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Thai Braised Pork Belly

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Pork belly doesn’t get much better than you find in this Thai braised pork belly stew.

This really is Asian pork belly at it’s juiciest and very best! If you are a fan of Chinese food, you will most definitely taste the Chinese influences in this dish. It is, however very much Thai and you are almost certain to find this Thai braised pork belly stew served in and around Phuket if you visit. 

There, it is called moo hong. It is perfect served on its own with a little rice or as part of a larger Thai feast. If you would like to try some of my other Thai recipes, be sure to check them out here

Thai pork belly stew

About this recipe

This is a recipe I learned while staying in Phuket and researching for my cookbook ‘The Curry Guy Thai’. The small hotel I was staying at served this dish when I asked them for their signature dish.

Moo hong, as it’s called there definitely has Chinese influences so this really is an Asian pork belly stew though it’s considered Thai.

This dish is rich in flavour and the tender pieces of pork belly just plain get it!

Can you work ahead?

Yes. This braised pork belly stew can actually be prepared a couple of days in advance of cooking. This makes it the perfect dish if you are having a group of Thai food fans over.

As the braised pork belly stew sits in the fridge, the flavours develop and it becomes even better.

How long with this braised pork stew keep in the fridge?

You can keep this in the fridge for at least 3 days. Just be sure to cover it tightly and it will be as good as if not better than when you make it.

Can you freeze the leftovers?

Yes. This stew freezes really well for up to 6 months.

Just allow it to defrost completely and then heat it up in a pan or in your microwave.

Is this a spicy recipe?

No. It could be if you add chillies but traditionally, the only heat that goes into this braised pork belly stew is black pepper.

Would you like it more spicy? Go ahead and add a few Thai red or green chillies to the sauce. I’ll leave that one up to you. 

Pro Tips

  1. Go for freshness: Source the best quality and freshest ingredients you can get your hands on. Your braised pork belly stew will be much better if you do.
  2. Cook until tender: Do not rush the cooking time! Your Thai pork belly is ready when the pork is fall apart tender.
  3. Taste: It is important to taste and adjust. Try the stew when it is nearing being ready and ensure you are happy with the flavour of the sauce.

Step by step photographs. 

Frying the pork belly to brown it.

Fry the pork belly pieces to brown and caramelise them. This should take about 5 minutes.

Smashing garlic and coriander in a pestle and mortar.

Pound the garlic, coriander (cilantro) stems and black pepper into a paste.

Infusing whole spices in the oil.

Infuse the whole spices with the oil and meat juices in the pan.

Returning the meat to the pan with the herb and pepper paste.

Return the meat to the pot and add the garlic, coriander (cilantro) and black peppercorn paste. Add just enough water to cover.

Simmering the pork belly in the sauce.

Bring to a simmer and stir in the sugar, soy sauces, rice wine and oyster sauce. Simmer for about 2 hours or until the meat is really tender.

Thai braised pork belly stew. Enjoy with rice.

If you like this Thai braised pork belly, you might like to try some of these too…

Thai Curries

Green Beef Curry
Thai Green Chicken Curry
Thai Red Chicken Curry
Beef Massaman Curry
Duck Jungle Curry
Beef Panang Curry
Thai Yellow Curry
Thai Braised Pork Belly Stew


Authentic Pad Thai
Pad Thai with Peanut Butter
Beef Khao Soy
Drunken Noodles with Chicken
Thai Rice Noodle Salad with Prawns and Pork


Thai Chicken Stock
Tom Yum Gai
Tom Kha Gai

Thai Barbecue

Thai Salted Fish – Thai Pla Pao
Grilled Whole Fish
Thai Grilled Chicken with Fish Sauce
Gai Yang

Have you tried this Thai braised pork belly recipe?

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Yield: 4 - 6

Thai Braised Pork Belly Stew

Thai braised pork belly
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes


  • 1 kilo (2lb) pork belly, cut into bite sized chunks
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 10 coriander stems
  • 1 generous tbsp black peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp palm sugar, finely chopped
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 x 5cm (2 inch) cinnamon stick
  • 3 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 3 tbsp Chinese rice wine
  • 6 tbsp finely chopped coriander


  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. When it begins to shimmer, toss in the pork belly cubes and brown on all sides. This should take about five minutes.
  2. You might need to do this in batches so that the meat browns and caramelises properly. Transfer the browned meat to a plate and set aside.
  3. Place the garlic, coriander stems and black peppercorns in a pestle and mortar and pound to a paste. Set aside.
  4. Add the cinnamon stick and star anise to the remaining oil in the pan and let the spices infuse into the oil for about 30 seconds.
  5. Return the meat to the pan and add the, pounded garlic, coriander (cilantro) and black pepper paste. Stir in the sugar, soy sauces and the oyster sauce. Stir well until the sugar dissolves and then add the Chinese rice wine and just enough water or Thai chicken stock to cover the meat and simmer for about two hours or until the pork is fall apart tender.
  6. You might need to top up with a little water or stock from time to time.
  7. When the pork is ready, stir in the chopped coriander and serve.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 254Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1008mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 2g

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Liz Skinner

Tuesday 4th of January 2022

Hi Dan, what would be the best cut of pork for this please?

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 11th of January 2022

Hi Liz I would use shoulder or leg. Thanks Dan


Wednesday 13th of May 2020

Hi Dan Do you have a precooked pork recipe? I like the precooked lamb and chicken recipes. Maybe it is on your website but I cannot seem to find it. Also can pork be substituted in some of your lamb and chicken curries? Or do the flavors not mix as well with pork?

Thanks Dan

Dan Toombs

Thursday 14th of May 2020

Hi Dan You can use the precooked lamb recipe and replace with pork, that will work fine. I think you could definitely use pork in most of my lamb and chicken curries. With most curries any meat will work. Thanks Dan

sharon smith

Tuesday 31st of March 2015

all the foods are very spicy and testy.. its makes me so hungry.... thanks for the post. most of the dishes i have tested.. thanks for sharing. keep updating kevin.

Kevin | keviniscooking

Wednesday 25th of February 2015

This looks right up my alley and the chilies are no problem. Love heat and flavors here Dan.

Dan Toombs

Thursday 26th of February 2015

Thanks Kevin. You are lucky to have some great chillies over there. Hope you like the recipe. :-)


Mark Rocky

Wednesday 25th of February 2015

Hi Dan

Looks good (and simple) I think I'll give it a go this weekend. In the instructions you add Mustard Seeds, but in the ingredients they are not listed. What sort of mustard seeds did you use (black or yellow) and how much?

Keep up the good work


Dan Toombs

Thursday 26th of February 2015

Ooops. Thanks for letting me know. About 2 tablespoons black mustard seeds.


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