Chinese Sichuan-style Braised Pork Belly


6 dried shiitake mushrooms
2 teaspoons peanut oil
1 piece pork belly, about 2 lb
2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup dark soy sauce
1/4 cup Chinese rice wine
4 cloves garlic, bruised
2- x 2-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced
1 piece dried mandarin or tangerine peel
2 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns
2 star anise
I cinnamon stick
1-1/2 tablespoons Chinese rock sugar


  1. Cover the mushrooms in 1 cup boiling water and soak for 20 minutes, or until soft. Squeeze dry, reserving the liquid.
  2. Heat a large wok over high heat, add the oil and swirl to coat. Add the pork, skin-side-down, and cook for 5 minutes, or until well browned, then turn over and cook for a further 6 minutes, or until scaled.
  3. Add the stock, soy sauce, rice wine, garlic, ginger, citrus peel, spices, reserved mushroom soaking liquid and 2 cups water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 1-1/4 hours.
  4. Add the sugar and mushrooms to the wok and cook for a further 45 minutes, or until the pork is very tender.
  5. Remove the pork from the stock and cut into slices about 1/2-inch thick.
  6. Strain the liquid into a bowl, then return the strained liquid to the wok. Bring to a boil and continue boiling until reduced to about 3/4 cup.
  7. Place the pork on a platter with the mushrooms and spoon on some of the cooking liquid. Serve with steamed rice as part of a meal.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: The Essential Wok Cooking