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How to make shredded dried pork?

Dried and shredded pork is a versatile ingredient that can be used in many dishes. It is often used in Chinese cuisine to add flavor and texture to soups, rice dishes, stir-fries, and more. Making shredded dried pork at home is easy and allows you to control the ingredients.

Shredded dried pork is made by braising pork belly or pork butt until very tender, shredding the cooked meat, and then drying it out further. This concentrating of flavors and deepens the porky umami taste. The drying also allows the pork to be easily rehydrated when adding it to recipes.

Below is a step-by-step guide on how to make tender, flavorful shredded dried pork at home.

Benefits of Making Your Own Shredded Dried Pork

Here are some of the benefits of making shredded dried pork yourself:

Customize the flavor – You can adjust spices and aromatics to suit your taste. This allows you to make it as mild or intensely flavored as you prefer.

Control the quality of pork – Use a high-quality pork shoulder or belly for the best texture and flavor.

Avoid unwanted ingredients – Many pre-made shredded dried meats contain MSG, preservatives, or anti-caking agents. Making it yourself avoids these additives.

Save money – Pre-made shredded pork can be expensive, while making it at home costs just a fraction of the price.

Make only what you need – Getting just the right amount you need avoids waste.


– 2 lbs boneless pork shoulder or pork belly
– 8 cups water
– 1 onion, roughly chopped
– 3 cloves garlic, smashed
– 2 inches fresh ginger, sliced
– 1 cup soy sauce
– 1⁄4 cup rice wine vinegar or sherry
– 2 tablespoons brown sugar
– Spices: star anise, cinnamon stick, Sichuan peppercorns, fennel seeds (optional)


– Large pot with lid
– Slotted spoon
– Baking sheet
– Food processor or knife


  1. Cut the pork into 2-inch cubes. Add the pork, water, onion, garlic and ginger to a large pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and simmer for 1 1⁄2 hours.
  2. Remove the pork from the pot and strain the braising liquid. Reserve 1 cup of the liquid.
  3. Return the pork to the pot and add the soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar and reserved braising liquid. Add any spices if desired. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove the pork from the liquid. Allow it to cool slightly, then shred into fine pieces using two forks or by pulsing in a food processor.
  5. Spread the shredded pork in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 200°F for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally, until dried. The pork should have a jerky-like texture.
  6. Allow to fully cool, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. It also freezes well for several months.

Tips for Making Great Shredded Dried Pork

– Choose a well-marbled cut of pork for the best texture. Shoulder or belly is ideal.

– Simmer the pork low and slow to achieve maximum tenderness. This makes shredding much easier.

– Skim fat from the braising liquid for a clearer, cleaner flavor.

– Shred while the pork is still warm. It will continue to dry out and become more concentrated in flavor.

– Use a low oven temperature (200°F) to gently dry the pork without cooking it further.

– Stir the pork during drying to expose all sides to the heat evenly.

– Let cool fully before storing to avoid condensation in the container.

How to Use Shredded Dried Pork

Shredded dried pork is a versatile ingredient. Here are some ways to use it:

In soup

Add a handful to broth-based soups. It will rehydrate and add porky flavor.

In fried rice or stir-fries

Rehydrate in warm liquid for 10-15 minutes then add to the dish. It pairs well with aromatics like ginger and scallions.

In congee or jook

Add some just before serving to let it soak up the creamy rice porridge.

In steamed dishes

Mix with ground pork when making dumplings, buns, or dim sum. It adds great umami flavor.

As a snack

Rehydrate in hot water until softened, then enjoy as a salty, porky snack.

In sauces and braises

Add some dried pork to thicken and flavor sauces, gravies, or braised meat dishes.

Nutrition Information

Here is the nutrition information for a 1 oz / 28g serving of homemade shredded dried pork:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 110
Total Fat 7g
Saturated Fat 2.5g
Protein 13g
Sodium 580mg
Total Carbohydrates 1g

As you can see, homemade shredded pork is high in protein and relatively low in fat and carbs, as most of the fat renders out during cooking. Sodium levels are moderate but can be adjusted based on the amount of soy sauce used. Overall, it is a nutritious addition to many savory dishes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What cut of pork works best?

Pork shoulder and pork belly are ideal because they have more fat and connective tissue. This keeps the pork moist and tender during braising. Lean cuts like loin can become dry.

How long does the pork need to braise?

Cook the pork for at least 1 1⁄2 hours, or up to 2 hours, until fork tender. This extended braising time breaks down the collagen.

Can I use an Instant Pot?

Yes, you can braise the pork in an Instant Pot on high pressure for 45-60 minutes. Proceed with shredding and drying as directed.

Is rice wine vinegar interchangeable with sherry?

Yes, rice wine vinegar and sherry give a similar sweet-sour flavor profile. Use whichever you have on hand.

How long does shredded pork last refrigerated or frozen?

Properly stored, shredded dried pork will last 2 weeks refrigerated or 4-6 months in the freezer.


Making shredded dried pork at home is easy and rewarding. With just a few pantry ingredients and time to braise the pork properly, you can create a versatile and flavorful ingredient. Customize the seasoning to your taste and use the pork to amplify soups, rice, noodles, and more. With the steps above, you’ll be able to make tender, concentrated shredded pork that’s better than any store-bought version.