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Whole30 Chinese Braised Pork Belly (Hong Shao Rou)


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My Chinese food craving is at a peak right now and there's another 5 days to go still with my Whole30 journey. Tonight I'm making Hong Shao Rou and eating it over some pan fried cauliflower rice and any veggie that is good slightly steamed. I'll let you know how it goes. Here's my recipe:

WHOLE30 HONG SHAO ROU (Chinese Braised Pork Belly)

Serves 2

Main Ingredients

  • 2-3 pitted medium sized dates (depending on how sweet you want it)
  • 3 tbsp Canola oil (or any other plain tasting compliant oil) - 1 tbsp will be used with dates and other 2 tbsp will be used for cooking
  • 3⁄4-1 lb of lean pork belly
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup coconut amino
  • Piece of ginger
  • 1 stalk green onion
  • 2 star anise (optional - but it will give it a nice Asian flavour)
  • 2 cups water
  • Salt to taste


  1. Cut the pork belly into 1/2 inch thick pieces.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Blanch the pork for a couple of minutes (this is to take out any impurities it might have). Drain the pork out and pat it dry.
  3. While the pork is blanching, in a small food processor blend, dates, rice vinegar, coconut amino and 1 tbsp of oil until the dates are almost liquefied. Add a bit of water if you need to. Set aside.
  4. In wok or a pan (that has a fitted lid) on medium/high heat, add 2 tbsp oil.  Once the oil is hot add the pork and cook until all sides are lightly browned.
  5. Turn the heat back down to low and add the date mixture stir coat the meat. Then add all the remaining ingredients into the work or pan.
  6. Cover and simmer for about 45 mins to 1 hour until pork is fork tender. Stir it every 5-10 mins to prevent burning and add more water if it gets too dry.
  7. After an hour take out the ginger, onion and star anise. Taste and season with salt if necessary
  8. If there is too much liquid, take lid off and keep cooking and stirring continuously until the sauce has reduced to a glistening coating.
  9. Serve immediately with lots of  steamed broccoli or any other vegetables and some pan fried cauliflower rice.

NOTE: Yes, the pork is a bit fatty, but mostly, I discard the fat and just eat the meat.

hong shau rou.JPG

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On 10/10/2019 at 1:36 PM, Anhe said:

"lean pork belly"? I've never seen lean, always fat.

Hi Anhe, Thanks for looking at this recipe. I actually meant to say "select the one that looks the leanest." Sometime the fat to meat ratio is better on some cuts. Hope that helps.

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