Long-Stewed Claypot Pork Belly


  • 15 large dried Chinese Mushrooms
  • 4-6 sticks of dried bean curd
  • 2 1/2 pounds Pork belly 
  • 2 Tbsp peanut oil
  • 6 1/2-inch thick ginger slices (young fragrant ginger preferred)
  • 5 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
  • 1/4 cup bamboo shoots sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 10 fresh or canned water chestnuts, or 8 arrowroot
  • 4 Tbsp bean sauce (whole bean preferred but crushed is fine too)
  • 4 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 3 Tbsp Sugar
  • 2 slices each of lemon and orange peel
  • 3 Tbsp rice wine or dry sherry
  • 5 Tbsp soy sauce (if you've got light and dark sauces, make it 2 of the former and 3 of the latter)
  • Optional: a bunch of Chinese greens


  1. Soak Mushrooms in warm water until soft, about 20 minutes. 
  2. Squeeze out the excess water and remove woody stems (These can be reserved to make a delicious mushroom condiment). 
  3. Strain Mushroom water into a measuring cup and add plain water to equal 4 cups.
  4. Soak bean curd sticks in hot water until soft, then drain and set aside.
  5. Cut Pork belly or Beef brisket into bite-size chunks, then blanch for 20 minutes in boiling water, then drain and set aside.
  6. Heat cooking vessel and add peanut oil, ginger, and garlic, and stir-fry for 30 seconds. 
  7. Add bamboo shoots, waterchestnuts (or arrowroot), Mushrooms, citrus peels, and bean curd sticks. 
  8. Stir-fry for a minute. 
  9. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. 
  10. Add blanched meat, bring back to a boil, and then simmer at least 1 1/2 hours, partially covered, until meat is very tender. (Skim surface occasionally for excess fat, if you wish.)
  11. If using greens, lay them on top of the stew, bring it to a steady simmer, and replace the cover. 
  12. Steam the greens till tender, and then serve them on the side (or serve the stew ladeled over a bed of greens).