Monday, March 15, 2010

Twice Cooked Pork (Sichuan style)

A delicious combination of thinly sliced crisp pork belly, stir fried with chilli and sweet bean pastes which provide lovely sweet, salty and spicy aromatic flavours.

It’s called twice cooked pork because you cook the pork twice (!) by simmering the pork belly first and then stir frying the pork belly in a wok.


•    450g pork belly
•    ginger – 2 slices and 2 minced teaspoons
•    garlic – 2-3 cloves, crushed
•    star anise – one whole
•    spring onions – chopped into 4-5cm lengths
•    shaoxing rice wine
•    leek – 2, chopped diagonally at a steep angle
•    garlic shoots – chopped into 4-5cm lengths
•    shallot – sliced  thinly
•    red and green chilli peppers – deseeded and chopped
•    dried chillies – 4-5 soaked and drained
•    chilli bean paste – 1 ½ tablespoon
•    sweet bean oaste – 1 tablespoon
•    dark soy sauce – 1 teaspoon
•    light soy sauce – 1 teaspoon
•    salt
•    pepper
•    sugar

(Quantities are a guide only, please add to taste and add as much chilli as you want to your desired heat rating)

To make the twice cooked pork. I put around 450g of pork belly in a pot with a splash of Shaoxing rice wine, pinch of salt, two slices of ginger, one star anise and a spring onion chopped into 4-5cm lengths. Cover the pork with cold water and bring to boil. Then reduce the heat to simmer and cook (half cover the pot with the lid) for 20-30 minutes, until the pork is just cooked through. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the pork to cool in the stock. Then remove the pork from the pot (when you smell the pork it has a really nice aroma from the ingredients infused into it as it was simmering it in the pot). Place the pork onto a plate, cover with glad wrap and refrigerate for 2-3 hours. This will make the pork firm and easy to slice thinly.

Slice the cold pork belly thinly, as thin as a slice of bacon.

Heat a wok with peanut oil and fry the pork belly slices until golden brown and slightly crisp, and the fat has melted a little (the layers off fat in the pork belly will become translucent). Remove and set aside.

Stir fry the leek and garlic shoots for 1-2 minutes until golden and set aside [Note: I chose to pre-fry the leek and garlic shoots to add back into the work later on because they are quite bitter raw and requires cooking to sweeten its flavour, the other option was to blanch the leeks and garlic shoots first. When you are cooking a stir fry it should be quick, so it is best to you precook your meats and veges until they are about 50-70% done first to add back into the wok. This ensures that nothing is overcooked (or undercooked) and the meat and veges retain their individual flavours.]

In the wok, fry some crushed garlic, minced ginger and sliced shallot until fragrant, then add in some chilli bean paste and sweet bean paste, and fry for 30 seconds.

Add the pork slices back into the wok and fry for 30 seconds, then add in some shaoxing wine and a little of the pork stock (the water that was used to simmer the pork) and fry for a bit. This deglazes the wok.

Then add in the leek, garlic shoots, spring onion and chillies, and fry for 30 seconds and then add in some soy sauce, salt, pepper and sugar to taste.

Stir fry everything together for a few more seconds, then serve.

Here are some of my other pork belly recipes:

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