Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Sichuan Twice-cooked Pork

(Especially For Denise)


Leila has finished her degree here and gone back to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan. Before she left, Wey requested that she cook her huiguo rou and suanmi baice rou (garlic sliced pork) one last time.

Huiguo rou means 'meat returned to the wok' but you'll find most English translations referring to it as 'twice-cooked pork'. Whoever translated it first wasn't very accurate. Whatever you call it, it points to the fact that the pork is first boiled, then sliced and fried with that irreplaceable Sichuan hot broad bean paste, and veggies like peppers, cabbage (I didn't have any so we made do with more peppers) and leeks or spring onions. The resulting dish is very fragrant and perfect with plain rice washed down with beer, but remember, it is a Sichuan dish and can be a little too oily for the uninitiated.

1/2 kg belly pork, skin on
1/2 red/yellow & 1/2 green bell pepper, in small pieces
1 handful cabbage, in bite-pieces
1/2 brown onion, in small pieces
1 garlic leek or spring onion, in diagonal small pieces
2 T garlic, minced
2 T ginger, minced
2 T doeban jiang (Sichuan hot broad bean paste)*
1 T sweet bean paste**
1 T chili oil
1 t Sichuan peppercorns
1 T light soy sauce
1/2 T sugar, msg to taste

1. Put belly pork into a pot of boiling water that's enough to cover the pork. Boil the belly pork for 30 minutes until it is not too soft or hard. Remove and cool completely. Cut into very thin slices across the grain, with skin intact.

2. Heat up a wok, add 2 T oil and fry the peppers, cabbage, onions and leek with a pinch of salt until they are cooked. Remove to a plate.

3. Heat up 3 T oil till very hot and fry the Sichuan peppercorns for a few seconds, add the garlic and ginger and fry (reduce heat to medium) another minute until fragrant but not browned.

4. Add the sliced pork and bean pastes and fry over medium heat. Keep on frying until the oil comes out and the meat slices are shiny. Now add the fried veg, the light soy sauce, 1 T chili oil, sugar and msg, and continue to fry for a couple more minutes for the flavors to develop and blend together. This will take a couple of minutes but is an important step so don't rush it. Adjust the taste with more bean sauces, soy sauce or sugar.


* I get mine from Sichuan.
**Only if unavailable, substitute with the black Korean sweet bean paste.


Denise said...

To be VERY frank with u,
1) I never tried This dish b4.
2) "Belly Pork, Skin on" , is that in chinese " Fui Zhu yuk" ? hahahha, no wonder Wey demand for it ! and He can really take HOT food huh! is that Firery hot ?
3) Hey! this remind me of the China" Wu-Xi-Pai-Kut "!!!
u know what I mean or not? Last time mum bought few Wu-Xi-Pai-Kut in packets from china, and we all LOVE IT !!

ok, let me Shout for Wey, Live to Eat ! Live for PORky =p

Anonymous said...

denise: u'll never find a restaurant in kk tt serves authentic huigou rou. Yes, its 'num yuk' with skin on. the dish isn't very hot, just nice. oh, we love 'wuxi' ribs (didn't know u can get them ready packed) n 'tung po' pork. Did ur mom eat tt? it's a 4 cm sq piece of pork fat stewed until very soft n I hear its absolute heaven but we were all too fearful of the fat to eat it.
Wey said u are right. He lives to eat, and for porky most of all. Disgusting.

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