Rou jia mo is the world’s oldest hamburger. Originating in Shaanxi Province, this hamburger has been made for more than 2000 years. Instead of making the specific ‘mo’ buns, Adam uses English muffins instead.






Skill level

Average: 3.9 (14 votes)


  • 6 English muffins
  • 1 cup finely shredded coriander
  • 2 large green chillies, finely shredded
  • 2 tbsp chilli oil (optional)


La zhi rou (Braised pork)

  • 1.5 kg boneless pork belly, rind on, cut into 7 cm wide strips
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil
  • ½ cup roughly broken yellow rock sugar
  • 375ml bottle of beer, pale ale or lager
  • 4 spring onions, cut into 5cm pieces
  • 2 cm ginger, bruised
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 piece cassia bark, or cinnamon stick
  • 2 pieces dried tangerine peel
  • 2 pieces black cardamom
  • 1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tsp salt

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Soaking time: 2 hours

  1. Cover the pork belly with cold water then soak for at least 2 hours to remove impurities.
  2. In a large pot or wok, add the oil and rock sugar and fry the sugar until it forms a dark caramel, then add the pork and all the remaining ingredients. Top up the pot with enough cold water to just cover the meat and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 1.5 hours until the pork is very tender.
  3. Remove the pork from the simmering liquid and chop finely. Transfer to a bowl and moisten with as much of the simmering liquid as you like. Finely chop the coriander and chilli and mix into the pork mixture.
  4. Warm your English muffins and split them most of the way through. Spoon a little chilli oil into the muffin, then fill with the filling. This recipe makes more pork than you need but the chopped pork can be kept in the fridge or freezer, then reheated in a pan over low heat.


Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.


Photography by Danielle Abou Karam.