Red rice pork belly

Red rice pork belly

The Real Food of China
Leanne Kitchen

Red yeast rice is made by fermenting rice with a type of yeast called Monascus purpureus, which gives the grains a ruby-red colour. This rice has long been used in China as a preservative, flavouring agent and a natural food colouring, and here it gives the pork its gorgeous ruddy hue. Sold as ‘spareribs’ in supermarkets, this cut of pork here is actually strips of belly.


Quantity Ingredient
4 pieces red fermented tofu
1 tablespoon tofu liquid
80ml shaoxing rice wine
3/4 teaspoon five-spice
2 tablespoons red yeast rice
80ml vegetable oil
3 cm piece ginger, peeled and finely shredded
1.5kg pork belly on the bone, cut into 2.5 cm wide strips
500ml Chicken and pork stock
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 star anise


  1. Put the tofu and liquid in a small bowl and mash together with a fork, then stir in the rice wine and five-spice. Using an electric spice grinder, grind the red yeast rice until a powder forms, then stir it into the tofu mixture. Set aside.
  2. Heat half of the oil in a large claypot over a medium–low heat, then add the ginger and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Remove the claypot from the heat. Heat the remaining oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium–high heat, then add the pork and cook for 3 minutes on each side, or until golden. Put the pork in the claypot with the tofu mixture, add the stock, sugar and star anise, then return the pot to a medium heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and cook for 1½ hours, or until the pork is very tender.
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