Braised pork and eggs

Chinese Braised (Pork Belly & Egg) in the Croak Pot


“Hearty one-pot dinner, Braised Pork Belly and Braised Egg (卤五花肉&卤蛋), try this simple Chinese braise dish that whets appetite! Do it simple, with your slow cooker.”

I braise often as I think this is the easiest 1-dish-meal as an express cooking for the working class, like myself. Braise or stew, they are both good cooking method that make your cooking less hassle, which you could have this robust 1-pot dinner packs in meat, mushrooms, tofu, and/ or eggs. The flavourful gravy from the braised pork dish truly whets your appetite, too. A plate of plain steamed rice or a few Chinese steamed bun is the only accompaniment you need for a complete meal.

Loved this braised dish so much, especially the egg! Mum seldom eat fat, and she took only the braised egg and refused to eat any meat, at first. I had to persuade her to take some. Finally, she tried. And guess what? She ended up eating more meat than usual, and yearned for more. She told me that the meat was so tender, and she loved the flavourful gravy to go with her rice. Of course, we completed the whole pot of braise, at last (smile).

I used pork meat to do the braising, usually, with addition of Chinese Shitake mushrooms, tofu, tau pok (tofu puff), and/ or hard-boiled eggs. And, I have a few different braising methods with some variations on ingredients used, which posted previously. This, is another recipe of my braising dish. Simple, and delicious home cooked Chinese braise. This braised meat is also perfect to cook when hosting a small gathering at home, to stretch your dollar on the food ingredients and satisfy the crowd at the same time. It’s, too, simple to cook and presentable to serve.

300 – 400 grams of pork belly, thickly sliced
4 eggs, hard boiled

Seasoning for pork belly:
2 tablespoons of light soy sauce
Pinch of grounded white pepper

2 tablespoons of cooking oil (*for sautéing of pork belly)

Ingredients for braising sauce (卤水汁 “Lu Shui Zhi“):
2 cups of water (about 500ml)
3 star anise (八角)
4 dried cloves aka Syzygium aromaticum (丁香) *see right pic
1 cinnamon stick (桂皮)

2 cloves of garlic, lightly crushed and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons of fish sauce
1 tablespoon of light soy sauce
2 tablespoons of dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon of rice wine or *Mirin (Japanese rice wine, preferred)
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of sesame oil
Dash of grounded white pepper

Pinch of salt (Optional)

1) Slice pork belly into chunks, rinse and season with the listed condiments. Marinate overnight (if you are going to cook before going off work in the morning), or at least 1 hour on the same day. Keep it in the refrigerator before use.

2) Boil a pot of water to cook the eggs for 10 minutes, or till it turns completed solid as hard-boiled eggs. Let it cool before peeling the shell. Reserve for later. If you have time, do this in the morning. Boil the egg while sautéing the pork. Then, do the peeling after settling the pork belly in slow cooker. Otherwise, pre-boil the eggs the night before and place it in the refrigerator, if you don’t mind.

3) Heat wok with oil over medium-high fire. Pat dry marinated pork belly a little, using kitchen towel, to minimize the splashing of oil when place it into heated oil. Sauté pork belly on both sides till lightly browned. Remove from wok and drain on wire strainer.

4) Return sautéed pork belly and place into the croak pot, followed by adding of all listed ingredients of braising sauce. Then, place the croak pot into the slow cooker, cover with lid, and turn on auto/ low shift mode. Then, go peel the shell of the hard-boiled eggs now (if you did not prepare it in advance), and then, place the eggs into the croak pot to braise it together with the pork belly. Now, you can off to work. Or, braise it in slow cooker for at least 5 hours, or until pork belly turns soften and both pork and eggs are ‘colored’ brown (fully coated with the braising sauce).

5) Do a taste check. Add some salt, if more briny flavor preferred. Otherwise, ladle into a large serving bowl to serve it hot, with steamed rice or bun.

Braised pork and eggs

A portion of Chinese braised pork belly with a braised egg counts about 420kcal. Skip the pre-sautéing may save some calories intake. If prefer it with Shitake mushroom, choose this recipe: Braised Pork & Shitake Mushroom. As for spicy braised, choose this recipe: Braised knuckles.

Variation: Add also some tofu puff (tao pok), as desired.

Tips: Using pork belly for braising is the best option as pork belly will be very tender and full of flavor. Choose leaner belly, for less greasy choice.
*The purpose of sautéing the pork belly is to enhance the texture and flavor of the meat. Leave it, if you do not wish to do so.
* Make sure the braising sauce covers all the meat and eggs while simmering in slow cooker.
* Chinese braise is supposed to use Chinese rice wine, but I chose and preferred Mirin because it has a hint of sweetness which helps to enhance the braised. I think it makes good addition to my recipe. If you have Mirin, add it instead. Otherwise, use rice wine.

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29 Responses

  1. Hey there! I just read over your recipe and I will be making it! I just bought 2 slabs of pork belly and will prepare it tomorrow for overnite marination. This is comfort food at its best! I think my family will enjoy this immensely! I will prepare yellow saffron rice instead white rice. I think it will add a lovely contrast to this dish! Thanks for recipe.Stephanie.

  2. I have been visiting your blog and found it very useful. Today I have made the chinese braised for my family and all of them love it. Although I don’t eat pork but I’m happy to see everyone in the family enjoy eating this dish. Thank you for sharing your receipes.

  3. I grew up in Taiwan and my mother used to make this all the time. My mom has since passes and I never learned to cook all the yummy dishes she used to make. I found your recipe doing a series of searches and finally got your site. I can’t wait to try it! Will let you know how it turns out! Do you know how to make zhongzi also?

  4. Hi Anni Mu,

    Sure thing. Please share with me your cooking experience after that…

    Yes, I know how to make zhong zi, but long time did not make since it needs a large wok to boil the zhongzi for long hours, too. However, I hope I will have the time to do it again sooner possible. :)

  5. Great you tried. Well, it all depend on personal preference and seasonal tastebuds of individual. Go ahead with your mum’s recipe instead if mine then… :)

  6. Email from Norman to My Wok Life yesterday as below:

    Hi Patricia,
    Just wanted to express my thanks for your wonderful recipes.   I am a fan of braised pork belly (from my childhood), and your writeup has really inspired me. 
    I have noticed that the Singaporean versions usually marinates the pork first, rather than just cook it.  Any comments on the difference?   Also, I wonder how I can keep the meat super tender as there are times it comes out a bit hard. 

    Norman C. Koo

    Hi Norman,

    Thanks of your email and complements in my recipes.
    I hope you do like them…

    As for the difference btw marinated and non-marinated pork, I personally find that the marinated version does make difference in term of flavor of the meat. Marination helps to get the seasoning penetrated into the meat making it more tasty, whilst the non marinated meat seems to taste more bland when you eat it. Same goes to marination for chicken meat.

    The only meat does not quite need to marinate is seafood eg fish, clams, etc, as it’s natural seafood flavour is the best as long as it’s fresh.

    However, long cooking does helps pork or chicken to maximize it’s flavour even without much marinating, in some cases like long braising.

    To cook pork meat to super tender, use pork belly or should butt instead of loin. And long cooking time will help to tenderize the meat, for example, braise in slow cooker.

    As for pan frying, use the back of the knife to hammer the meat, or use some natural meat tenderizer in powder form to do the job.

    Hope my reply helps.

  7. Hi Patrica,

    Happened to chance upon your blog when I was looking for ideas for dinner. Thanks for posting recipes that are easy to follow. They all look so yummy. Will definitely be trying the braised recipe out. But I have 2 questions:
    – Where do you get the seasoning for the braising sauce?
    – Can the meat keep for long?

    Appreciate your advice. Tks.

    Cheers, Joyce

  8. I tried this recipe last night and found it SO salty, which was a shame. However the pork was beautifully tender.

    I added two tablespoon of honey and a couple of slices of ginger to the dish and cooked for longer. It turned out very good.

    I expect this was as I only had shaoxing and not mirin. Thanks for the recipe!

  9. Dear Patricia,

    thank you for receipe! It was very authentic.
    I used your receipe and do a double portion and increase all the ingredient by double.

    After putting in the slow cooker for about 12 hours, the pork are very nicely done, however there is a spice which was overpowering the smell, not sure if it is the clove, cinamon or star anise.

    I added 6 star anise, 8 cloves & 2 Cinamon sticks to 1 litre of water.

    It was my first attempt. Although the herb smell is over powering but it is still tasty. Kindly advise if which herb can be reduced?

  10. Hi Kelvin,

    Not too sure which is the main ‘culprit’, but for 1L of water, I reckoned 3 star anise, 1 cinamon stick and maybe just 5-6 cloves, though 8 should be fine.

    But… why the 1L water? :)

  11. Hi Patrica,

    I think its the star anise that the overpowering the smell.

    Added 1 litre of water coz i double the ingredient as mentioned earlier by adding 4 cups of water which is 1 litre. :)

    I did it again this time but using chicken feets, it was heaven! thank you for your receipe. :)

  12. Hi Patricia,

    It really looks yummy, Wondering can I do this with chicken. If so, and I am using the slow cooker, do I still need to saute chicken and braise in slow cooker for 5 hours?

    Regards, Maria

  13. Hi Maria,

    Yes, you may use chicken, and even beef. But, if you were to cook chicken, I would rather you cook the braised chicken using my Stew Chicken with five spice recipe. check it out!

  14. Hi!
    I love this dish but a must have for me is taufu (tau kwa?) how would you recommend I cook it? when should I put in the tau kwa if i am using a slow cooker? 30 mins before serving?

    thanks :)

  15. Hi
    Thank you for yur recipe!
    I tried it today! Tasted good!
    However mine was a little watery …. What could have went wrong?

    1. Hi Eliza,

      Hmmm…. Maybe your pork is more juicy? Lol

      Oh well, some people likes it more soupy while others may think not. It depends. If you personally think it is too watery, simply reduce the amount of water. However, I assumed the taste was still good, despite the watery consistency? :) remember you may need to adjust the amount of seasoning, if necessary, to retain the best taste.

  16. Hi,

    I love your recipe and have made it a few times. It’s so yummy! Next round i would be using pork shoulder. Should the braising time remain the same?


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