This decadent sticky pork dish tastes INCREDIBLE! It makes me feel like I’m eating at a fancy restaurant somewhere but, no, I’m actually at home in my slippers and track pants! You’d think this was complicated to make, but it’s actually quite simple. There’s not much chopping or fussing or pre-marinating and the prep is done in 15 minutes. It all goes into one pan (washing up goals!) to slow-cook and the end result is sticky, sweet, fork-tender pork flavoured with garlic, ginger, soy sauce, Chinese five-spice and star anise. I love serving this with steamed rice and greens, with plenty of the delicious sauce drizzled over the top.

Slow-cooked Sticky Pork Belly
My family always look forward to the nights when I cook this comforting and delicious sticky pork dish, and it’s also perfect to serve to guests.

The dish is only as spicy as you want it to be as the chilli is optional, so it’s family-friendly. Slow-cooked Sticky Pork Belly is comfort food x 100 and, once you’ve made it, you’ll struggle to pay for this again at that fancy restaurant or order takeout. It’s so satisfying and inexpensive to make at home! My family always look forward to the nights when I cook this dish, and it’s also super impressive to serve to guests. The leftovers are just gorgeous the next day, so I often make an extra-large batch. Even better, the dish freezes well.

Slow-cooked Sticky Pork Belly
I love serving this sticky pork with steamed rice and greens, with plenty of the delicious sauce drizzled over the top.

What type of pork belly do I use?

The recipe calls for 1 kg (2 lb 3 oz) of pork belly, cut into 2–3 cm (3/4–1¼ inch) cubes. You don’t need to remove the rind/skin as it cooks down and becomes seriously soft and delicious as it cooks. Pork belly is a relatively low-cost cut of meat, I try to buy the best I can afford that’s sustainably produced, from a good-quality butcher where possible. Most good-quality butchers also only stock only female pork, which has a much less gamey flavour and smell.

Slow-cooked Sticky Pork Belly
This sticky, sweet, fork-tender pork, flavoured with garlic, ginger, soy sauce, Chinese five-spice and star anise, is totally restaurant-worthy but easy to prepare in the comfort of your own home.

What to serve with Slow-cooked Sticky Pork Belly?

Because the pork is rich and indulgent, I highly recommend serving it with something green. Try bok choy (pak choy), Chinese broccoli (gai lan), green beans, snow peas (mangetout), sauteed spinach or silverbeet (Swiss chard), broccolini or sliced cucumber. Another option is an Asian-inspired coleslaw with shredded cabbage, carrot, spring onion (scallion) and a sesame soy vinaigrette.

Slow-cooked Sticky Pork Belly
I love serving this sticky pork with steamed rice and greens, with plenty of the delicious sauce drizzled over the top.

More of my favourite Asian-inspired recipes:

Crispy Sesame Chicken and Fried Rice
Wonton Dumpling Soup
Juicy Thai Beef Lettuce Cups
Honey Soy Chicken Bahn Mi

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Slow-cooked Sticky Pork Belly

Slow-cooked Sticky Pork Belly

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5 from 4 reviews

This decadently delicious Slow-cooked Sticky Pork Belly is made with simple ingredients in just one pan. It’s the perfect comforting family-friendly dish and also ideal for easy entertaining.

  • Total Time: 2 hours 55 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 kg (2 lb 3 oz) pork belly, cut into 2–3 cm (¾ inch) cubes (you can use up to 1.5 kg/3 lb 5 oz of pork belly for this recipe) 
  • 1 whole garlic bulb, peeled and roughly chopped (see note 1)
  • 3 red onions, diced roughly (brown onions are fine too) (see note 1)
  • 1 thumb-sized knob of ginger, sliced and cut into thin matchsticks (see note 1)
  • ½ firmly packed cup (115 g) brown sugar 
  • ½ cup (125 ml) tamari or all-purpose soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Chinese five-spice
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 cups (500 ml) water
  • Sliced long red chilli (optional)
  • Steamed rice and greens, to serve

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan over medium–high heat and cook the pork belly in batches for 5–8 minutes until browned and golden. Set aside.
  2. Add the garlic, onion and ginger to the same pan. Cook for 2–3 minutes until slightly softened and fragrant. 
  3. Add the brown sugar, tamari (or all-purpose soy sauce), Chinese five-spice, star anise and water. Return the pork to the pan.
  4. Bring to a gentle simmer. Once simmering, reduce the heat to the lowest setting, place the lid on and cook for 2 hours. Check halfway through and add 1/2 cup (125 ml) of water if the sauce is sticking to the base of the pan. The sauce will be thin but will caramelise in the last 10 minutes of cooking time.
  5. Once cooked, the pork should easily break apart with a fork. If not, cook in 15-minute intervals until soft, adding an extra ¼ cup (60 ml) of water as needed.
  6. Once the pork is soft, remove the lid and turn the heat to high for 5–10 minutes to let the sauce thicken. It is ready when the sauce is sticky and coats the pork.
  7. Garnish with the sliced chilli (if using) and serve with steamed rice and greens.

Notes

Note 1 – Don’t worry about cutting the ingredients too finely; they will break down in the delicious, sticky sauce.

MAKE AHEAD

Pork – Cut the pork into pieces as per the recipe and refrigerate in an airtight container up until its expiry date. 

Garlic, onion and ginger – Prepare these ingredients as per the recipe and refrigerate (separate from the meat) in an airtight container for up to 24 hours prior to cooking. 

LEFTOVERS

Refrigerate cooked leftovers for up to 3 days. Freeze for up to 2 months, ensuring the pork is well covered in the sticky broth to prevent freezer burn. Best thawed completely overnight in the fridge before reheating. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop over medium–low heat with a splash of boiling water to help loosen the sauce.

  • Author: Nicole
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 40 mins
  • Category: pork belly, slow cooker, braised pork belly, slow cooked pork
  • Method: pan sear, slow cook
  • Cuisine: Asian