TWICE COOKED PORK is a Sichuan dish flavored with spicy chili bean paste, stir fried with vegetables and served over white rice.
A dish from the Sichuan province of China, twice cooked pork is literally pork that has been cooked twice. I’ve had this dish many times at different Chinese takeout restaurants throughout the years. However, it is not until I had the version at Shan Xi Magic Kitchen in San Diego that I truly understood what authentic twice cooked pork was. Authentic twice cooked pork is always made with pork belly. Simmered in water flavored with aromatics such as ginger and star anise, and then seared in hot oil with vegetables and sauce, this spicy pork is typically served over white rice.
Cooking the pork twice tenderizes the pork belly. To save some time, I typically try to boil the pork the day before so it is ready when I am. Just be sure to bring it back to room temperature before stir frying or you will have trouble keeping your pan hot.
First, we simmer the pork in water with a piece of ginger, star anise and sea salt for about 30-45 minutes. Drain the pork and set aside to cool. I typically do this step the night before to save some time.
Once your pork is cooled, it’s time to cook it for the second time. Heat the pork lard (or any high smoke point fat) in a wok pan over medium-high heat until it is almost smoking. I like to use this wok pan because it is light and easy to use. Unfortunately, my stove does not get hot enough to use a real cast iron wok. But this pan works wonderfully.
Reduce to heat to medium low and add the bean paste. Saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the garlic, ginger, leeks and chilies and stir fry about 30 seconds. Then add the pork and cook for one minute.
Add the mirin, soy sauce, sherry, brown sugar and cook until leeks become slightly wilted. Serve with white rice to counteract the heat.
If you want more spice, add some additional spicy bean paste.