Chinese-Style Pork Carnitas

chiinese-style pork carnitas

Time is the only hard part of this recipe: it simply takes a while to cook. However, we have pressure cooked it, which can turn that first hour and half into something more like a half hour; you still need to simmer it afterwards to reduce the liquid in the pot. Likewise, you could likely accomplish the initial simmer in a Crockpot, but you'd want to reduce the cooking liquid afterwards.

Serve it over rice, or use it as a taco or quesadilla filling; your kids will love it because it's perfectly sweet and salty, with an intoxicating hint of that Chinese ginger-scallion seasoning.

Active time: 15 minutes
Total time: 3 1/2 hours
Yield: Serves 8


    4 pounds country-style pork ribs (with or without bones)
    1/2 cup soy sauce or tamari
    1/2 cup sherry or rice wine
    1/3 cup sugar
    6 1-inch pieces of ginger, peeled and smashed with the side of a heavy knife
    6 scallions, white and green parts both, cut into 1-inch lengths
    6 cups water


  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil, covered, over high heat. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook, covered, for 1 1/2 hours.
  2. Uncover and cook for another 1 1/2 hours, or until the meat is fully tender and falling off the bones, and there is barely any liquid left in the pot.
  3. Cool briefly, then pull the meat off the bones with tongs or two forks, discarding any fat or ginger hunks or other unappetizing lumps of anything you might come across.
  4. Return the meat to the cooking liquid in the pot, bring it back to a simmer, and simmer, stirring occasionally at first and then frequently as the liquid evaporates (you have to be super-careful that it doesn't burn at this point), until the meat is glazed and frying in its own fat; if you want the meat juicier and saucier, then skip this last step.
  5. Drain off any residual fat and serve.

Read more about Catherine making Chinese-Style Carnitas with her family.

See more recipes from Catherine Newman at her "Dalai Mama Dishes" blog.

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