Red Cardamom - also known as Cau Guo or Chinese Black Cardamom, has an earthy and gently smoky aroma. It is popular in regional Chinese cuisines. Delicious in slow cooked meat dishes and Vietnamese pho. Try our easy recipe below for slow-braised pork belly!
Chinese-style Braised Pork Belly (Hongshao Rou):
This recipe for slow-cooked pork belly uses a Chinese technique called Red Cooking, where meat is braised with aromatic spices, wine, sugar and soy sauce. Straining the cooking liquid and reducing it on the stove makes an attractive savory-sweet glaze.
1 1/2 pounds pork belly, cut into 1 inch thick slices or 1&1/2 inch cubes
1&1/2 to 2 cups Water
1/3 cup Soy Sauce
2 tsp Sugar
1/4 cup cooking wine such as Shaoxing or Mirin
2 Red Cardamom Pods (Cau Guo)
1 inch piece of Cinnamon Bark
1/2 a star of Star Anise
1 inch chunk of Ginger
1 whole clove of Garlic
Heat oven to 270 degrees Fahrenheit. Place all ingredients together in an oven-safe dish and fill with enough water - the liquid should just barely cover the meat, or cover at least 2/3 of the way. Foil over or lid the container and cook in the oven for 4-6 hours until tender. Remove the meat from the braise and strain the liquid into a small sauce pan. Reduce the liquid until thickened to your liking, then coat the pork belly in the sauce and serve with white rice and Asian greens or atop a bowl of savory noodle soup.