Hong Shao Rou
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Hong Shao Rou, Mao Zedong-Style

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 min
Total Time21 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Hunan Cooking
Servings: 2 people


  • 300-500 g pork belly
  • 2-3 tbsp sugar (crystal or brown)
  • 2-3 tbsp chile pepper flakes red
  • 3-5 slices ginger
  • 3 pieces star anise
  • 3-5 leaves bay leaf
  • 2-3 sticks cinnamon (or cassia bark)
  • oil
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce (or just a good shot of it)
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce (or just a good shot of it)


  • 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.)