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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.
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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.
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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.
Add the pork belly and quickly stir fry until browned and slightly crisp, about 2-3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon.
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.
Related Recipes: Spicy Szechuan Green Beans
If you want more spice, add some additional spicy bean paste.
Related Recipe: Basic Fried Rice
Did you make this recipe? Leave me a comment and let me know what you think 🙂
Twice Cooked Pork
- 1.5 lbs. pork belly
- 1 1" piece fresh ginger
- 1 whole star anise
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 2 tbsp. cooking oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp. broad bean paste
- 1 tsp. black bean sauce
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. Chinese cooking wine (shaoxing wine)
- 2 cloves garlic sliced
- 1/2 tsp. ginger paste
- 1 1/2 tsp. brown sugar
- 1 cup green onions chopped
- 1 Anaheim chili sliced
- Simmer the pork in water with a piece of ginger, star anise and sea salt for about 30 minutes.
- Drain the pork and set aside to cool. Slice into thin pieces (see photos in post above).
- Heat the cooking oil in a wok over medium-high heat until it is starts to smoke.
- Add the sliced pork in 2-3 batches and fry until the edges are golden brown. Remove and set aside.
- Reduce the heat to medium high and add the broad bean and black bean sauce. Saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the garlic, ginger and chilies and stir fry about 30 seconds.
- Add the soy sauce, Chinese wine, brown sugar and stir together.
- Add pork and green onions and toss to combine.
- Remove from heat and serve with white rice.
- Simmer the pork the day before to save time. Be sure to cut the pork AFTER it has been simmered, not before.
- Stir fry the pork belly in batches to avoid crowding. When the pan gets crowded, the meat will steam instead of fry and won't get that crisp, caramelized texture we want.
- You can add a sliced red pepper, bell pepper, broccoli, etc. if you'd like more vegetables in this dish. You can also serve it with this Bok Choy recipe on the side if you'd prefer your veggies separate.
- Use whole pork belly when simmering - otherwise, the pork will over cook and fall apart. Slice it after it has been cooked.
- Pork butt (shoulder) can be used in place of pork belly, but the results will not be quite as melt-in-your-mouth as the pork belly;
- Any pepper can be used as a substitute for the Anaheim chilies.