean pork as I am not a fan of fatty pork.

  13. This looks like what my mom used to cook for us when we were young....shiny and tastes awesome with rice. The fatter the pork belly...the better it is :D Lovely dish!

  14. Gosh Wendy, just look at those fatty pork! Of coz, I only take the meat. hehe.... Btw, I've never heard that star anise is considered 'poisonous', I mean 'dook'! None of my family members know that. But the fragrant is absolutely sddictive. LOL. More over, I think the human being mouth even worst-leh! haha... Hope you're enjoying the evening.
    Cheers, Kristy

  15. An excellent dish to go with steamy white rice! Will try out this recipe soon, since the ingredient is not too complicated, thanks!

  16. I just signed up to follow your wonderful blog! I will be checking back often to see what other delicious recipe you are cooking up!

  17. I am sure this left a fiery feeling in your stomach! Looks delicious!

  18. this dish looks soooo yummy... thanks for the recipe, shall try this soon.

  19. Wendy, this dish looks so salivating, thou I am not a rice person but for this dish, I wil definately go with rice but I wil take the lean pork :)

  20. this dish look so tempting and delicious, by the way, where you buy the szechuan peppercorn ? I seem couldn't find it here.

  21. Bookmarked! My stomach is growling like crazy now!

  22. this brand i bought before... but i cook the tastee not good! i wonder is my skill not good or the brand not good?

  23. Gert,
    We are totally opposite of you and are no fans of super lean pork like pork loin :)
    We prefer some sort of marbling, like the shoulder. Makes it tender.

    That's why we don't consume chicken breast too.

  24. MaryMoh,
    Wah the fatter the better ah??
    Geng wer.
    We like it 70% lean.

  25. Jess-sugar high,
    Yeah, it's a typical Chinese pork dish.

  26. Bee,
    Excellent with noodles and porridge too :)

  27. Linda,
    I do hope to see you more often as you said.

  28. Mysimplefood,
    Oh, not spicy enough for me, actually.

  29. MK Mummy,
    Don't forget to let me know how it turns out ya!!

  30. Jess Bakericious (I have 3 Jess constant readers now!!!),

    If you don't eat rice, what do you eat daily?
    Bread and noodles?

  31. Sonia,
    Chinese medical hall lor, it's called 花椒.
    I think it's pretty common.

    Do you need me to get you some? I can pass to Swee San, then you get it from her lor. 50sen can last you a long long time.

  32. Voon,
    Your skill la.
    The taste is nice la, but you cannot put a lot, and you have to balance it with sugar. Bean paste always needs sugar to go along.

  33. Wenn,
    Not spicy enough, spicier will be better.

  34. Just wandering how come ur pork belly looks like those sakura pork? Izzit sakura pork? I have tried your "tong po yoke" recipe! It's fastastic! The fats just melt in the mouth! Thanks 4 sharing!!

  35. Esther Chin,
    Wow, a first comment from you after reading for so long :)

    No lor, just regular market pork. My mom bought it from Ipoh, but definately not Sakura. Anyway, I do hope to get some Sakura pork, but no idea where the shop is. I heard their pork is really good. So far now, the best I've seen is Tesco Ipoh Garden lor.

    I'm glad you liked the tong poh yoke. Easy and yummy right???

  36. Wendy, Thanks. I did asked the usual Chinese medical shop, he seem don't know, maybe I tell him is 花椒 again.

  37. Hi Wendy,

    I am sure this is something I will like. I love chinese food that is rich and heavy in taste, nevermind that they are unhealthy sometimes.

    The pictures are very well taken and this dish looks like what eateries and restaurants would serve. nice!

  38. Sonia,
    Now I am curious what did you tell him in the beginning. You asked the fella in english ah???
    花椒 is the term Chinese cooking books use, not 四川胡椒. Hahahah. I think if the shop sells "self made 5 spice powder" , they'll definately have this, as it is one of the components, I think.
    If not, just tell me, I'll get some for you.

  39. Hai Wendy, this morning i made this pork, but not with pork belly (on diet :P) hahah.

    Here is mine. Thx wendy for sharing ur yummylicious food ^___^

  40. Anonymous,
    Thanks for the feedback,
    It looked scrumptious with ribs.

  41. Hi Wendy, I just cooked this and your "King Oyster Mushrooms with Meat Sauce" recipe. It was delicious! Thank you so much! May God bless you & your whole family always!

  42. Jean,
    thankyou for the feedback and am glad you liked them both :)

  43. Does cooking time take up to 1 hr to cook the pork? Thanks

  44. Love2cook,
    about that, if you want it to be really tender, but it depends on the type of pot and the heat you are using.

  45. Which one do you prefer? Which one taste better? The spicy pork belly or dong po pork?

  46. Love2Cook,
    Each one is special on its own. The seasonings used are different. I like both.
    U know the preference of the ppl you are going to serve this to.
    But if it's for entertaining, dong po pork will give better presentation because it comes in a block.

  47. But with dong po pork, they only slice the pork on their own before eating? I intend to cook for a home fellowship and bring it over to my friend's place.

  48. Love2cook,
    You can carve the pork just before serving, carve it infront of your friends.
    If you want to save all this work, just cook the fragrant spicy pork. It's your perrogative on which one you want to cook as both are different in taste and presentation.

  49. I've cooked this yesterday and it's so full of flavour. Love it. Thanks for the recipe.


  50. Love2Cook,
    glad you liked this :)


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