The Sichuan specialty of Twice Cooked Pork, or hui guo rou, is a fiery seared pork belly dish that has become much too popular to be kept a secret. Make this dish immediately if you have never tasted it. It’s excellent, plain and simple.
While dishes like Shanghai braised pork belly and Cantonese roast pork belly are undeniably tasty, nothing beats the pork belly recipes from Sichuan, China. When prepared properly, the pork belly in this dish melts in your mouth. It imparts such a pleasant hot chili bean flavor that you may find yourself eating two or three helpings of rice with it.
This dish has developed with increased interest in traditional Chinese cuisine in the United States. Once upon a time, at our take-out joint, we served a dish called Twice Cooked Pork, which consisted of boiled pork, cabbage, five-spiced tofu, green and red bell pepper, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and spicy sauce. Initially, I was under the impression that we were cooking “twice-cooked pork.”
The real twice-cooked pork, however, has emerged due to the proliferation of authentic Sichuan eateries in recent years. Truly opulent and enticing, it’s hard to stop eating.
If you’re at a restaurant frequented by Chinese people and you see this item on the menu, you should definitely get it. It’s going to be genuine.
When we were living in Beijing, we ate this dish frequently, and this recipe is based on some of the tastiest we had. The finest for our discerning audience!
- 1 pound pork belly (use pork belly)
- 2 long hot green peppers (seeds removed; cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces)
- 2 slices of ginger
- 2 cloves of garlic (sliced)
- 1 clean medium leek (split lengthwise, and cut in 2-inch pieces)
- 2 tablespoons of oil (divided)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of spicy broad bean paste
- 1 tablespoon of shaoxing wine
- 1 teaspoon of soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon of sugar
- Start by bringing two quarts of water to a medium pot boil. Bring the saucepan back to a boil, add the whole pork belly, and stir in the ginger. For tender, fully cooked pork, reduce heat to a simmer and leave to cook for 30 minutes. Take the pork out of the cooking liquid and rinse it for a full minute in cold water. Putting aside.
- Get everything else ready while you wait for the pork to cool. Thinly slice the pork belly (slices should be about 1/8 inch thick) right before cooking (don’t do this in advance, or the pork will dry out).
- Prepare a smoking hot wok by placing it over high heat. Sear the pork for 90 seconds in 1 tablespoon of oil or until mild caramelization forms. Dim the flame to medium and remove the pork with a spoon. One more tablespoon of oil to the wok.
- Fry the spicy broad bean paste in the oil for 30 seconds to enhance its taste and color, then add it to the wok. Pay attention to the temperature to avoid getting burned; the ideal hue is red.
- Put in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Put the pork in a pan with the peppers and leeks, and crank up the heat to high. The recommended cooking time for a stir-fry is one minute.
- Add the sugar, soy sauce, and shaoxing wine. Mix the ingredients thoroughly. Once the leeks and peppers have wilted and softened (but retained some crunch), it’s ready to be served.