Chinese Style Braised Pork Belly

Chinese Style Braised Pork Belly

Chinese Style Braised Pork Belly


Chinese Style Pork Belly, spicy and aromatic pork that melts in your mouth!

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Do you love spicy meaty sauces packed with flavour? You are in the right place! This Chinese Style Braised Pork Belly is honestly the juiciest tastiest pork belly I have ever had! Super soft, succulent and melt in the mouth goodness! The sauce is rich, complex and full of deep flavour. If you love spice and Chinese food this is the recipe for you!

The pork belly is first browned in a hot pan. Next the whole spices are fried in the pork fat until aromatic. Then a blended sauce full of fragrant Chinese ingredients and condiments is poured into the pot. Before finally replacing the browned pork back in the pot. The pork is then left to braise for at least 1 hour. The final product is melt in the mouth juicy pork belly coated in a sweet and aromatic sauce – served with fluffy rice and peas!

braised pork belly and rice and peas

Inspiration for this Recipe

This Chinese Pork Belly is inspired by Spice N Pans Chinese style ribs recipe. His recipes are amazing. If you love Asian food, I highly recommend checking his YouTube channel out. His rib recipe is my favourite recipe of his! My mother introduced me to his channel 2 years ago after she first made this dish for me. This revised, tried and tested recipe inspired by the original Spice N Pans recipe, is now one of my all time favourites!

I of course spoke to my mother before writing this post to get the inside scoop on why she changed the recipe. Like me, my mum is a spicy food fanatic! We love spice and add it to literally everything! One thing that had to change was the spice levels. My mother wanted to ramp up the heat level even more! She added birds eye chillies and keeps the seeds in. She also added Chinese 5 spice powder and cloves to add more aromatics and another layer of flavour to this delectable sauce. My mother made one final change. She wanted a smooth sauce and to produce this, all the ingredients apart from the whole spices are blended.

Fusion of Cuisines

I highly recommend serving this dish with Rice and Peas. The inspiration to pair the dish with rice and peas came from the fact the sauce reminded us of the jerk sauce often served at Jamaican restaurants. That spicy, sweet BBQ sauce that goes beautifully with rice and peas. One thing to know about me is I LOVE RICE! But in this case steamed rice just wasn’t cutting it. If you make this dish do yourself a favour and serve it with some coconutty rice and peas – you will not regret it! I have just posted my Lazy Rice & Peas recipe perfect for busy bees who want quick, easy and tasty food.

braised pork belly


This recipe is not for the faint hearted. If you are used to eating very spicy food and are a true chilli fan, stick to the recipe. I guarantee you will have it on rinse and repeat for a while!  However, if you’re not used to spicy food but still love the sound of this recipe, please go easy on the chilli (5-10 birds eye chillies) to start. You can always increase it the next time you make it.  

What do I need?

  • Good quality pork ribs or pork belly. This recipe goes beautifully with either, it simply depends on what you are in the mood for or find in the shops/freezer. Today I have used pork belly bone in ribs from Costco. If using pork ribs get some nice meaty prime pork ribs or spare ribs. You can also use beef ribs if you dont eat pork.
  • When there are whole spices involved, you know the sauce will be good! This recipe calls for Chinese 5 spice, star anise, cloves, cinnamon stick and dried birds eye chillies. The whole spices are fried in the pork fat until aromatic!
  • This recipe calls for a fair few Chinese condiments. Oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, dark soya sauce, light soya sauce, rice vinegar and shaosing rice wine. I know this is a lot of condiments, but if you like Chinese food and want to start cooking it at home, these condiments are fundamental staples for producing authentic Chinese food. Check out my What’s In My Pantry post.
  • I buy all of my Chinese ingredients from a Chinese supermarket in north west London called Wing Yip. They have 4 stores in the UK, 2 of these are in London; Cricklewood and Croydan. I love Wing Yip because it is a family run supermarket that has been around over 50 years now! Its a one stop shop for all your asian ingredient wants and needs!
  • Shallots, garlic and ginger – three key ingredients used in lots of Chinese food. I always keep my kitchen stocked with these, many recipes call for them.
  • You will also need a good blender to blend together the condiments and fresh ingredients for a super silky smooth sauce! My go to blender is the 3 in 1 food processor and blender from Ninja. Its affordable and produces brilliant results.
ingredients for chinese braised pork

Chinese Pork Belly Serving Suggestions –

This dish is about to become your new favourite! I know I banged on about it enough already but just to be clear……..serve this with my Lazy Rice and Peas recipe. The rice compliments the sauce perfectly, a match made in heaven! Spicy and aromatic, a fantastic fusion of flavours. You will not be disappointed! Please give this recipe a like and let me know what you think in the comments – I would love to hear from you!

Chinese Style Braised Pork Belly

Juicy and succulent pork belly braised in a spicy, aromatic and deeply flavoured Chinese style sauce!
Servings 6 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes


  • Shallow wide frying pan or casserole pot
  • Blender
  • Sharp knife
  • Chopping board
  • Cooking spoon
  • Tongs


  • 500g prime or spare ribs OR
  • 3-4 large bone in pork belly slices

Whole Spices

  • 5 cm cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 6 cloves
  • 20-30 dried birds eye chillies
  • 1 tsp Chinese 5 spice

Ingredients for blending

  • 1 thumb size ginger
  • 2 shallots
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 1 cup rice wine
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp dark soya sauce
  • 2 tbsp light soya sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil


  • Wash and cut your pork into your desired pieces. Season the pork with salt and pepper and set aside.
  • Measure out all your ingredients and blend all the ingredients together except the whole spices and 5 spice powder and set aside.
    blended sauce mix
  • Heat the oil in your pan until smoking hot and then add the seasoned pork and fry until browned all over.
  • Once browned remove ribs and set aside. 
    browned pork belly
  • Now throw in the star anise, cloves, bird eye chillies and five spice powder and fry them alone for about 2 minutes or until aromatic.
    whole spices frying
  • Pour in the blended mix and then add the pork back in once a bubble starts. Now pour water to cover the pork – about 1.5-2 cups. NOTE – This is why it is important to use a shallow pan so you do not overdo it on the water.
  • Replace the cover and allow to come to the boil about 5-7 minutes. Then turn the heat down to low.
  • Leave pork to braise for at least 1 hour. From time to time flip the ribs or pork belly and use a spoon to coat the ribs in sauce. NOTE: If liquid is drying too fast turn the temperature lower. 
  • Pork should be ready after an hour. Pork belly will look succulent and pierce easily with a fork. Ribs will be slipping off the bone and also pierce easily with a fork.
  • Turn your heat back up to high and remove the lid and reduce your sauce down to your desired thickness. I usually do this stage for at least 10 minutes.


If using pork belly, I recommend leaving the pieces whole to keep the moisture and flavour in. For ribs ask your butcher to cut them into 4 inch pieces or do this yourself at home with a meat cleaver.
Author: Daniel Devereux
Cost: £10
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: Chinese, one pot, Spicy

Did you make this recipe?

Got any questions? Ask away! I’m here to help! If you loved this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment and rating below! Let me know how it turned out for you and share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at @chilliandlife and hashtag it #chilliandlife ! I’ll be sure to share it!


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