Easy Chinese bacon

Chinese style bacon or preserved meat (Cantonese lap yuk) is one of those delicacies that is meant to be a flavor enhancer in a dish.   This preserved meat is usually sliced thin, cooked and served as an ingredient in a dish or eaten with rice as a delicious flavoring.  Like western bacon, a little goes a long way. Whenever we add Chinese bacon into a dish, it's like a treasure hunt for the family to find these pieces of meat with delicious flavor. This easy Chinese bacon is yet another recipe that is a product of the Chinese soy sauce chicken marinade, thanks to some good family friends, Vicky and David Chiu. I didn't realize how easy it was to make until they said that they just marinate pork belly in the marinade and then dry it.  

This easy Chinese bacon is much more flavorful than what you'd buy in the supermarket for the fraction of the cost.  So, when you've made soy sauce chicken, use that marinade to marinate some pork belly strips and dry it.  

Tips for making Easy Chinese bacon.

Pork Belly

Skinless pork belly strips are the ideal cut. Find pork belly that has a combination of both fat and meat, preferably a little more meat!

Pork belly with minimum fat

Pork belly with minimum fat

If you buy a large piece of pork belly, cut it into one inch strips before marinating so that the marinade will penetrate easier.


Marinate the pork belly in the leftover Soy sauce chicken marinade or make the marinade from scratch.  Both Light and dark soy sauce is needed.  Light soy provides the taste and the dark soy provides the color. 

Light soy sauce

Light (color) soy sauce.

dark soy sauce

Dark soy sauce.

The spices include fresh ginger, star anise, cinnamon stick and five spice powder The pork should marinate for 3-4 days to allow the marinade to fully absorb into the meat.  If the pork doesn't look as dark as you would like, add an additional teaspoon - tablespoon of DARK soy sauce.

Marinating the pork belly in Soy Sauce Chicken marinade.

Marinating the pork belly in Soy Sauce Chicken marinade.

Marinated pork belly after 4 days.

Marinated pork belly after 4 days.

Drying the pork

Like my South African biltong, I dry this easy Chinese bacon in the oven with just the convection fan on. With this method, total drying time is about 3-4 days.  Place a baking tray under the strips of pork to catch any marinade drips.

Drying Chinese bacon.

Drying Chinese bacon.

Cooking Chinese bacon

Unlike South African biltong or beef jerky,  Chinese bacon is made with pork and does require cooking.  Slice the bacon into thin stips and add this as a flavor enhancer in braised dishes or add it to steamed rice when most of the water has evaporated and a little cooking time remains to cook the Chinese bacon through.

Storing Chinese bacon

The best way to store Chinese bacon is to individually freeze pieces in a ziploc bag and defrost as needed, making sure that the strips are cut into useable sizes.  Do not cut the pork into very thin strips when freezing as this tends to dry out the pork.  It is better to freeze larger pieces and then slice the pork into strips after defrosting.

Easy Chinese bacon


Michelle Sam
Thick sliced preserved pork belly made with Chinese marinade from soy sauce chicken. Freeze and use as needed.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 3 days
3 days
Total Time 6 days
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 16 servings
Calories 337 kcal


Soy Sauce Marinade from scratch

Leftover Soy Sauce Chicken marinade

  • 1 cup leftover soy sauce marinade. It should be salty. Otherwise, add extra soy sauce.


  • Wash pork belly strips. Strips should be 1" thick.
    1 kg skinlesss pork belly
  • Combine ingredients for marinade
    ½ cup LIGHT soy sauce, ½ Tbsp DARK soy sauce, ½ cup water, 2½ Tbsp sugar, 1 slice fresh ginger, 1 star anise, ¼ cinnamon stick, ½ tsp Chinese five spice powder
  • or use 1 cup of leftover soy sauce chicken marinade.
    1 cup leftover soy sauce marinade.
  • Marinate pork belly and refrigerate for 3 days.
  • Dry in a closed oven with oven fan on for 3 days.
  • Remove and refrigerate / freeze if not used within 3 days.
  • If freezing, cut into large pieces. Do not thinly slice to prevent freezer burn.


Serving: 16servingsCalories: 337kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 7gFat: 33gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 457mgPotassium: 136mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 7IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 7mgIron: 1mgNet Carbohydrates: 2g
Keyword bacon, Chinese bacon, Chinese preserved meat
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was or if you have any questions or suggestions!
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