Cut the pork belly into medium-thick strips (around 2.5 cm high and wide, 0.7 cm thick).
Heat some oil in a heavy pot.
Fry the meat until browning. Add sugar, let caramelize while stirring regularly.
Add in ginger, fry lightly, then add spices. Fry just a little for aroma, but don't let them burn!
Cover with water (until meat is just covered).
Put lid on pot, let boil softly for at least 15 minutes. Longer is rather better.
When you want to finish the meal, uncover it, add salt and a good splash of light and dark soy sauce, then let it simmer to reduce the 'soup' to somewhat thicker consistency.
(At this stage, the HongShaoRou can also be put into a container and stored in the fridge for a few days or the freezer for who-knows-how-long. The fat will congeal, but the meat that - at least mainly - gets picked out to be eaten will be nice when reheated. And it gets easier, actually to reduce the 'soup' more, that way.)