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Dong Po Pork

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Hangzhou, our next Food Passport China destination, is the capital and most populous city of Zhejiang Province in East China. Beside its enchanting natural scenery and rich cultural heritage, Hangzhou is also home to many famous Chinese poets and fascinating cuisine. Above all, Dong Po Pork, which was created by Su Dongpo (a Song Dynasty poet), is the most renowned.

Su Dongpo, also known as Su Shi, was a very talented, famous writer, poet, painter, calligrapher and gastronome during the Song Dynasty time. He was also a statesman but then got demoted for criticizing the emperor and exiled to Hangzhou. During his time there, he bought a land and name it Dongpo, this was where our special dish was brought to life.

Legend has it that Dong Po Pork was invented by accident. One day, while Su Dongpo was cooking red-cooked pork belly, his friend came by. Engrossed in the Chinese chess game that they were playing, Su Dongpo forgot about his dish completely.  After a long period of time, the fragrant aroma of the pork drifted from the kitchen, which then reminded him. Rushing to the kitchen, Su Dongpo was surprised to see his meal was far from being ruined. As he took a bite of the pork, he was pleasantly amazed to find that the pork was even more tender and the fragrance was outstanding. Dong Po Pork was thus born.

The world of culinary arts is full of exciting moments right guys? Dong Po Pork was thought to be ruined, but turned to be a “pearl in clay pot”. Let’s join me in the kitchen today and cook up this beautiful dish, shall we?  


Dong Po Pork

Serving 2 – 4 people

Prep time Cook time
15 mins 2 hours


Pork belly 1kg
Spring onion 3
Ginger 60gm
Soy sauce 1/2 cup
Dark soy sauce 1/4 cup
Shaoxing wine
1 cup + 1/3 cup for blanching the pork
Water 1 cup
Rock sugar 50gm


1. Boil some water, enough to cover 1kg of pork belly. When the water is boiling add in 1/3 cup of the Shaoxing wine and the pork belly.

2. Blanch the pork belly for 5 minutes then remove. Cut the pork belly into 4 equal square pieces, then use the butcher string to tight up the pork, this will keep the pork in shape even after long hours of cooking.

3. Thick slice the ginger and cut the spring onion into equal parts. Place the sliced ginger and spring onion in the bottom of the clay pot. This will prevent the meat stick to the bottom of the clay pot.

4. Place the pork belly in the clay pot, skin side down first. Then add the rest of the ingredients.

5. Bring everything to the boil then reduce the heat to simmering, cover the clay pot for 1 hour.

6. After 1 hour, turn the pork belly skin side up, cover again and braise for another 1 hour.

7. After 2 hours your Dong Po Pork is done! Let the meat rest for awhile then slice it, enjoy with white rice and your choise of greens. For the sauce, simply bring the Dong Po Pork sauce to the boil then thicken with corn flour and water solution then drizzle it over the pork.