Fragrant Braised Pork Belly Sandwiches


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

Slow Cook Modern

Slow Cook Modern

By Liana Krissoff

Published 2017

  • About

This is my shortcut version of rou jia mo, or “Chinese hamburgers.” English muffins make a very fine substitute for the chewy, holey flatbreads, but I’d encourage you to try the homemade version sometime—it’s easy and fun!


  • 2 pieces star anise
  • 5 dried red chiles
  • 5 green cardamom pods, cracked
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
  • 2 pounds (910 g) pork belly, cut into four pieces
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) Chinese light soy sauce (not “lite”)
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) Shaoxing wine
  • 3 scallions
  • 3 coins fresh ginger
  • 1 wide strip orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 green long hot peppers
  • Fresh cilantro and/or mint sprigs
  • English muffins or homemade mo (recipe follows)



Put the star anise, dried chiles, cardamom, cinnamon, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and Sichuan peppercorns in a muslin spice bag or enclose in a double layer of cheesecloth. Put the bag in the slow cooker, along with the pork belly, soy sauce, wine, the white parts of the scallions, the ginger, orange zest, brown sugar, and 1 cup (240 ml) water. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Morning or Evening

Thinly slice the scallion greens and the fresh peppers on the bias. If doing this in the morning, cover and refrigerate.


Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a cutting board. Trim off the skin and as much of the underlying layer of fat as you’d like, then finely chop the meat and the remaining fat. Transfer to a large skillet or sauté pan. Holding a sieve over the skillet, ladle in about 1 cup (240 ml) of the liquid from the cooker. Place over medium heat and reheat the pork, stirring frequently. Add the sliced scallions and fresh peppers and toss to combine and heat through (the scallions and pepper should remain crunchy-crisp).

Toast the English muffins and spoon in the pork, along with a few sprigs of cilantro per sandwich.