Chinese Style Sweet, Spiced Soy Pork

I can’t really give the dish a definative name. It is like Chinese red cooked pork, and it is like Fillipino adobo.


Pork belly is simmered in a  soy and vinegar sauce, fragrant with star anise and cinnamon, and sticky with brown suagr.

The sauce thickens as it cooks, glazing the meat and becoming deliciously sticky. The meat is so tender you can cut it, rind and all with a fork.

Best served with plain, steamed rice and a side vegetable or salad, I also offer hot chilli sauce on the side.

Adelaide sweltered through another 39C day yesterday, and I really hadn’t given dinner any thought. The pork went into the pot frozen solid from the freezer…

Adjust your quantities to suit your own tastes and the amount of meat you are cooking. I used 1kg of belly pork rashers, or “spare ribs”, as they are also called in Australia.

  • 2 large onions, cut into largish wedges
  • 4 finely chopped cloves of garlic
  • 1 dessertspoon of grated ginger
  • 1 piece of whole cinnamon
  • about 6-8 whole black pepper corns
  • 1kg pork belly, or whatever cut you want. Chicken thigh  if you fancy
  • half a cup of brown or palm sugar. I used brown because I was too hot and lazy to grate the palm suagr…
  • half a cup of white vinegar. Any will do the trick
  • half a cup of kecap manis – a thick, sweet, dark Indonesain soy sauce
  • half a cup of light or dark soy sauce. I only had dark in the house, so that is what I used
  • half a cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon oil. Use a neutral oil like peanut or canola – not olive oil

soy-pork-star-anise.jpg                                        soy-pork-raw.jpg 


Heat the oil in a heavy, preferably non-stick pan and toss in the onion, garlic and ginger and spices. Gently saute until the onion is soft.

Add all the other ingredients and stir well to mix.

Put a lid on the pot and adjust the heat so that the pork is simmering.

Check for tenderness after about 1 hour.

When you are happy with the tenderness of your meat, take the lid off the pan, crank up the heat and boil hard to reduce the sauce. I knew my meat was tender enough when I could slice through the whole rasher with the edge of my silicone spatula.

Stir often at this stage. All the suagr in the sauce will want to stick to the bottom of the pan. It should only take 5-10 minutes to thicken up and coat the meat.

It’s nice to leave a bit of runny sauce in the pot – just so there’s something to spoon onto the rice yum!

I must say that last night’s chilli sauce was a nice one 😉

  • 2 finely chopped, small, red chillis
  • 1 tablespoon of lime juice
  • 1 dessertspoon of white sugar
  • 1 dessertspoon of grated ginger


Another photo disclaimer… put it down to the heat, but these have to be some of the worst photos I’ve taken so far, and I have taken some dodgy ones in my relatively short blogging career…

6 thoughts on “Chinese Style Sweet, Spiced Soy Pork

  1. Good evening, dear sweetrosie 😀

    This is indeed a really easy and yummy recipe to follow… is similar to our braised pork with whole cloves of garlic. I will try your recipe the next time I cook pork. 😉

    Don’t worry about your dodgy pictures, mine are dodgy as well! 😆

    Have a good Sunday tomorrow.

    With love, peace and joy,

    choesf 😀

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