Twice Cooked Pork is a Szechuanese dish any household could make. It is savory and goes well with steamed rice. When selecting the pork, be sure to choose a fresh piece of pork leg with about 40% fat and 60% lean meat. The ingredients are basic, and the steps are straightforward. With some preparation, you can learn to cook this authentic Szechuanese comfort food in no time.
- Pork leg
- Garlic green, also called garlic scapes
- Ginger slices
- Szechuan peppercorn
- Pixian broad bean paste (Pi Xian Dou Ban Jiang)
- Sweet bean sauce (Tian Mian Jiang)
- Cooking wine
- Soy sauce
- Sesame oil
- Prepare a pot of boiling water, add scallion, ginger slices and Szechuan peppercorns. Place the pork leg into the boiling mixture, skin side down, and cook until it is parboiled.
- The pork skin will turn golden brown because the skin side is at the bottom of the pot.
- Scoop out the blanched pork. While it’s still warm, cut the pork evenly into roughly 3 mm thick slices.
- Cut the white part of the garlic greens at a slanted angle into segments, and cut the green part at a straight angle into segments.
- Chop the broad bean paste into fine pieces.
- In the wok, heat up some cooking oil on medium heat until its temperature is about 150-180˚C, then add the pork slices, salt, cooking wine. Stir fry until the pork slices are curled at the edge.
- Add broad bean paste, sugar, soy sauce and garlic greens, and stir fry all the ingredients together.
- Add sweet bean sauce, and stir fry until fragrant. Finally, add sesame oil. Stir fry the garlic green, until they no longer raw (about 80% cooked). The dish is ready to serve.
- This dish is called “Twice Cooked” because the pork leg is first blanched in a pot and then stir-fried in a wok.
- Before blanching the pork, add sliced ginger, scallion and Szechuan peppercorn, boil these ingredients until the flavors are released. Then, add the pork to blanch.
- When stir frying the pork, the heat should be on medium, this will make the pork less greasy. Quality broad bean paste also helps to reduce the greasiness from the pork.
- When preparing the broad bean paste, chop it finely to release all the flavor from the paste.
- Authentic Twice Cooked Pork should have the pork slices curled at the edges. This indicates the pork is cooked just right, not too much, and not undercooked either. Traditionally, only garlic green is used as the “vegetable” in this dish. No other vegetable ingredients are added. But we are seeing more and more varieties of Twice Cooked Pork, where cabbage and bell peppers are often added as well.