Whenever I dine at Sichuan restaurants I always order Sichuan Twice-Cooked Pork or hui guo rou. I have never once questioned or tried to figure out what was meant by “twice-cooked” or hui guo (meaning “returning to wok”). When I was working on this recipe I asked my good friend Mr. Xiong, a restaurateur specializing in Sichuan cuisine, and he taught me the cooking techniques behind this famed Sichuan dish. The “twice-cooked” process basically involved boiling and stir-frying. The pork belly is boiled and sliced into bacon-like thin pieces, and then stir-fried in a wok. Traditionally, Sichuan Twice-Cooked Pork is made with pork belly. If you prefer a healthier version of this dish, you can substitute with pork butt, pork leg, or pork tenderloin.
Serves 3–4 as part of a multi-course meal
- 10 oz (330 g) pork belly
- Water, for boiling
- 2 teaspoons oil
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 oz (50 g) leeks, cut diagonally into 1 in (2.5 cm) lengths
- 1/2 small green bell pepper, deseeded and cut into pieces
- 1/2 small red bell pepper, deseeded and cut into pieces
- 2 oz (50 g) canned thinly sliced bamboo shoots, rinsed
- 11/2 tablespoons hot bean sauce
- 1 tablespoon sweet bean sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon Chili oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
- Remove the skin of the pork belly before boiling it in the water. Boil until cooked, about 10 minutes. Transfer the pork belly out, let it cool, and slice it into bacon-like thin pieces, measuring about 11/2 inches (3.75 cm) width by 2 inches (5 cm) length.
- Mix all the ingredients for the Sauce in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Heat 1/2 teaspoon of the oil in a wok or skillet over high heat. Add the pork belly and stir-fry until they are slightly curled. Dish out and drain the excess oil of the pork belly on a dish lined with paper towels. Let it cool.
- Heat up the remaining oil in the wok or skillet. Add the garlic and stir-fry until aromatic, and then add the leeks, peppers, and bamboo shoots. Toss the ingredients a few times with the spatula before adding the pork belly and the Sauce.
- Stir to combine the ingredients well, dish out and serve immediately with steamed rice.
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