Twice-Cooked PorkJump to Recipe
A traditional dish from Sichuan, China, this Twice-Cooked Pork recipe is a must during big festive dinners and will definitely get your mouth watering. As its name implies, tender pork belly is coated with a sweet and spicy sauce and cooked twice.
Origins of Twice-Cooked Pork Recipe
Most traditional recipes are full of history and meaning but twice-cooked pork is a little different. The origin story is generally unknown but some sources believe it was first invented by peasants in the Song Dynasty (12th century).
The ancient Sichuan area was rich in producing pigs. Peasants would use boiled pork as a sacrifice during ancestor worship ceremonies. Then the pork was cooked again and enjoyed as a dish. Sichuan people today have a tradition of including twice-cooked pork as the main course in their feasts.
As the name suggests, you will need to cook the pork twice. Pork belly is also used in almost every twice-cooked pork recipe. They say it’s not twice-cooked pork unless you use pork belly.
The pork belly is first simmered in water with a mixture of spices. Then it’s cooled and sliced before frying alongside some vegetables. The most common vegetables in twice-cooked pork are bell peppers, napa cabbage and garlic leaves. This recipe calls for hot green peppers but you can use regular green bell peppers.
The sauce is made with soy sauce, fermented black bean (douchi), spicy broad bean paste (doubanjiang), sugar, cooking wine and chilli peppers to give its signature sweet, salty and spicy flavour.
Fermented black beans are a very salty ingredient made from cooked black soybeans fermented in salty water. You can find the bean pastes at your local Asian grocery store. But if it too difficult to find you can substitute with just soy sauce.
This twice-cooked pork recipe is definitely for spice lovers. Another Sichuan cuisine to try if you enjoy this one is our Mapo Tofu recipe. Now let’s get started!
Twice Cooked Pork Recipe
- 1 lb pork belly, unsliced
- 2 quarts water
- 2 slices ginger
- 2 tbsp oil, divided
- 1 tbsp spicy broad bean paste, (doubanjiang)
- 2 tsp fermented black beans, (douchi)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 long hot green peppers, can sub with 2-3 medium green bell peppers
- 4 dried chilli peppers
- 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- ¼ tsp sugar
- Bring the water to a boil in a medium-sized pot. Once boiling, add the whole piece of pork belly with the ginger. Bring it back to a boil before lowering the heat. Let it simmer for 30 minutes or until the pork is tender and cooked through.
- When the pork is done, remove it from the pot and run it under cold water for about a minute. Set it aside and let it cool.
- While the pork is cooling prepare the other ingredients. Slice the cloves of garlic and half the long hot green pepper vertically. Remove the seeds and then cut into 1 ½ inch pieces.
- Once you are ready to cook and the pork is cooled, thinly slice it. The pork slices should be about ⅛ inch thick. Do not slice the pork before prepping the other ingredients or it will dry out.
- Get your wok ready by adding in half the oil and heat over high heat until it begins to smoke. Add the pork slices and sear until you get a light caramelization, ~ 90 seconds. After, turn the heat down to medium-low and remove the pork slices.
- Add the second half of the oil to the wok. Scoop the spicy broad bean paste, fermented black beans and chilli peppers in and let them fry for 30 seconds, stirring occasionally. This will bring out the flavour and colour. The oil should turn red. Then add the garlic and fry again for 30 seconds.
- Turn the heat back to high and add the pork back in with the peppers. Stir-fry for a minute. Add the Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, and sugar. Stir everything together. Once the peppers are cooked, it's done. Serve with a side of rice and enjoy!