Dongpo pork is a famous Chinese dish, believed to be created some 900 years ago in Hangzhou by Chinese poet Su Dongpo (苏东坡).

There are a few ways to make Dongpo pork, as the original recipe of the Dongpo pork was probably not documented properly. The common traits of the dish are the aroma and the tenderness, where the fat of the meat would melt in your mouth without the greasiness.

Red cook Dongpo pork with wine
Dongpo pork

The general ingredients for Dongpo pork are pork belly, wine, ginger and Welsh onion; and it involves a long cooking time (2-3 hours) to give the tenderness.

Ingredients (2-4 persons)

My first attempt on Dongpo pork, had to make shift a bit as I didn’t have the proper ingredients.

450g pork belly, 500ml Chinese rice wine, 250ml white wine, 4 tablespoons light soy sauce, 2 tablespoons sugar (and 250ml water).

Methods (Preparation time: 80-90 minutes)

1. Cut the pork belly into cubes (~ 4×5 cm).

2. Blanch the pork belly… put the pork in boiling water for a minute and clean it with cold water.

3. Put the pork belly into the cooking ware with the skin facing the bottom (important!). Add in 500ml rice wine, 4tb soy sauce and 2tb sugar and boil it before turning the heat to the lowest possible. Simmer for 45 minutes.

No need to stir, just make sure that the stock doesn’t dry up. Add in some wine when necessary.

(The original dish should be cooked with clay pot, which I don’t have… I had to use a corning ware instead)

4. After 45 minutes, turn the pork around with the skin facing the top. Simmer for another 30 minutes. Add some wine (or water*) if the stock is drying up.

* 500ml rice wine was used at the beginning, 250ml white wine was used in between (out of rice wine) and at the end 250ml water was used (out of all wine). If possible, you might want to try using just rice wine all the way.

The verdict

Taste great. The fat was in fact melting in the mouth without the greasiness, but the lean meat could be better if the cooking time was longer (another 30 minutes perhaps).

The pork skin was slightly burned because of the lack of ingredients. Welsh onion should be laid on the bottom of the pot before the meat, which could prevent burn besides giving the extra flavour.

Presentation could be better too. It should look more reddish instead of the brownish I made… not sure what I was missing though.

Extra note

Lots of Chinese restaurants that serve Dongpo pork actually took a short cut by deep frying the pork before simmering it, which could reduced the cooking time greatly while giving similar taste and texture… but with that cooking method the pork simply becomes a red-cooked dish and shouldn’t be named as Dongpo pork at all.