Some friends are coming over for a “steamboat” dinner. There’s 3kg of pork belly in the freezer and waiting to be made into something delish, so Spicy Fragrant Pork Belly‘s my surprise “porky” extra for our dinner. It takes some time and patience but it’s actually quite easy to cook.. 🙂

Recipe adapted from Wendy in KK


  • 800g pork belly (or pork trotter) with skin on, cut into large cubes, abt 3cm pcs  (I removed most of the skin)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 10 whole szechuan peppercorn (or abt 1 tsp)
  • abt 500ml or more water, for braising

Aromatic Ingredients:

  • 15g ginger, peeled, sliced
  • 4-5 spring onions, white part only, cut into 5cm pcs
  • 3 cloves garlic, skin removed, leave whole
  • 5 dried chillies, seeds removed, washed (more if you like it extra spicy; or add 2 more)
  • 1 large or 2 small star anise

Seasoning Ingredients (please use a proper measuring spoon):

  • 2 tbsp Hot Bean Paste (I used 1½ tbsp hot bean paste & ½ tbsp guilin chilli sauce)
  • 1 tbsp cooking wine
  • 1 tsp salt (I omitted this coz it’s salty enough)
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1½ tbsp sugar



    Serves 4
    Prep time 20 mins
    Cook time ±60 mins
    Total time ±80 mins
total time


  1. Bring a pot of water to boil. Put in pork belly cubes and boil till meat turns opaque. Drain pork in a colander and leave to drain well.
  2. Heat oil in a wok/claypot on medium heat and coat wok with oil.
  3. Put in scalded pork pieces in 1 layer and leave for 30 seconds. (Sizzling sound will begin after that.) Then toss and fry meat till it’s slightly browned.
  4. Add in all aromatics and continue to toss and fry till aromatics are fragrant.
  5. Add in all seasonings except sugar and continue to fry for 1 min. (Turn heat to low when putting in seasonings, thereafter return to high heat.)
  6. Add in water (covering over top of pork) and bring it to the boil.
  7. Cover wok/pot with lid. Turn heat to low and simmer till meat’s tender and soft. (Check water level often, add more if it dries up.)
  8. When pork’s tender, add in sugar and return to high heat. Let gravy reduce to preferred consistency. (Be careful. The gravy can dry up quite fast and burn.)
  9. Serve with steamed rice and some greens.

The skin and fatty layers are tender and soft. The pork belly didn’t taste fatty at all. Pretty satisfied with the result. It smelled and tasted delish.. 🙂


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