The Best Ever Sous Vide Chinese Pork Belly (Dongpo Rou)

Dongpo Pork, perhaps the greatest food mistake ever! This famous Chinese dish is named after the poet Su Dongpo. He was a well known gastronome (aka Foodie) as well. Su Dongpo mistakenly braised pork belly in wine for hours and it was so good that it became an instant classic. The wine braise made the pork belly super fragrant, the meat extra tender, and the fat melt in your mouth.

Su Dongpo even wrote a poem dedicated to this dish. 《豬肉頌》:「黃州好豬肉,價賤如糞土。富者不肯喫,貧者不解煮。慢著火,少著水,火候足時他自美。」

A very, very rough English translation:

An Ode to Pork

Pork in Hangzhou is plenty, it’s as cheap as manure (how appetizing lol)
The rich doesn’t want to eat it, the poor doesn’t know how to cook it
Low flame, little water, when the cooking time is reached it will be perfect.

We sous vide this pork belly for 180F (82C) for 16 hours in a good amount of marinating liquid. It’s actually ready to eat straight out of the bag. It is the best pork dish we’ve made thus far. We may have eaten a few squares before we even got to film … oops. It was so tender that it jiggled when you moved the plate. The sauce was so good that we ate a few bowls of rice with it … then used it to stir fry a few other dishes.

The Best Ever Sous Vide Chinese Pork Belly (Dongpo Rou)

Dongpo pork, maybe the greatest food mistake ever! Mistakenly braised in wine for hours, it was so good that it became a classic chinese celebration dish.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Sous Vide time16 hrs
Total Time16 hrs 35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: chinese, dongpo rou, pork belly, sous vide

Equipment

  • Sous vide

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Pork Belly
  • 1/2 cup Shaoxing Cooking Wine
  • 1/4 cup Soy Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Rock Sugar or to taste
  • 4 slices Ginger
  • 1 cup Water
  • 4 stalks Scallion
  • Bok Choy to serve

Suace Reduction

  • 3/4 cup Water
  • 1 tbsp Rock Sugar
  • 3 tbsp Cornstarch Slurry

Instructions

  • Set sous vide to 180F (82C)
  • In a saucepan, bring cooking wine to a boil on medium high. Turn down the heat, add in soy sauce, dark soy sauce, rock sugar, ginger, and water. Bring back to a boil until rock sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool.
  • Cut Pork belly into 2”x2” cubes.
  • Cut a length of butchers twine long enough to wrap the pork like a gift.
  • Place twine on the cutting board, place the pork on the twine meat side down.
  • Criss-cross on the top and tie it back on the meat side.
  • Place pork belly in a vacuum seal bag with the skin side facing the smooth surface of the bag.
  • Place the scallion on the meat side, and pour in the marinade.
  • Seal the bag using the pulse function of a vacuum sealer or use the water displacement method and hang the opening off the side of the tub.
  • Sous vide for 16 hours.
  • Once time is up, remove the bag from the water bath.
  • Carefully pour the liquid into a fat separator, pour only the marinade (leaving the fat) through a strainer into a wok or pot.
  • Bring the sauce to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer.
  • Give the sauce a taste and adjust it to your desired sweetness by adding sugar. If it’s too salty add water to taste. When you reach desired taste, add the cornstarch slurry and mix into the marinade. Allow it to thicken so that it can coat the back of a spoon.
  • To serve, place pork onto a bed of bok choy, and pour sauce over each piece of pork so that it sticks and glistens. Serve with a large bowl of rice.

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