Pressure cooker, Sunday dinner
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Instant Pot Red Braised Pork Belly

A bowl of red braised pork belly cubes in front of an Instant Pot and a bowl of rice
Instant Pot Red Braised Pork Belly

Instant Pot Red Braised Pork Belly. The Chinese classic, adapted for pressure cooking, with tender chunks of pork belly cooked in soy sauce and spices.

Red braising is the Chinese technique of long, slow cooking in soy sauce. Red braised pork belly is a classic example, with hunks of pork belly cooked until the meat is tender and the fat turns to jelly.

This was Chairman Mao’s favorite meal. In Hunan, where he grew up, the recipe is named after him – Chairman Mao’s Red Braised Pork. Sure, he was a murderous dictator, but he enjoyed his pork.

Too soon? Ahem. Sorry. I know, I know…don’t discuss dictators in the opening of a recipe. I can’t help myself. It’s too good of a tidbit. I have to (over)share.

So…back to cooking. Pressure cooking, that is. This is not a low fat recipe – good pork belly is more fat than pork – and the key is making the fat tender and wobbly. That’s where my Instant Pot comes in, taking an all-afternoon simmer and turning it into tender pork in about an hour.

Recipe: Instant Pot Red Braised Pork Belly

Inspired by: Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook: Recipes from Hunan Province by Fuchsia Dunlop

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A bowl of red braised pork belly cubes in front of an Instant Pot and a bowl of rice

Instant Pot Red Braised Pork Belly

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


Instant Pot Red Braised Pork Belly. The Chinese classic, adapted for pressure cooking, with tender chunks of pork belly cooked in soy sauce and spices.


  • 2 pounds Pork Belly, skin removed, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup Shaoxing wine (Chinese rice wine)
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, sliced thin
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon five spice powder


  1. Everything in the pot: Put the pork belly cubes in an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker. Stir in the water, Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, and dark soy sauce. Scatter the ginger, garlic, sugar, and five spice powder over the top.
  2. Pressure Cook for 30 minutes with a Natural Release: Lock the lid on the pressure cooker. Cook at high pressure for 30 minutes in an Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker (“Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode in an Instant Pot), or for 25 minutes in a stovetop PC. Let the pressure come down naturally, about 15 more minutes. (You can quick release any remaining pressure after 15 minutes.) Remove the lid, tilting it away from you to avoid the hot steam.
  3. Reduce the liquid and glaze the pork belly: (This is an optional step, but worth the extra fifteen minutes if you have it.) Gently scoop the cooked pork belly out of the pot with a slotted spoon and move it to a platter. Set the Instant Pot to Sauté mode adjusted to high (medium-high heat on a stovetop), bring the pot liquid to a boil, and boil until reduced by half, about 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes to make sure the sauce is not sticking to the bottom and burning. Turn off the heat and stir the pork belly back into the pot, coating it with the thickened sauce. Transfer the pork belly to a serving bowl, pass the extra sauce at the table, and enjoy!


  • Can’t find pork belly? You can substitute boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes. The cooking time stays the same. It won’t have the jellied fat consistency that makes pork belly so unique, but it will have tender, shreddable pork.
  • I make a trip to my local Asian market for Shaoxing rice wine and dark soy sauce. (Shaoxing is sometimes spelled Shao Hsing – they’re the same wine). If you can’t find them, substitute dry sherry for the Shaoxing wine, and regular soy sauce for the dark soy sauce.


  • Category: Sunday Dinner
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Chinese

Keywords: Instant Pot Red Braised Pork Belly, Pressure Cooker Red Braised Pork Belly

What do you think?

Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

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Pressure Cooker Chinese Red Cooked Chicken Thighs
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My other Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Recipes

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Filed under: Pressure cooker, Sunday dinner


Hi! I’m Mike Vrobel. I’m a dad and an enthusiastic home cook; an indie cookbook author and food blogger with a day job, a patient spouse, and three kids who would rather have hamburgers for dinner.


  1. justin says

    Great recipe. I just tried it and everything came out great. Thanks!

  2. Jeff says

    Made this twice and the third time is tonight

  3. Hi Mike! Would I be able to do this with more pork belly as well? I have 4 pounds to use and was hoping to be able to throw it all in!


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