Wang Choy Chow Sau (Braised Pork Belly)

  • Serves

    serves 6

Pork belly is rendered spoon-tender after a long braise with ginger, cloves, cumin, fennel, and star anise. Reduced, its cooking liquid makes a thick, fragrant sauce. This recipe first appeared in our May 2014 issue with the story Still Cooking.


  • 1 (3-lb.) piece boneless, skin-on pork belly
  • 2 tbsp. peanut oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 1 (2") piece ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 12 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 12 tsp. ground fennel
  • 5 whole star anise
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 3 sticks cinnamon
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup light soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp. dark soy sauce
  • 13 cup sugar
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • Tender sprigs cilantro, julienned carrot, red bell pepper, and scallion, for garnish (optional)
  • Cooked white rice, for serving


Step 1

Bring an 8-qt. saucepan of water to a boil; cook pork belly 5 minutes, then drain and cut in half crosswise. Add oil to pan; heat over medium-high heat. Cook onion and ginger until soft, 3–4 minutes. Add cloves, cumin, fennel, star anise, bay leaves, and cinnamon; cook until fragrant, 1–2 minutes. Add reserved pork, the stock, soy sauces, and sugar; boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, covered, until pork is very tender when pierced with a knife, about 1 1⁄2 hours. Transfer pork to a serving platter; keep warm. Simmer sauce, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half and thickened, 18–20 minutes; spoon sauce over pork.

Step 2

Bring a 4-qt. saucepan of salted water to a boil. Cook spinach until wilted, 1–2 minutes, then drain and squeeze dry; arrange around pork. Garnish with cilantro, carrot, pepper, and scallion if you like; serve with rice on the side.

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