Boiled Pork Belly With Garlic Sauce

Boiled pork with garlic sauce
Liv Wan
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 90 mins
Chill Time: 30 mins
Total: 2 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 4 servings

Boiled pork belly with garlic sauce (蒜泥白肉) is one of my favorite Sichuan cuisine dishes. It’s delicious, and it’s also a very popular dish in both Chinese and Taiwanese households.

When cooking you need to bring the pork belly to a boil over high heat and then simmer for about 1 hour. You can use a chopstick to poke the pork belly while cooking, and if the chopstick can go through the pork belly, then the pork belly is ready.


  • 5 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1 ounce/30 grams spring onion
  • 2 knobs ginger (each about 1-inch)
  • 2 pounds 3 ounces pork belly
  • 1 cucumber (thinly sliced)
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon roasted crushed peanuts
  • For the Garlic Sauce:
  • 3 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon black vinegar
  • 1 drizzle white sesame oil (or blended sesame oil)
  • 1 ounce/30 grams garlic (peeled and finely chopped)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Place the water, rice wine, salt, star anise, cardamom pods, spring onion, and ginger into a stockpot. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

  3. Add the pork belly and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 1 hour until the pork is cooked—test by piercing the pork with a chopstick. The chopsticks should go through the meat easily. Set aside to cool. Reserve stock.

  4. Place all the ingredients for the garlic sauce in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of stock from the stockpot and mix well. Set aside for at least 30 minutes.

  5. Using a sharp knife, slice the cooled pork into 3mm (1/8-inch) thick slices.

  6. Arrange the pork on a serving plate with the cucumbers. Garnish with crushed peanuts if desired. Serve with the garlic sauce.


  • Try to slice the pork belly as thin as possible so you won’t feel the pork belly is so greasy and heavy to eat.

Recipe Variations

  • Crushed peanut is an optional extra, but it does add extra flavor and texture to the dish. If you have a peanut allergy or think it’s too much hassle then leave it. It won’t affect the flavor of this dish too much.
  • You can add some chili oil or Sichuan pepper oil if you like your food hot and spicy.