Chairman Mao's Red-Braised Pork

READY IN: 1hr 10mins
Recipe by FLKeysJen

From the Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook. Chairman Mao's nephew told the author that the people of Mao's home village, Shaoshan, recommend red-braised pork as a health food: "Men eat it to build their brains and ladies to make themselves more beautiful" and this is Mao Anping's recipe. The recipe below gets its lovely reddish gloss from caramelized sugar, but you can also substitute dark soy sauce. Traditional variations also can include stir-frying the finished pork recipe with water chestnuts, garlic cloves, mushrooms or fried tofu.

Top Review by Dr. Jenny

We made this pork recipe last night for dinner. It was good and we enjoyed it. We served it over jasmine rice with a side of roasted asparagus. We followed your variation and stir fried in some shiitakes, water chestnuts, and garlic. I wish the end result was a little more saucy (maybe we reduced too long?), but it was good and we enjoyed it. It also required very little prep in terms of chopping, making it very easy for a work night. Thanks.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Plunge the pork into a pan of boiling water and simmer for 3-4 minutes until partially cooked; remove and, when cool enough to handle, cut in bite-sized chunks.
  2. Heat the oil and sugar in a wok over low heat until the sugar melts, then raise the heat and stir until the melted sugar turns a rich caramel brown; add the pork and splash in the wine.
  3. Add enough water just to cover the pork, along with the ginger, star anise, chilies and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 40-50 minutes.
  4. Toward the end of the cooking time, turn up the heat to reduce the sauce, and season with soy sauce, salt and a little sugar to taste; add the scallion greens just before serving.

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