Tag: chinese food

Shrimp Fried Rice

Shrimp Fried Rice

Think you can’t make Shrimp Fried Rice at home? Think again! This restaurant classic is beloved for good reason. I mean, who doesn’t love a big bowl of fried rice with tender shrimp and scrambled eggs?  I like to add lettuce to mine for a read more

Mushroom Dumplings

Mushroom Dumplings

Dumplings are always among the most popular appetizer choices on our menus, particularly the vegetarian ones because it’s an easy one to hook carnivores too. It’s a cliché to say “you won’t even miss the meat”, but when it comes to these Mushroom Dumplings, it read more

Chinese Red Pork

Chinese Red Pork

Well it’s officially September. And for those of us who love to cook, that means only one thing. It’s time to return to braises and stews, and my version of Chinese Red Pork is a fall favorite! Spend a couple hours making this over the weekend, and then you can enjoy leftovers all week long. While the recipe looks long, there’s not much hands on time. Chinese Red Pork relies on the magic of low and slow cooking to render it juicy, tender, and flavorful while the sauce cooks down to a deliciously sticky glaze. With daikon radish and hard boiled eggs, this is a one-dish hearty meal.

chinese red pork ingredients

Red Cooking

Red cooking, known as hong shao, is a classic Chinese method of braising meats. Think of a French wine based stew, but instead of a bottle of Burgundy, the meat is braised in a deeply savory, umami rich mix of soy sauce, shaoxing wine, cinnamon sticks, and star anise. The bath in soy sauce gives the meat a deep red color. Red cooking originated in Shanghai as a way to showcase the high quality soy sauces they are known for. Pork Belly is most commonly used, but chicken and duck is frequently red cooked, even tofu. I prefer pork shoulder, which has less fat than the belly but still has enough to give you that satisfying mouth feel and richness. And a pork shoulder really feeds a crowd!

Pork Shoulder

A typical pork shoulder roast at the grocery store is several pounds. You can find it both boneless or bone-in, which is also known as a blade roast because of the thin blade like bone. I like the bone-in roast because I think the bone adds a little more flavor, but you could save a little prep time by getting a bone-less cut.

Start by trimming the meat off the bone. Working around the center bone, I slice off large pieces of pork. Then I trim the visible fat from them, cut the large pieces into strips, and then finally into generous cubes. The most important thing is to keep the size of the pork chunks roughly the same so all of the pieces cook evenly.

cut chinese red pork

fat chinese red pork

strips chinese red pork

chunks chinese red pork

Now the pork chunks get quickly boiled in water. This is a traditional Chinese technique to clean the pork and remove some of the gamey scent. Nowadays, pork production is so consistent and the meat so mild, it’s not really a necessary step, but I’ve included it if you’d like to try it.

water chinese red pork

drain chinese red pork


Then it’s time to brown the meat. Don’t rush through this step. We want a nice caramelization to build deep flavor. First I add a little mushroom soy sauce and coat each piece. Mushroom soy sauce is very savory and thick, with a rich dark color. You can sub regular soy, but I like the extra oomph the mushroom gives.

Chinese Red Pork is most often made with dark soy sauce, which gives it the characteristic dark hue, and if you have some on hand, definitely use it instead of mushroom soy. This dish is on regular rotation for employee meals and we don’t carry dark soy sauce at the restaurant. So many years ago, we started using mushroom soy sauce instead. It works really well but it’s not necessary to go out for a bottle if you’re only going to use it for this recipe. Using regular soy sauce will still give you great results.

mushroom soy chinese red pork

Then heat a large, heavy dutch oven over medium high heat for several minutes. The trick to getting a good sear on meat is to start with a well heated pan. Then add the neutral oil-you don’t want to add the oil first or it may smoke as the pan heats.

brown chinese red pork

garlic chinese red pork

Now for the easy part-bring the pork to a simmer, cover and reduce heat. Then let it cook for 40 minutes, stirring a couple times. While the Chinese Red Pork is cooking, I prep the daikon radish and boil the eggs.

daikon chinese red pork

ice chinese red pork

When the Chinese Red Pork has been cooking for 40 minutes, add the daikon, and continue cooking for another 35 minutes. At this point the meat should be meltingly tender. Use a fork to test it or take a taste, and if it’s still a little firm cook for another 10-15 minutes.

Add the eggs and continue simmering for 10 minutes to let the eggs heat up and absorb some of the flavor.

eggs chinese red pork

Now it’s time to eat! Use a slotted spoon the transfer the pork, daikon, and eggs to a serving platter. Pour the remaining sauce over, garnish with the scallions and cilantro, and serve. It’s of course wonderful served over rice to soak up all the yummy sauce.

finished chinese red pork

Try Chinese Red Pork this weekend and see for yourself why red cooking has remained popular in China for centuries. Please take a moment to rate and comment on the recipe-we love hearing from you! And remember to tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen.

chinese red pork beauty


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chinese red pork recipe card

Chinese Red Pork

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1.5 hours
  • Total Time: 51 minute
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Cuisine: Chinese


  • 3.5 # bone-in pork shoulder
  • 6 eggs
  • ½ daikon (about ½ pound) 
  • 2 Tablespoons mushroom soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons neutral oil
  • 4 star anise
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 cloves garlic smashed


  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 4 Tablespoons packed brown sugar (either light or dark is fine)
  • ½ cup shaoxing wine
  • 1 cup water
  • Garnish: 
  • Chopped scallions and cilantro



  1. Using a sharp knife cut out the thin flat bone in the middle of the pork. (I throw the bone in with the rest of the meat; it adds more flavor as it cooks).
  2. Trim the fat off of the pork and discard.
  3. Cut the pork into wide strips about 1 ½ inches and then into large 1 ½ inch cubes. Set aside in a bowl.
  4. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the pork and stir it into the boiling water. Cook it for about 1 minute and then drain the pork in a colander, rinse it under running water, and shake it a couple times to eliminate as much water as possible. Put it back into the bowl.
  5. Add the mushroom soy sauce to the pork and toss the pork to evenly coat the meat with the mushroom soy sauce.
  6. Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat for several minutes. Add the oil, swirl to coat the pot, and then scoop the pork out of the bowl, leaving any remaining soy sauce in the bowl.
  7. Put the pork into the pot in one layer and leave it to sear for 30 seconds. Now stir fry the pork for 1-2 minutes, letting it sear untouched for 15-30 seconds every time you stir it. You are building color and flavor by caramelizing the surface.
  8. Add the star anise, cinnamon, and smashed garlic and stir it into the pork. Next add the wine, soy sauce, water, and brown sugar.
  9. Bring the contents of the pot to a simmer. Cover the pot with a lid and lower the heat to medium low. Cook for 40 minutes, stirring a couple of times throughout the cooking time.
  10. In the meantime, prep the daikon radish and boil the eggs:
  11. Put the eggs into a small pot and cover the eggs with water so that you have 1 ½  inches of water over the eggs. Bring the water to a simmer over medium high heat and then lower the heat to medium to maintain the simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
  12. Drain and place the eggs in an ice bath to cool them quickly and keep them from forming the bluish ring around the yolk. Cool for 5 minutes and then peel the eggs and set them aside.
  13. Peel the daikon and slice it in half lengthwise. Cut the daikon into ½ inch thick slices. Set aside.
  14. Once the pork has been cooking for 40 minutes, add the daikon, pushing them down into the sauce. Cover again with the lid and cook for another 35 minutes, again stirring a couple of times through the cooking process. 
  15. Push a fork through the meat or take a little taste. The meat should easily flake and be tender and flavorful. If it’s still a little firm, continue cooking for 10-15 more minutes.
  16. Add the boiled eggs and move them to the bottom of the pot so they can cook in the sauce. Cook for another 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pork, daikon, and eggs, to a platter. You can strain out the cinnamon and star anise with the spoon or leave it in if it doesn’t bother you.
  17. Pour the sauce over the meat and garnish with some scallions and cilantro. Serve immediately.


Keywords: red pork, shanghai style pork, red cooking, chinese food, braise

Curried Eggplant and Pork

Curried Eggplant and Pork

In these days where we are all amateur food photographers and critics, it’s easy to overlook less photogenic dishes. But sometimes the humblest looking food is the most delicious. That’s why I love David Chang’s show, Ugly Delicious, and I think this Curried Eggplant and read more

Broccoli Beef

Broccoli Beef

Perhaps no other dish quite captures the American melting pot story like Broccoli Beef. Popularized in San Francisco in the early 1900’s, Broccoli Beef was more about Chinese restaurant owners catering to local tastes than it was recreating dishes from home. Broccoli wasn’t even available read more

Pork Rib and Radish Soup

Pork Rib and Radish Soup

While much of the country is still digging out of a deep freeze, I thought I would post one of the easiest and most comforting soups that I know. Chinese Pork Rib and Radish Soup has a steaming clear broth, hearty chunks of rich pork ribs, and delicately flavored Daikon radish. Which makes Paigu Luobo Tang the perfect antidote to February’s unpredictable weather. And it couldn’t be easier to prepare. With just a handful of ingredients and only a few minutes of hands on time, this warming Chinese soup is going to be become your new winter secret weapon too.

chinese pork rib and radish soup ingredients

Crystal Clear Broth

The hallmark of Pork Rib and Radish Soup is a really clean, clear broth. This requires parboiling the pork ribs to remove impurities that would otherwise make the soup cloudy. Speaking of ribs, I generally choose St. Louis Ribs because they are meaty and their high fat content adds lots of luscious flavor to this simple soup.

pork radish soup cutting ribs

pork radish soup rib boil

pork rib radish soup drain water

Two Kinds of Peppercorns!

I use both black and white peppercorns in my Pork Rib and Radish Soup. The black peppercorns give their familiar heat, while the white peppercorns add a funky (my daughters say barnyard) flavor I love. But if you only have one or the other on hand, no biggie. The soup will be delicious either way. Crack them coarsely with a mallet to bring out their flavor.

Daikon Radish

Daikon radish is used throughout Asia. It looks like an enormous white carrot, and has a very mild and almost sweet flavor. It is used heavily in stews and soups as it hits peak flavor during cooler months.

pork rib soup daikon radish

Soup’s On!

pork rib radish soup simmering

pork rib radish soup finish

As the broth simmers, you will want to skim the broth occasionally. Pork ribs render out a lot of fat and you want to scoop out as much of it as possible to keep your broth clean tasting and not fatty.

Now that the pork and radish are both tender, it’s time to serve up this gloriously comforting Pork Rib and Radish soup. I like to garnish with some scallions for a nice presentation and a little color. The beauty of this soup is in the pared down ingredients and ridiculously easy technique. It really doesn’t need anything else, but if you’d like to add a handful of greens, such as watercress or spinach right before serving, I’d say that’s a nice touch.

This is a rustic, comforting soup so I don’t bother taking out the garlic cloves, which kind of melt down, or the peppercorns. For the most part, the peppercorns will start to sink to the bottom of the pot so you shouldn’t be getting a lot in your soup bowls. However, if it bothers you, you can strain them out before serving.

When you make this, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag us in your photos, @funkyasiankitchen. Show us the goods!

Can’t get enough authentic Chinese food in your life? Try our quick weeknight Char Sui Pork, Chinese Almond Cookies, or Mapo Tofu!

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pork rib radish soup recipe card

Pork Rib and Radish Soup

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1.5 hours
  • Total Time: 46 minute
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x
  • Category: soup
  • Cuisine: Chinese



One Tablespoon whole white peppercorns

One Tablespoon whole black peppercorns 

12 garlic cloves

1 rack of St. Louis style spare ribs, cut through the ribs to create smaller bite sized pieces

12 cups water

1 daikon radish

3 teaspoons salt 

1 Tablespoon sugar 

Sliced scallion for garnish


  1. Use a mortar and pestle to lightly crack the peppercorns. Alternative, place them in a sealed plastic bag and use a heavy pot or can to coarsely crack. You want them to be in large cracked pieces.
  2. It is fine if there are some whole peppercorns in the mix. In fact the smaller the pieces, the spicier your soup will be, so if you prefer a more mild soup, only lightly crack some of the peppercorns.
  3. Place a skillet over medium-low to medium heat, toast the peppercorns for 2-3 mins until fragrant. Set aside.
  4. Cut the rack of ribs between the bones so you have a pile of mini ribs. Set aside.
  5. Bring a pot with plenty of water to a boil over high heat and then add pork ribs. Bring the pot back to a boil and continue to cook for two additional minutes. Discard the liquid and rinse the ribs under running water.
  6. Clean out the pot and then add the pork ribs, 12 cups of water, 3 teaspoons of salt, and 1 Tablespoon sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat and then lower the heat to medium low to maintain a gentle simmer, skimming off any foam. Add the peppercorns and garlic.
  7. Simmer for 1 hour, with the pot covered with a lid, skimming periodically (the ribs will give off quite a bit of fat.)
  8. In the meantime, peel the radish and cut it in half lengthwise. If the daikon is particularly fat, cut it again in half lengthwise so you have 4 quarters. Slice the daikon into 1 inch pieces. Set aside.
  9. After an hour of cooking, skim the surface fat once more and add the daikon radish. Continue simmering until the ribs and daikon are tender, about 30 more minutes. Check the seasoning and adjust with a little more salt as needed.
  10. Serve the soup garnished with some sliced scallions. 



*Many of the grocery store near me sell spare ribs that are already cut in thirds. If you can only find un-cut ribs, ask the person in the meat department to cut them for you. Unless you have a sharp meat cleaver and some experience, it’s best to leave this to the experts. You can also leave the ribs uncut and just slice up the ribs between the bones. It will work out just fine either way.

*This boiled soup has many variations and you can adjust it to suit your taste or what’s in your fridge. You can use cabbage, potatoes, or turnips instead of the daikon. And some greens like watercress or spinach thrown in at the last minute is a nice touch too. Sometimes I add some sliced ginger or whole scallions to the broth too and fish it out right before serving.