Shanghai-Style Braised Pork Belly With Hard-Boiled Eggs
"Born and raised in Shanghai, China, I am often asked the same question whenever a conversation related to cuisine initiates. The question is “What is the number one classic Shanghainese dish?” My answer is consistently braised pork belly and it will always be, without a doubt. Since many friends and family members request that I make it during gatherings, I’ve had a chance to cook the recipe countless times and eventually to perfect it. And that includes lots of Skype calls with my mom considering the braised pork belly is one of her signature dishes. I have to admit that this is not an easy and quick recipe like I usually share on this blog. To make the braised pork belly melt-in-your-mouth tender with a rich, thick and deeply flavored sauce, you ought to have the patience and put in the time. Are you with me? Yes?! Great, because it’s well worth the effort! Now that the expectations are set, here are a few key steps to ensure your success in cooking the most authentic Shanghai-Style Braised Pork Belly."
Preparation Time5 min
Cooking Time2 hr
- 1 1/2 pounds pork belly, cut into 1.5-inch chunks
- 3 tablespoons avocado oil
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar or rock sugar, divided
- 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons regular soy sauce
- 1/4 cup Shaoxing wine (or Sherry)
- 1 cup chicken bone broth (or low-sodium chicken broth)
- 3 whole star anise
- 2 stems green onions, roughly chopped
- 2 slices of fresh ginger
Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a saucepan. Add pork chunks into the water and blanch for 5 minutes. Drain well and place on a large plate lined with a couple layers of paper towels. Set aside.
Heat up a large sauté pan or a wok over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes. Add oil and 2 tablespoons brown sugar. Stir gently until sugar is dissolved in the oil.
Meanwhile, pat the pork dry with additional paper towels. Once the sugar is melted, increase heat to medium and carefully add pork into the pan. (The oil might pop due to excess water from the pork. Don’t stay too close to the stove and be careful.) Brown all sides of the pork. Flip and let it brown undisturbed, about 30-45 seconds on each side.
Once the pork is browned, add dark soy sauce into the pan, stir to combine. Let it cook for 5 minutes.
Now, place regular soy sauce, cooking wine, broth, star anise, green onions, ginger, and garlic into the pan. Depending on the size of your cookware, the cooking liquid should come halfway up the pile of the park. if not, simply add more broth. Bring to a boil, then switch to low heat to simmer, covered, for at least an hour, stirring occasionally.
Uncover, add eggs and gently push it into the cooking liquid, basting for a few times. Cover, and simmer for another 15-20 minutes.