Friday, February 4, 2011

Dongpo Pork Belly 东坡肉

Chinese New Year Dishes – Part 2 (年菜之二)

Nowadays with so many restaurants operating nearly 365 days even during Chinese New Year eve, it has become a trend that more and more families opt to eating out instead of having homemade reunion dinners like the old days. Many prefer having reunion dinner at restaurants not only to enjoy the lavish dinners but most importantly to save time and hassle in preparing big meals especially for large families.

Having said that, I still prefer the homely and warm feeling of cooking at home for all the family members. Knowing reunion dinner fell on a Wednesday and with Ming Ray's repeated request to invite his Lego playmates to come over, I had initiated an early reunion dinner last Sunday and invited 3 other families to join us. The task to prepare dinner for more than 16 people was a bit too daunting I thought. At the end I asked the invited families to each bring a plate (Kiwi slang for pot –luck). On my own I had prepared 3 dishes for this dinner.

As The Chinese New Year's Eve dinner was commonly very sumptuous and traditionally included chicken, duck, pork, prawns and fish, I decided to try out something more difficult with pork. I dug out my recipe books and finally picked this, Dongpo Pork Belly 东坡肉, which I adapted from another of my favourite Malaysia's Chinese best-seller cookbook by Chef Alan Kok.

Dongpo Pork Belly 东坡肉 - Featured in Group Recipes 04/02/2011

The dish was regarded as China Hang Zhou (杭州) signature dish, named after their famous scholar Dong Po 东坡 in the Song Dynasty.

This dish was very time consuming to prepare, requiring 3 hours of slow cooking. Due to an unexpected visitor during the process of cooking, I only managed to steam for 2 hours. Otherwise I believed the pork would have been even tastier and would melt in the mouth!

杭州的名菜, 由北宋名诗人苏东坡所创制而得名. 传说他在杭任太守期间组织民工治理西湖,功成后,把杭州人民送给他的贺礼猪肉与绍酒命人烧成红烧肉慰劳挖湖民工,后人遂称东坡肉. 它的特点是肉呈乳红色,汁浓味醇,酥而不碎,肥而不腻,香气四溢,入口不油不腻。


600g pork belly
1 tbsp light soya sauce
3 cup of cooking oil (for deep frying)
2 stalks spring onion
5 slices ginger
1 star anise
300ml water

5 tbsp light soya sauce
100ml of  Shaoxing cooking wine ( more if you prefer the wine taste)
-If you do not prefer to use cooking wine, you can opt for water or chicken stock.
3 tbsp of sugar
1tbsp corn flour water for thickening

Few stalks of blenched green vegetables/Xiao Bai cai
(When blench add 1 tbsp oil and pinch of salt to the boiling water, makes vegetables looks vibrant green)

  1. Blanch pork belly in boiling water until half cooked. Dish and drain.
  2. Rub all over with 1 tbsp of light soya sauce and marinate for 10 minutes.
  3.  Deep fry in hot oil with skin face down until golden brown, dish and cool.
  4. Arrange pork belly in a steaming bowl and pour remaining ingredients and seasoning into it.
  5. Seal well with heat proof plastic wrapper and steam at high heat for 3 hours or until pork is tender.
  6. Remove and leave to cool before cutting into slices.
  7. Arrange vegetables onto a serving plate and top with sliced Dongpo pork.
  8. Reheat the gravy and thicken with corn flour water. Pour over pork belly and serve hot. 




2 根青葱

5 片姜
300ml 水

1大匙太白粉水, 打芡用


100ml绍兴酒 (如喜酒味,你可添加)

配菜:100g 烫熟小白菜


再放进热油中, 把花肉皮向下油炸至皮呈金黄色,盛起备用。


  1. Yin - thank you so much for commenting on my blog. It was such a sweet comment! I am following your blog now. Your food looks so beautiful! I could definitely learn a lot from you!

  2. Yin, first and foremost, I would like to wish you a Happy New Year. May the year of the rabbit bring you and your family good health and prosperity. Your friends are very lucky to be received in your home. Today we tend to often take the easy way out by going to restaurants, but it can't make up for the warmth provided in a home celebration. Yin, I would also like to thank you for your lovely comment on my blog.

  3. If I ever visit Auckland, please invite me to dinner! Your Dong Po Rou looks phenomenal! Gong Xi Fa Cai!

  4. Hello Yin. Thanks for visiting my blog. I am happy to meet you and your wonderful food. I love Chinese cuisine.
    Have a nice day.

    Brindusa @ Cooking with my soul

  5. hi Yin

    I hope you enjoyed a happy new year, that pork belly looks delicious, I'm sure every one enjoyed it, even if you thought it could have been better...I can just imagine it melting in my mouth...sigh


  6. Happy New Year! Your recipes look fantastic! And thank you for stopping by my blog.

  7. Oh Yin - all your pork belly recipes look fabulous! You make it all look so effortless. If I ever find myself in NZ, you'll have to give me a cooking class. :)

    Have a great day - Renee.

  8. Wow...this dish looks very mouth-watering. My sure takes along time to cook. Will be a real test of my patience...haha. I love that soft, melt-in-the mouth look. Thanks very much for sharing.

  9. that's an awesome looking dish. nice photo.

  10. Hi....i just saw your recipe in another FB friend's page. You are a wonderful cook and i love your step by step method here. :))) I will try the Kiam chye ark soup one weekend soon!
    I just want to add here that the above recipe when steaming the pork...its not good to use heat proof plastic. Cos no matter what its still plastic. Can we use aluminium foil instead? or maybe put into double boiler and cover it + seal with cloth around the lid?

    thanks again and pls do not think i'm trying to be clever...just that i am worried for health. :)

  11. Anonymous:
    Welcome to my blog and thanks for your lovely comments and valuable feedback. Of course you can use aluminium foil or even steam with bowl with lid.
    Your concern is noted, understand many ppl now try to avoid plastic ware eventhough some stated ok for microwave etc.
    Hope to see you again and do update on your trial on Kiam Chye soup.

  12. thank you very much for taking time to reply me :)) yes i will definitely let you know whats the outcome of the kiam chye soup once i've tried it. Hope i can cook it as yummy as yours!! :)



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