Pork in bamboo leaves

Pork in bamboo leaves

The Real Food of China
Leanne Kitchen

The historical beauty of China is breathtaking and nowhere is this more evident than in Anchang, an old village just west of Shaoxing, in Zhejiang Province. To our delight this area is also a food gem. It’s famous for its dried fermented sausages and sausage makers fill casings in the street and hang the sausages from their ceilings to cure and dry. Canal-side eating houses are where you can sit and eat the wonderful hairy crab, when in season, and your body weight of pork wrapped in bamboo leaves.


Quantity Ingredient
8 dried bamboo leaves
1kg boneless, skinless pork belly
125ml dark soy sauce, plus a little extra for drizzling
2 tablespoons shaoxing rice wine
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
5 cm piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped


  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, then reduce the heat to low, add the dried bamboo leaves and simmer for 10–15 minutes, or until softened. Drain, refresh under cold water, and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. If your pork has skin on it, place the pork on a chopping board, skin side down. Slide a sharp knife between the skin and fat and slowly (while holding one corner of the skin) cut your way along the skin, trying not to cut into the fat. Discard the skin. Cut the pork belly across the grain into eight equal pieces.
  3. Put the soy sauce, rice wine, garlic and ginger in a bowl (large enough to fit the pork) and stir to combine. Add the pork and massage the marinade into each piece, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2–3 hours.
  4. Fold each bamboo leaf in half lengthwise. Wrap each piece of pork in a bamboo leaf, then tie up firmly with kitchen string. Place the pork parcels on a rimmed, heatproof plate. Put the pork in a large steamer over a wok or saucepan of boiling water, then cover and steam for 20–25 minutes, or until the pork is cooked through. Remove, reserving any juices on the plate, and let the pork rest for 5 minutes, then unwrap the bamboo and place the opened parcels on a serving plate. Pour over the juices, drizzle with a little extra soy sauce and serve.
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