Twice Cooked Pork is a Szechuanese dish every 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 dish in no time.
- Pork leg
- Garlic green
- 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 peppercorn. Parboil the pork in the pot until it is cooked.
- The pork skin turns golden because the skin side is at the bottom of the pot.
- Scoop up the blanched pork. When it’s still warm, cut the pork evenly into roughly 3 mm thick pieces.
- Cut the white part of the garlic green at a slanted angle into segments, and cut the green part at a straight angle into segments.
- Chop the broad bean paste into finer 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 up at the edge.
- Add broad bean paste, sugar, soy sauce and garlic green, stir fry all the ingredients.
- Add sweet bean sauce, stir fry until fragrant. Finally, add sesame oil. Stir fry the garlic green until it’s 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 helps to reduce the greasiness from the pork as well.
- When preparing the broad bean paste, chop it up further to release all the flavor from the paste.
- Authentic Twice Cooked Pork should have the pork slices curled up around the edge. This indicates the pork is cooked just right, not too much, not undercooked. 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.