Hongshao rou or red braised pork (simplified Chinese: 红烧肉; traditional Chinese: 紅燒肉; pinyin: hóngshāoròu) is a classic pork dish from mainland China, cooked using pork belly and a combination of ginger, garlic, aromatic spices, chilli peppers, sugar, light and dark soy, and rice wine. The pork belly is cooked until the fat and skin are gelatinous and melt easily in the mouth, while the sauce is usually thick, sweet and fairly sticky. The dish has a melt in the mouth texture is formed as a result of a long braising process, during which the liquid reduces and becomes thick. It is generally served with steamed rice and dark green vegetables.
Many Chinese provinces have slightly different versions, but the Hunanese one (often called Mao's family style red braised pork (Chinese: 毛氏紅燒肉; pinyin: Máo shì hóngshāoròu) is often said to have been one of Chairman Mao's favorite dishes, and is served at the many Hunan restaurants across China specialising in so called 'Mao-style cuisine'. The popularity of the dish has led the Hunan provincial government to codify the recipe of the dish, in particular deciding that only meat of the celebrated Ningxiang breed of pig should be used in authentic hongshao rou.
- Dunlop, Fuchsia. Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook: Recipes from Hunan Province. W.W. Norton. ISBN 9780393062229. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
- Moore, Malcolm (29 January 2010). "China sets standard for Chairman Mao's favourite dish". Telegraph. Retrieved 4 October 2016.