Experiences - Asia

Must-eat in China – Hong Shao Rou

Hong Shao Rou is a classic pork dish from mainland China, cooked using pork belly and a combination of ginger, garlic, aromatic spices, chilli peppers, sugar, light and dark soy, and rice wine. The pork belly is cooked until the fat and skin are gelatinous, and melt easily in the mouth, while the sauce is usually thick, sweet and fairly sticky.

Hong Shao Rou

Image Courtesy: Ruocaled used under the Creative Commons Licence

Little known outside the Asian Community, Hong Shao Rou is a bowl of succulent morsels of pork belly simmered in an aromatic, rich soy-based broth until tender. As any dish, this also has many versions and twists based on the original.

Hong Shao Rou belongs to a class of very traditional Asian dishes known as ‘red cooking’, which employs a range of ingredients, including beef, chicken, vegetables and Dou Fu. In Shanghai, the dish includes the addition of squid, hard boiled eggs, and tofu knots.

Hong Shao Rou is served regularly at home as a daily meal and can also be served at celebratory occasions. It is quite common to serve this dish with small steamed buns. The buns are often made from round dough folded into half circle resembling a clam shell. One holds a piece of Hong Shao Rou in the steamed bun like hot dog in a bun. More often than not, it is simply served with some steamed vegetables and rice.

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