8 Steps To Braise Pork Belly: The Secret To Cooking The Perfect Pork Belly

how to braise pork belly

Pork belly is a versatile cut that can be cooked in various ways, including smoking, deep-frying, grilling, or braising.

It is great meat cut to braise because pork belly is fatty and flavorful.

It can be tricky to braise pork belly for some people, so make sure you follow the instructions in this article, along with some tips when cooking this meat cut to achieve the best braised pork belly dish that will wow all your guests.

How long should we braise pork belly?

Pork Belly Step 2

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Braising pork belly can be done in a heavy-bottomed pan, clay pot, slow-cooker, or even in an oven.

Depending on each way of cooking, the time can slightly vary.

However, in general, you will need at least one hour or more to simmer the pork until fork tender.

You can choose to cook longer over low heat so that the meat can get more tender.

4 tips to braise pork belly

Although braising pork belly is not a hassle, if you know the following tips, you can make your dish even better.

1. Marinating pork belly beforehand is optional

While it is crucial to season pork belly prior (at least for one hour or even overnight) when it comes to grilling or smoking, it is not a must-do thing in the braising recipe.

The reason is you are cooking pork belly in the braising liquid that is packed with flavors, the long cooking time will allow these spices to penetrate into the meat and you won’t end up with a bland pork belly.

So marinating pork belly before braising it will be optional.

2. Close the lid while braising so that the meat can be quickly tenderized

When you are about to braise some pork belly, remember to choose a pot or pan that has a lid to cover.

Covering the meat that is submerged in the liquid will help it get tender more quickly and be cooked evenly.

3. Cook at a medium-low temperature

Never braise pork belly at a high temperature because high heat can quickly drain the liquid and lead to burnt but undercooked pork belly.

Braising it for a long period of time over medium-low heat will be best to result in flavorful and fork-tender meat.

4. No need to use any oil in the recipe because there will be a lot of fat coming out from the pork belly

The last thing you should keep in mind when braising pork belly is that there is no need to use any oil in your recipe.

The reason is pork belly is a fatty cut so that when you sear it to get a beautiful brown on the edge of the meat, you can get some rendered fat to sauté the other ingredients.

If you add more oil to the recipe, you might end up with a greasy dish.

How to braise pork belly?


  • A sharp knife
  • A heavy-bottomed pan with a lid/ A clay pot
  • Chopsticks/ Fork


Time needed: 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Braised pork belly is a staple in Asian cuisine. This dish can be cooked with easy-to-find ingredients and a simple recipe, that will be mentioned right below.

  1. Prepare a mixture of cooking wine, and light and dark soy sauce

  2. Slice pork belly into 2-inch cubes

  3. Heat up a non-stick pan and sear some pork belly for about 5 minutes under medium-low temperature until browned off the exterior with occasional stirring

  4. Add sugar when ready as well as ginger root slices along with star anise seeds from one whole pod or two crushed pods of cardamom seed pods; add in bay leaves by breaking them into 2 pieces before adding it all together – then also include dried chili peppers which are optional but recommended for added spiciness

  5. Finally pour over the homemade concoction that we made earlier on top and cover the pan/ pot with a lid

  6. Cook for about one to two hours until the meat is tender and the sauce is thickened (add some hard-boiled eggs if desired to cook in about 20 minutes remaining)

  7. Remove the pan/ pot from heat – you will know when it is ready to eat because it will fall apart easily at this point (a chopstick or fork should poke smoothly through the meat and fat)

  8. Serve with white rice


Once you’ve mastered cooking this delicious meat cut, it will be easy to experiment with new recipes and dishes.

You’ll also have a great base for future pork belly braising sessions!

The next time you want to prepare an impressive dish that your guests are sure to love, try making the mouth-watering Chinese braised pork belly dish, but in your own version.

Have fun trying out a few different variations on our favorite recipe or coming up with something entirely new – we can’t wait to see what you come up with!

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