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Twice cooked pork belly with star anise and oyster sauce

June 18, 2014

I’ve been cooking some variation on this recipe for ten years now. I always use pork belly, star anise, and oyster sauce. But the other ingredients depend on what is to hand. It takes a lot of cooking time but actual prep time is quite minimal. a 1.2 kilo piece of pork belly will feed 4. Total cooking time is 5+ hours.

Start by trimming it into a nice rectangle and deeply scoring the skin into large diamond shapes.

Then pork belly is then simmered in whatever aromatics you have at hand. Garlic, ginger, star anise, and coriander are all good. Half a cup of oyster sauce and the same of light soy give the eventual sauce some musky depth. Keep the heat very low and braise it for at least 2 hours.

By this point the piece of pork belly will be quite delicate and ready to fall apart. So gently get it into a baking dish and put it into a 160°C oven. Save the liquid that you cooked the pork in. You’ll be reducing this and adding some honey to make a sauce.

About half way through the cooking process. During this time you can strain and then reduce the cooking liquid, adding about half a cup of dark honey to neutralise some of the salt in the soy and oyster sauces. You’ll end up with a very thick, porky, gamy sauce.

Slice the pork belly along the pre scored lines.

You can see that the fat under the skin of the pork has almost entirely rendered, pork belly is really a self basting cut.

Serve it with some steamed shanghai and white rice.


1 kilo of pork belly
½ cup of Oyster Sauce
½ cup of light soy
star anise
large piece of ginger
bulb of garlic
½ cup of dark honey

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