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Slow Cooker Red Cooked Pork (Hong Shao Rou) #Food of the World: China

Slow Cooker Red Cooked Pork (Hong Shao Rou)- Simple Living and Eating

Red cooking is about covering meat with garlic, dark soy sauce, rice wine and sugar and braising or slow cooking it. This technique is a common home style way of preparing dishes in China. It is considered part of the Hunan Style of cooking, but it has been adapted to the tastes of every region of China. 


Cantonese cooking is mild in seasoning and the most common type of Chinese food found across the United  States. Sichuan cuisine has gained a lot of popularity and it is very spicy. Hunan cooking is some where in between these two well know styles of Chinese cooking.

The dish I chose to make Red Cooked Pork is a widely popular dish in China. Many blog postings that I read about it wondered why it isn't found on Chinese restaurant menus. My guess is because the dish is traditionally made using pork belly which is a seriously fatty meat,... you know the part of the pig that is cured to make bacon. It has to be very unhealthy and extremely rich and fatty to eat this dish the way a home cook in China would make it.

I prepared a light and simpler American version of Red Cooked Pork that I think captures the delicious flavoring of red cooking without the fat. I made it as a slow cooker recipe for convenient. Another reason I made this a slow cooker recipe is because I think that pork cooked slowly at a low temperature gets incredibly tender. And it did, the meat just melts in your mouth. 

My whole family loved the sauce which is both sweet and a little spicy. I served it with baby Bok Choy sauteed in olive oil with red pepper flakes and garlic. I recommend serving this dish with a green vegetable to balance the sweetness of this succulent meal.

Slow Cooker Red Cooked Pork: Hong Shao Rou 

by Diane Balch

preparation time: 30 minutes                         serves: 4 - 6


2.5 pounds of pork loin cut into 2 inch cubes
1 star anise pod
1 cup of dark brown sugar 
1 cup of soy sauce
1/4 cup of sherry or Chinese rice wine
4 cloves of garlic minced
1 tablespoon of grated ginger
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes or more
1 teaspoon of Chinese Five-Spice Powder
2 tablespoons of Hosin Sauce
1/4 cup of corn starch

garnish: chopped fresh cilantro and orange zest

serve with: white rice and a dark green


1) Put pork in slow cooker.

2) Whisk all ingredients together in a large bowl.

3) Pour sauce over pork and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours.

February is a month of love and romance,  so co-host Adelina has decided that Food of the World needs to visit the sunny, warm and romantic country of Italy. 

Coming from an Italian American background I couldn't be more excited to visit the country of my heritage. You will find as you research that Italian food from Italy is a little different from Italian American cuisine. Pick a region, and have some fun.

Italian recipe link up will be on: Febuary 11th

If you would like to be a co-host let us know in the comment section. As a co-host we would ask you to post the Food of the World button on your blog and help promote the party. In return you get to pick countries to visit. 

Add your email to our list and I will remind you two weeks before the party and on the day of the party, so you won't forget to link up.

This post is shared on the following link partys:

Tuesday Food:
Hearth & Soul Blog Hop @ 21st Century Housewife
Totally Tasty Tuesday @ Mandy's Recipe Box
Show Me What You Got @ Our Delightful Home
In & Out of the Kitchen @ Feeding Big & More
Tuesday's Table @ Love in the Kitchen
Tasty Tuesday #Anyonita Nibbles
Share your Stuff Tuesday @ Table for Seven

Wednesday Food:

From Dream to Reality @ DYI Dreamer
 Wednesday Whatsit @White Lights on Wednesday 
Fresh Foods Wednesdays @ Gastronomical Sovereignty
Wonderful Food Wednesdays at @ All She Cooks
Look What I Made @ Creations by Kara

Thursday Food:

Full Plate Thursday @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Thriving on Thursdays @ Domesblissity

Friday Food:

Foodie Friday @ Home Maid Simple
Friday Favorite (DYI too) @ Simple Sweet Home
Foodie Friday @ Rattlebridge Farm 
Weekend Wonders @ The Thriftiness Miss
Weekend Potluck @ Sunflower Supper Club
Friday Linky Party @ The Pin Junkie 
Freedom Fridays @ Love Bakes Good Cakes
Inspiration Spotlight @ Dear Creatives

Please link up your Chinese recipe below and grab the code to put on your post so others can join the link up from your site. Make sure to visit the other participates and comment on their recipe.

get the InLinkz code

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  1. That pork looks lovely Diane. Just linked up a couple from the archives. Hope you don't mind. I'm all over the place with meals while we're enjoying summer break. Its mainly salads here.

    Anne xx

    1. It is good to keep the archives in circulation. Thanks for linking up.

  2. Pinning this for the next time I'm in the mood for Chinese - love your recipes and the links to so many more!

    1. Thanks so much Marjory. The flavor is really classic Chinese.

  3. Good Morning Diane,
    This is the first Chinese Post that I have done for my blog and I was excited to work on it. All the food looks delicious and your Red Cooked Pork Hong Shao looks wonderful. Have a fun day in China and thanks for the journey!
    Miz Helen

    1. I love to hear about someone cooking a new cuisine. I'm glad you are enjoying venturing around the world with us.

  4. Diane, this looks really good! I think I need to make it for a special adult meal one night so we can keep it on the more spicy side.

    1. It is sweet too so you could just add the red pepper to your and your husband's dish.

  5. Dear Diane, I love homemade Asian inspired dinners. Looks wonderful and healthy. Blessings, Cathrine

    1. Thanks Catherine,
      It is a great flavor change to cook a little bit of Asian now and then. Thanks for coming by.

  6. Ooh, that pork looks delicious Diane!! I absolutely love Chinese food, so I was really excited for this month's party. Now I'm even more excited about next month's! I'm off to find some new recipes to try. :) Thanks so much, have a great week.

    1. Thanks so much for being part of this party. I love your enthusiasm. Yes, I think everyone is going to enjoy making something Italian.

  7. Diane, this looks DELICIOUS! :) I'd love to be a co-host, too! :)

  8. Daine , though i dont eat pork , your slow cooked pork looks delicious .
    I have linked two Cantonese cuisines which are archives .
    i didnt know about the event earlier .
    I would like to be a co host too :)

    1. Wonderful Shey... archives are always good. Thanks for your joining us as a co-host. I will email you details.

  9. Just saw this event (at shey's site) and I linked up a Chinese recipe I did earlier in the month. This is a great event and speaks to me as I blog on recipes from all over the world at http://www.eastwestrealm.com - I would love to co-host the event. Pls send me details. thx.
    by the way, I'm a New Yorker too although I live in Brooklyn - nice to meet another New Yorker :)

    1. Fantastic Mireille I will get in touch with you soon.

  10. Just in time for Chinese New Year next week! Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  11. That's interesting stuff about the Chinese cooking. This looks delicious! Thanks for linking to the In and Out of the Kitchen Link Party. Hope to see you next week.

    1. I've never really done much Chinese cooking... I find it interesting and challenging because it is so different from how I regularly cook.

  12. Hi Diane,
    I am very excited about being a part of this great party. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a great weekend!
    Miz Helen

    1. Me too Miz Helen... I think we are going to have a great time exploring new cuisines and cultures.

  13. Well, you learn something new every day, don't you? I'd never heard of red cooked (almost typed "cookied" haha) before. I honestly don't know much - if anything - about Asian cooking so this was super helpful and interesting. It also looks amazing.

    Thank you so much for sharing your post with us at Fresh Foods Wednesday! I hope you'll be back this week with more fresh food posts :) xo, kristy

    1. Kristy you should join this once a month party "Food of the World" I never knew about red cooking or other types of cuisine... it's really interesting.

  14. This would be a great contribution to my Lunar New Year Pinterest party! Would you consider sharing it? Today’s post explains how to participate. http://swirlsandspice.com/2014/01/27/lunar-new-year-recipe-pinterest-party/


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