This Phuket favourite is a braised pork belly in a dark and aromatic sauce. It’s most reminiscent of the Chinese red pork belly (hong shao rou) except there’s no initial blanching step and no Chinese wine in the sauce. I’m sure those things would be welcome additions, but this recipe is the pared-back Southern Thai version.
Moo Hong Braised Pork Belly
- 2 tablespoons garlic (chopped)
- 4 coriander root (chopped)
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 3 tablespoons palm sugar (shaved)
- 500 ml cooking oil (+ 1 tablespoon)
- 1 kilo pork belly (cut into bite-sized pieces)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 3 star anise
- 2 teaspoons salt (to taste)
- fresh coriander leaves (to serve)
- In a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic, coriander root, peppercorns and palm sugar into a paste. Set aside.
- In a deep-bottomed pan or wok, heat 2 cups of oil and fry the pork belly in batches until the pork takes on a light caramel color. (Be very careful, the oil will spatter. Place a lid over the top of the pan while frying the pork). Remove and set aside.
- In another pot, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and add the paste. Heat to “sprout” the paste until aromatic and saucy. Once the sugar melts, add the pork and stir until the pork is covered with the sauce. Add enough water to the pot to just cover the pork pieces. Stir.
- Add both the soy sauce, oyster sauce, and star anise. Bring to a boil, then cover with a lid and bring to a simmer. Check periodically to ensure the water level isn’t too low and add more water every so often to make it saucy but still thick.
- After at least an hour, the pork should be soft and the sauce thick. If you like the pork to be truly tender, simmer over low heat for a few more hours. Do not forget to check the water level.
- Add the salt to taste and garnish with the fresh coriander leaves. Serve with steamed white rice.
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