Twice Cooked Pork (回锅肉)
Tender fatty pork cooked in a rich scrumptious sauce that is savory, slightly sweet, spicy, and bursting with umami. This is a detailed guide to help you create that real-deal Sichuan flavor in your own kitchen.
- 1 lbs (450 g) pork belly (whole piece)
- 4 chili peppers , dried
- 2 green onions , coarsely chopped
- 2 slices ginger
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 2 teaspoons minced ginger
- 1/4 onion , sliced
- 4 green onions , chopped
- 1 pepper of your choice (*Footnote 3)
Prepare a small pot. Add the whole piece of pork belly, dried chili peppers, green onions, ginger, and cold water to cover 1-inch of the pork. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn to low heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, until the pork is just cooked through or the lean part is still a bit pink. (*Footnote 4)
Remove the pork from the pot and place on a plate lined with a few layers of paper towel to cool and drain the extra liquid, until you can handle it with your hands. Slice the pork into 1/8-inch (3-mm) pieces. Use more paper towel to dry the pork so it causes less splatter during the stir fry. (*Footnote 5)
While cooking the pork, chop the other ingredients. Mix sauce 1 and sauce 2 in two separate small bowls.
Add oil to a large skillet (or a wok) and heat over a medium heat until hot. Add the pork belly. Cook and stir until the pork turns golden and crispy. Move the pork to one side of the skillet. Your pan should have about 3 to 4 tablespoons of oil left now. (Footnote 6)
Add sauce 1, ginger, and garlic. Cook over medium-low heat until the oil turns red, 1 minute or so.
Turn to medium heat. Mix the pork with the spicy sauce. Add sauce 2, onion, and peppers. Stir and cook for about 1 minute. Add the green onion. Stir a few times just to mix everything together, no more than 10 seconds. Transfer everything to a plate.
Serve hot over steamed rice as a main dish.
- Fermented black beans add another layer of umami to the dish. If you use soy sauce, skip the chopping and mix the sauce directly.
- Use sweet bean paste (tian mian jiang) to create the most authentic Sichuan taste. But I find hoisin sauce works in this recipe as well. If you use hoisin sauce, skip the sugar in this sauce.
- I like to use anaheim peppers or hatch peppers, because they have a crisp texture and are just spicy enough to cut the grease of the dish. You can use bell peppers as well.
- It’s very important not to overcook the pork, otherwise, it will turn very chewy after the stir frying.
- The pork is easier to slice while it’s still warm. It toughens up once it’s completely cooled down and can be difficult to cut.
- The extra rendered fat is very important in this dish, so your sauce won’t dry out. But if you used a very fatty cut, you might render more oil. In this case, dip a few layers of kitchen paper towels attached to the front of a pair of tongs into the pan to drain extra oil. Leave about 3 to 4 tablespoons oil in the pan.
Serving: 1serving of the 4 servings, Calories: 746kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 13.3g, Fat: 72g, Cholesterol: 91mg, Sodium: 514mg, Fiber: 1.3g, Sugar: 6.5g