Sweet and sticky, this melt in your mouth beer braised pork belly is simple to make and incredibly flavourful. Served it with potatoes, noodles or rice. East meets West comfort food right there!
Whenever I go to the market and pick up a pork belly, I often think it’s going to be turned into a simple bacon or some form of crackling something but this time was different. I was bored with the same old thing and decided to go a more saucy route so I opened my fridge and brainstormed.
There it was, staring me in the face – a can of dark beer. Today is going to be a good day.
Is this super traditional? Nope – the traditional Chinese braised pork belly recipe doesn’t usually have garlic and onions and most definitely not beer but caramelized garlic and onions add another dimension of flavour which go fantastic with pork belly. The final dish has a sweet, sticky and flavourful dish with hints of bitterness from the beer to offset the sweetness.
For this Beer Braised Pork Belly (Chinese Style), most ingredients should be available at your local grocery store.
Can you omit the dark soy sauce? Yes, but you won’t get that glossy dark colour.
For the beer, I used a dark beer but that is only because I enjoy the hint of bitterness to it. If you prefer something less bitter, you can use a light beer for this recipe as well.
Update 08/29/18: A few people have made this with dark beers (stouts and porters) and found it incredibly bitter. Since beers have different IBU (International Bitterness Scale), I recommend using a beer that you enjoy drinking or a light or medium beer – unless you enjoy the bitterness of dark beers.
For the sugar I used Chinese yellow rock sugar because it gives the meat and sauce that glossy sheen. It cooks down almost syrupy which is one of the traits of a good braised pork belly. This can be substituted with regular sugar.
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
Traditional vs. Non-Traditional
Remember I said this is not the traditional method of making this? This recipe is slightly simpler by omitting the blanching of the pork belly. Traditionally, we would blanch the pork belly to remove the impurities for a ‘cleaner’ looking dish however I found that omitting that step allowed for a better browning since it gave it more ‘bits’ to scrape off the pan right before braising. Flavour.
There’s nothing to this recipe! 🙂
- Slice up the ginger and roughly smash the garlic.
- Cut the pork belly into 2cm x 3cm chunks. Don’t cut them too thin or it will melt away and there won’t be much to eat!
- Brown the pork belly. Add in the onions, ginger and garlic to brown as well as this will give it even more flavour.
Note: When you brown pork belly it splatters – a lot. I’m pretty sure I have splatters of grease on my ceiling – occupational hazard right? To alleviate this issue I had to literally hold up the lid like a shield against the pot and deflect the oil splatters away from me. If you foodies out there have a better method, give me a shout! 🙂
- Add all the braising liquids and spices into the pan and set the stove to high and bring everything to a vigorous boil and boil everything for 15 minutes.
- Once it has boiled for 15 minutes, reduce the heat to medium low and braise for 1 hour and 20 minutes. A lot of fat will render out of the pork belly, skim off the fat before serving.
- Serve it up with white rice, plain noodles or roasted potatoes\mashed potatoes (Yep, potatoes! We liked it with fries!)
Saucy om nom nom!
Sweet and sticky, this melt in your mouth beer braised pork belly is simple to make and incredibly flavourful.
- 2 lbs pork belly
- 1 onion (sliced)
- 4×4 cm ginger (sliced)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cup beer
- 3 cups beef broth
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Chinese rice cooking wine
- 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
- 2-3 small Chinese yellow rock sugar (or 3 tablespoon of regular sugar)
- green onions (finely chopped)
- toasted sesame seeds
- Slice the ginger and onions and roughly smash the garlic
- Cut the pork belly into 2cm x 3cm chunks. (Don’t cut them up too thin else they will melt away into nothing!)
- In a skillet or heavy bottomed pot, set the heat to medium and add in the pork belly to start browning it. (Be careful at this point. Pork belly splatters a lot! Use a lid as a shield to deflect some of that hot oil away from you :))
- When you have browned the pork belly halfway through, add in the onions, garlic and ginger to brown them as well.
- Once all the pork belly has been browned, add in the five spice, beer, rice vinegar, broth, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, shaoxing cooking wine, sugar.
- Set the stove to high and bring everything to a vigorous boil and boil it for 15 minutes
- Once everything has boiled for 15 minutes, set the stove to medium low to low heat. You want the braising liquid to be doing a low rolling boil. Braise 1 hour and 20 minutes.
- You’ll know it’s ready when the sauce is syrupy looking and the liquid should have reduced by almost half the amount you started with. If it hasn’t reached that syrupy consistency, continue to cook it for another 5-10 minutes.
- Serve with white rice, plain noodles or roasted potatoesmashed potatoes (we liked fries! 🙂 )
- IMPORTANT UPDATE: Update 08/29/18: A few people have made this with dark beers (stouts and porters) and found it incredibly bitter. Since beers have different IBU (International Bitterness Scale), I recommend using a beer that you enjoy drinking or a light or medium beer – unless you enjoy the bitterness of dark beers.
- During the simmering process a lot of the fat will render out of the pork belly. Skim off the fat so there isn’t a layer of grease before serving.
- Pork belly splatters a lot during the browning process! Use a lid as a shield to deflect some of that hot oil away from you
- An alternative to pork belly that this also works with is pork ribs or pork hocks! 🙂 Cut up the pork ribs into individual ribs and use the same directions.
- Serving Size: 1 Serving
- Calories: 1299 kcal
- Sugar: 11 g
- Sodium: 1523 mg
- Fat: 120 g
- Carbohydrates: 18 g
- Protein: 23 g
Keywords: braised pork belly
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