In case you’ve been living under a rock, we’re here to tell you that pork belly is a wonderful cut of meat, and we have 18 must-try Chinese pork belly recipes to prove it! Pork belly is amazingly versatile, uber-flavorful, braises like nobody’s business, and is a key ingredient in many of our family’s perennial Chinese recipes.
It’s an ingredient that just tastes like home cooking, and the rich pork fat goodness has made it a staple for many Chinese holidays, like Chinese New Year and the Mid-Autumn Festival (zhong qiu jie). Just a handful of years ago, pork belly wasn’t so highly regarded, but it’s become far more popular recently. Unfortunately, that means that grocery store prices have been hiked up a bit.
But that’s the price you pay for enlightenment, I suppose…
Pork belly may seem a bit intimidating or off-putting if you’ve never cooked it at home, but dig for a piece that has a high meat-to-fat ratio, and we’ll break down the rest for you with our favorite Chinese pork belly recipes.
18 Must-Try Chinese Pork Belly Recipes
This braised pork belly recipe, or dong po rou in Chinese, is a beautiful, traditional, and incredibly easy dish to make. All you need is 7 ingredients! The results are stunningly tender, silky hunks of pork that people will fight you for.
Cantonese Roast Pork Belly, or siu yuk, can be found hanging in many Chinatown restaurant windows, but if you don’t live near a Chinatown, you can make this crispy pork belly recipe at home with our easy-to-follow recipe. There are just a few key secrets you need to know…
Shanghai-Style Braised Pork Belly (hong shao rou, 红烧肉) is one of the most famous Chinese pork belly recipes out there. Any person who ever cracked open a beginner Mandarin textbook knows this.
Chairman Mao’s Red Braised Pork Belly is similar to Shanghai Style Braised Pork Belly, but it has more spice from aromatics and dried chilies!
Mei Cai Kou Rou is a recipe for braised, steamed pork belly with preserved mustard greens. This one is high on the list of Chinese comfort foods, to the point that you can find this at one of our favorite “fast food” restaurants in China.
This Chinese cured pork belly recipe is truly a family treasure. It is really one of the greats in our repertoire of Chinese pork belly recipes.
Bill’s mother and grandmother have been making it for decades, and there’s always some in the freezer at both our apartment and my parents’ house, where it’s ready to be added to the rice cooker for a quick and delicious dinner. It’s surprisingly simple to make this cured pork belly la rou (Mandarin) or lap yuk (Cantonese) at home!
Sichuan Three Pepper Pork Belly Stir-fry uses crispy chunks of pork belly with three peppers – dried red peppers, Sichuan peppercorn, and long green peppers. You may be familiar with the version that uses chicken, often served in Sichuan restaurants, but we decided to go hog wild and use pork belly. See what we did there?
This Steamed Pork with Rice Powder, or fen zheng rou is a special occasion kind of dish in China, as without modern kitchen conveniences, it’s quite time and labor intensive! Our version involves pork belly, of course, and lots of spices!
Twice Cooked Pork, or hui guo rou (回鍋肉), is a Sichuan dish of spicy seared pork belly. This Chinese classic recipe is way too famous to ignore and too delicious not to share.