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Thai Braised Pork Belly Recipe With pickled mustard greens

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Thai braised pork belly with pickled mustard greens is my go-to for melt-in-your-mouth pork that’s slow cooked in a sweet and savory sauce. It’s a fusion of Thai and Chinese flavors in one easy dish that’s doable for every home cook, so good!

Thai braised pork belly dish served on a banana leaf with sticky rice, fresh cilantro, and a side of spicy vinegar dipping sauce.

If you love this, check out my Thai sweet pork (moo wan) too! It’s sticky, it’s saucy, and it’s just as addictive. Perfect for a quick and easy dinner.

What is Thai braised pork belly

Thai braised pork belly is a sweet and savory dish featuring pork belly slow-cooked with pickled mustard greens, garlic, coriander root, and sauces like soy and golden mountain. The meat is first boiled, then sautéed with spices before being braised until tender.

Difference with red pork belly

Red pork belly is made from a marinade of red fermented tofu and Chinese five-spice.

Our Thai version is slow-cooked with pickled mustard greens and a swirl of sauces that make the pork belly ridiculously tender.

Smiling woman presenting a plate of Thai braised pork belly with rice on a banana leaf, complete with dipping sauce.

4 Reasons to try this recipe

  • It’s a delicious fusion dish. This Asian braised pork belly recipe blends the best of Chinese and Thai cuisine. Pork belly cabbage with Thai flavors and pickled mustard greens is one of my favorites! More fusion dishes? Try this easy beef pad see ew!
  • The perfect flavor balance. This comfort food has a balanced blend of salty, sweet, and umami. Stir-frying the meat with spices beforehand gives it lots of flavor and aroma.
  • Melt-in-your-mouth. The braised pork belly and fat are SO TENDER, they practically melt in your mouth!
  • Easy and unique. This Thai slow-cooked pork recipe is easy-to-make and unique. It’s one of my own creations, and it comes out so good!
Close-up of juicy braised pork belly with a sticky glaze, scooped with a wooden fork, next to saucy chili dip and white rice.

More fusion dishes? Head over to beef pad see ew, the delicious khao moo dang (Chinese red pork), or these authentic lad na noodles.

Ingredients

Ingredients can be sourced at Asian grocery stores and Asian markets.
The exact measurements are in the recipe card at the end of this post.


Top-view of recipe ingredients: Pickled Chinese cabbage, water, raw pork belly, garlic, coriander root, dark soy sauce, palm sugar, golden mountain sauce, black peppercorns on a bamboo serving tray.
  • Pork belly – I like to use a cut that’s generously marbled with fat. It gives the pork belly extra flavor and has a tender when cooked correctly.
  • Pickled mustard greens – This adds a tangy flavor and gives extra contrast to this meaty dish.
  • Dark soy sauce – Dark soy sauce is crucial for a dark red color. This sauce is dark with a thick consistency. It adds flavor and a rich, dark color to the pork belly. In Thai cuisine, we typically use it in meat marinades and to darken the color of our meals.
  • Golden mountain sauce – This condiment is often used in Thai cuisine for adding a salty, savory flavor.
  • Palm sugar – Palm sugar adds a subtle sweetness to the pork belly and balances out the salty flavor.
  • Black peppercorns
  • Coriander root
  • Garlic
  • Oil
  • Water

Short recipe video

Cooking instructions

First, we’ll boil the pork belly to make sure it turns out perfectly tender during braising. Then, we’ll stir-fry the pork with sauces and seasonings, which infuses it with intense flavors. Then, a low-and-slow braze will make this the best pork belly you’ve ever had!

  1. Boil the pork belly

    Cut your cut of pork belly into large pieces. Fill a cooking pot with water and set it over medium heat. Once boiling, add your pork belly slices. Close the lid and let it cook for 15 minutes.5 pieces of pork belly in a cooking pot filled with water.

  2. Prep the spices

    Pound coriander root, black peppercorns, and garlic with a mortar and pestle.Close-up of pounded garlic, coriander root, and black peppercorns in a granite mortar.

  3. Drain the pork

    After 15 minutes, move those pork belly slices to a colander. Drain well.An overhead shot of cooked pork belly in a colander on top of a clay bowl.

  4. Sear

    Heat your oil in a large wok or skillet over low heat. Gently lay your pork belly slices in there. Heads-up: this can splatter, so be careful. Sear for 2–3 minutes.Close-up of fried pork belly in an aluminum wok.

  5. Season

    Drop in the garlic-peppercorn-coriander paste and give it a good stir to coat all the pork belly pieces. Add pickled cabbage, golden mountain sauce, dark soy, and palm sugar. Make sure each piece is coated in the sauce.Close-up of pork belly stir-fried with Chinese cabbage and sauces in an aluminum wok with a wooden spatula.

  6. Cook low and slow

    Pour in the water and seal with a lid. Keep it simmering and flip the pork slices every 15 minutes. After approx 1 hour, the pork will be tender. Serve immediately.A dark liquid with pork bellyand pickled Chinese cabbage in a wok.

Recipe tips and tricks

  • Cut the pork into larger, uniform pieces. You’ll have to flip the pieces of pork belly a few times, so cutting them in larger, uniform sizes makes it easy to flip them and to cook them evenly.
  • Experiment with different flavors. You can add other ingredients like a splash of rice wine, ginger, and even star anise. Feel free to experiment.
  • Make it ahead of time. The flavors of the pork belly will intensify the more it rests. If you make the dish a day ahead, the flavors will be even better.
  • Go for fat pork belly. A cut with good fat ratio ensures the melt-in-your-mouth experience.
  • Cook low and slow. Slow-braising over low heat is key to tender, flavor-packed pork. This technique locks in that rich, saucy goodness.

Kitchen tools

  • Cooking pot & large wok with lid: For boiling the pork belly and stir-frying + braising.
  • Colander: For draining the boiled pork belly.
  • Mortar and pestle: For pounding the spices.
  • Cutting board and chef’s knife
  • Measuring spoons and cups

How to serve

This dish calls for some steamed jasmine rice. Additionally, you can serve it up with some vegetables like beans or bok choy.

  • Dipping sauce: Pair with a spicy vinegar dipping sauce. Serve this on the side for those who like to add extra spice.
  • Fresh herbs: Add a sprinkle of coriander or some sliced green onions.
Braised pork belly on a wooden spoon, dipped in a red spicy vinegar sauce.

How to reheat braised pork belly and how to store it

Let your Thai braised pork belly cool down to room temperature. Transfer the leftovers into an airtight container and keep it in the fridge. It’ll stay fresh for up to 3–4 days.

Freezing instructions: Store in a freezer-safe container for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight.

Reheating instructions: Reheat the leftovers in a saucepan over low-medium heat. If needed, add a splash of water and stir occasionally.

Frequently asked questions

Does pork belly get more tender the longer you cook it?

Pork belly becomes more tender the longer you cook it. The fat has to be cooked low and slow in order for it to become tender and to achieve a melt-in-your-mouth texture. However, it is important not to overcook the pork, because it can get dried out as well.

Why is my braised pork belly tough?

If your pork belly comes out tough and chewy, it’s likely that you didn’t cook it long enough to allow the fat to render. Cooking the meat low and slow will result in a melt-in-your-mouth texture.

Authentic Thai pork recipes

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Thai Braised Pork Belly Recipe With pickled mustard greens

Thai braised pork belly dish served on a banana leaf with sticky rice, fresh cilantro, and a side of spicy vinegar dipping sauce.
Learn how to make Asian braised pork belly with pickled mustard greens with this easy to follow and unique recipe.
Praew
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Cuisine Thai
Course Ingredients
Serving Size 4 people

Ingredients

  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 3 coriander root
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 35 ounces pork belly slice into large, evenly sized pieces
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 10 ounces pickled mustard greens
  • 2.5 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon golden mountain sauce
  • 2 tablespoons palm sugar
  • 44 fluid ounces water

Instructions

  • Cut your cut of pork belly into large pieces. Fill a cooking pot with water and set it over medium heat. Once boiling, add your pork belly slices. Close the lid and let it cook for 15 minutes.
  • Pound coriander root, black peppercorns, and garlic with a mortar and pestle.
  • After 15 minutes, move those pork belly slices to a colander. Drain well.
  • Heat your oil in a large wok or skillet over low heat. Gently lay your pork belly slices in there. Heads-up: this can splatter, so be careful. Sear for 2–3 minutes.
  • Drop in the garlic-peppercorn-coriander paste and give it a good stir to coat all the pork belly pieces. Add pickled cabbage, golden mountain sauce, dark soy, and palm sugar. Make sure each piece is coated in the sauce.
  • Pour in the water and seal with a lid. Keep it simmering and flip the pork slices every 15 minutes. After approx 1 hour, the pork will be tender. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.
  • Use a fat cut of pork belly for a tender texture.
  • Braising over low heat for a long time is crucial for tender meat and a rich and savory flavor.

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