Melt-in-the-mouth braised pork belly finished in the oven to crispen the fat with a reduced sticky honey (braising liquid) sauce to finish!


  • For The Pork

  • 1 - 1½ kg pork belly – bone in [more flavor – optional]

  • Slash the skin on the diagonal 1cm apart and generously salt - leave uncovered for 60 minutes. (Rinse off the salt before braising).

  • For the Braising Liquid

  • 2lt chicken stock [8 cups]

  • 2 thumb ginger - sliced

  • 4 cloves garlic - whole is fine - skin off

  • 4 star anise

  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice

  • 1 tsp cardamom pods - whole

  • 2 cinnamon stick - whole

  • 3 red chili - roughly chopped [optional]

  • 1 Lemongrass stalk - crushed

  • 1 tsp mustard seeds - whole

  • 1 tsp coriander seeds - whole

  • 1 tsp Szechwan pepper - whole

  • 150ml Kecap Manis – Indonesian sweet thick soy [2/3 cup]

  • 250ml light soy [1 cup]

  • 300ml shao xing [Chinese cooking wine] [1 1/3 cups]

  • 100g Chinese rock sugar [3 oz] or palm sugar if easier to find

  • 250ml honey [1 cup]


  • 1.

    Place Pork Belly into a large pot, cover with the chicken stock. Add all ingredients except for honey.

  • 2.

    Bring to boil, and then turn down heat to a simmer. Place a plate or small pot lid directly onto the pork belly to keep it submerged.

  • 3.

    Cook for approximately 3 hours. When you can pass a skewer through the belly with ease, it is ready.

  • 4.

    Take care when removing the pork belly from the stock. Place on cutting board and remove the bones and sinue (they should easilyi pop out of the tender meat). Score the skin slightly in a checkered pattern.

  • 5.

    Place onto greaseproof paper and place in a pre-heated fan-forced oven 230 degrees for approximately 20 minutes.

  • 6.

    NB - (The higher the oven temp the better the skin crisps - however note the piece of pork MUST be whole (ie. you haven't pre-cut the portions - OR your piece is not smaller than the size required by this recipe (1 - 1½ kg's) because if you have a small piece in the oven for that long on that high a temperature, it will dry out - I have made that mistake once - don't do it! Just remember if it is smaller than 1 - 1½ kg's then either don't cook it as long, or turn the oven down a little. In any event, the fat is supposed to be succulent - the oven simply finishes it off).

  • 7.

    Meanwhile strain the reserved stock into a pan and add honey. Reduce it until a nice coating consistency is achieved. (This may take a while to reduce, sometimes up to 30 mins). The sauce is ready.

  • 8.

    To serve place pork belly onto the plate with wilted bok choy, steamed rice, drizzled with sauce over the pork.


I also like to serve this dish with a fresh salsa on the side, using kiwi fruit, red onion, hot chilli, fresh mint and coriander. The zing of the salsa cuts through the richness of the pork and is a lovely balance.

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Posted by Sally RiordanReport
yummy. I cooked 2 1.25kg bellies of pork (to freeze one for later, don't put the one to freeze in the oven...freeze after the simmering). After the previous comments on the sauce, I saved half and froze and reduced the other half down for 30 mins and still found quite watery. I added some gravy flour (not corn flour) and it thickened it. Served with Chinese brocolli with oyster sauce and jasmine rice. A hit with everyone. Good enough to serve at a dinner party.
Posted by ejade03Report
Just realised I left out one of the main ingredients into the stock, being Chinese 5 Spice!! Add one tsp!! (I think I wrote coriander seeds twice by mistake!!) ejade03
Posted by HobbitReport
This is actually THE BEST Recipe I have ever used the pork was AMAZING; I had a 3.5kg pork belly to cook and it turned out just perfect I really cant wait to cook it again, I wasn't real good at getting the sauce right but practice will make perfect:)

I have also used this method with just a normal pork roast and even a shoulder roast and it also was fantastic I am even cooking my Xmas pork roast this way as well its that damn good lol :)
Posted by Report
great idea just added some - and i agree that it is a superb recipe, this about the sixth time i have made it
Posted by CheshReport
I cooked this last weekend and got rave reviews - thanks so much for posting this recipe :)

I did use a smaller piece of pork belly (850g) as that was what was available and just cooked it for less and rested it between the pot and the oven. Liquid took much longer to reduce than 30 minutes and never went right down but was beautiful- terrific to use leftover sauce in a stir-fry so none of this yummy flavour goes to waste :)
Posted by ejade03Report
Hey GK4 - this is my own recipe that I created from looking at other recipes and making them better (ie, more flavourful). Also after I have cooked this about 4 times I've perfected how I think it should be cooked.

Hey Dave53 - ahhh that's cool - no probs.

No I generally don't have time to cool the braising liquid. This is a very rich and fatty dinner anyway (due to the pork belly). Once the pork is in the oven I like to reduce the stock. It takes 3 hours to braise anyway and by that time your house smells amazing and you just want to eat it!

Lately I cook the braising liquid on high as much as possible to really reduce it into a more syrupy consistency - and that sometimes means adding more honey. It becomes quite dark but it doesn't tend to burn (like a toffee can).

You can flatten the pork belly (I've seen Gordon Ramsay do it in other recipes before) but I haven't ever tried. But by all means give it a go and let me know how you go. I just probably wouldn't cook it in the oven a second time if you are going to press it. Plus when you press it you need it to sit in the fridge for a few hours before you cook it again.

I've also thought of getting a creme brulee torch to crispen the top - and am going to try that the next time I cook it.

Happy cooking everyone :)

Posted by ejade03Report
awesome - not a problem!! enjoy!
Posted by zedgReport
Just finished eating this.. Number One.
Thanks Emma Jade!