Twice cooked pork or 回鍋肉 is a common Sichuan dish, which like many Chinese dishes obtains its name in a very literal way. The meat is first slowly simmered in water loaded up with aromatics. Once the meat is tender, it is left to cool and then sliced thinly and shallow fried with various bean pastes and some vegetables to help you forget you’re essentially eating a big plate of spicy bacon.
- 500 g pork belly
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 piece of ginger (thumb-sized, peeled)
- 3 scallions
- 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
- 1 tsp sweet soy bean paste (甜面酱/Tian Mian Jiang)
- 2 tbsp spicy bean paste (郫县豆瓣酱/Pixian Dou Ban Jiang)
- 1 tbsp fermented soy bean paste (豆豉/Dou Chi)
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp Chinese cooking sherry/wine
- 1 tsp white sugar
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- Place meat in pot, cover with cold water. Add roughly chopped ginger, 1 scallion (chopped), Sichuan peppercorns and 1 tsp cooking wine.
- Bring pot to a boil, skimming impurities off of surface. Continue cooking until a chopstick can be easily inserted into the meat (about 15-20 minutes).
- Remove meat from pot, rinse with cold water, allow meat to cool down to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, roughly chop green pepper into medium-sized pieces. Cut remaining two scallions into 3 cm long pieces.
- Place spicy bean paste and fermented soy bean paste in separate small bowls, mash/break-up paste so there are no large chunks.
- Once meat has cooled, cut into 1/2 cm slices.
- Heat oil in wok on highest setting. When oil is hot, stir fry pork slices until the meat begins to curl. Remove meat.
- Add spicy bean paste to wok and stir fry until red oil separates from the paste (15-20 seconds). Return pork to wok and added fermented bean paste, sweet bean paste, sugar, soy sauce and cooking wine. Mix well.
- Add chopped green pepper, stir fry until pepper is soft. Finally, add scallions, stir until heated through and serve.
- If boiled pork is difficult to slice thinly, you can firm it up by sticking it in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
- When you fry the pork belly, some fat will render. If you feel this is too much oil in the pan, simply discard the excess.
- The bean pastes all typically include salt, thus none is required for the recipe. Taste before serving and adjust seasoning to taste.
- You can substitute the green pepper with cabbage, onion, or various bell and/or chilli peppers.