Twice Cooked Pork (Sichuan Pork Stir-Fry)
Twice cooked pork is a famous Sichuan pork stir-fry dish. Fatty pork belly gets two stages of cooking and is stir fried with savory hot chili bean paste sauce (doubanjiang). It is very simple to make and so delicious.
If you love the Sichuan cuisine of China, you can’t miss this famous Chinese pork recipe called hui guo rou (回鍋肉). It’s also known as twice-cooked pork.
Yes, you might find this dish in your local Chinese takeout. So, why bother trying it at home?
The Americanized twice cooked pork dish from your Peiking Garden is not even close to the authentic flavor of Sichuan. If you haven’t traveled to Sichuan province, you are missing out on the flavor of Chinese Sichuan pork.
This is, without a doubt, one the most famous Chinese pork stir-frys.
What is Twice Cooked Pork?
The Chinese call this dish “hui guo rou” (回鍋肉), which means “returned to the wok meat,” as it involves cooking the meat twice (but quickly) in the wok. You will literally cook the pork twice, which makes the dish less greasy.
Pork belly is most popular part of pork cuts. Perhaps twice cooked pork belly might be more accurate description of this amazing dish.
Two Stage Cooking Process
- The first step, boiling the fatty pork, will cook the lean part of pork belly without overcooking it.
- The second step, stir frying, caramelizes the surface and melts fat quickly to make the dish leaner and lighter.
- Then, stir-fry the rich pork belly with vegetables in a spicy hot chili bean paste and fermented black beans, to create a rich and flavorful dish.
- Typically, Asian leek and red chili are added to this double cooked pork stir-fry. However, you will often find twice cooked pork belly with cabbage and/or red pepper in many Chinese restaurants.
Authentic Flavors of Sichuan Pork Stir-Fry
In order to create the real Sichuan flavor of this dish, you will need to use two important ingredients for the sauce;
Doubanjiang (豆瓣酱) is fermented spicy bean paste made with dried fava beans (broad beans). It has a rich, spicy, and salty taste. It is a key ingredient in classic Sichuan dishes such as Mapo Tofu or Beef and Pepper Stir-fry.
There’s no good substitute for doubanjiang since the flavor is so unique. You can get this hot bean paste very easily in any Asian market or even on Amazon.
Douchi (豆豉) is fermented black soy beans. It is very salty and potent, and adds a deep umami in the dish. Along with doubanjaing, douchi is also widely used in many Sichuan and other Chinese cuisine. You can substitute douchi with the bottled black bean sauce.
- Pork belly–I used thick pork belly with skin, but skinless pork belly works fine, too.
- Oil–to start the cooking process. Use high smoking point oil, such as peanut oil or avocado oil.
- Leek–I recommend using Asian leek sliced in diagonal size. If you can’t find it, try a bunch of green onion.
- Garlic & red chili (or red pepper)–additional savory ingredients
- Doubanjiang (chili bean paste)–important condiment to flavor and season
- Douchi (fermented black beans)–important condiment to flavor and season
- Dark soy sauce (or regular soy sauce)–to season
- Sugar–a hint of sugar helps the caramelization
- Optional vegetables–You can add cabbage to add heartiness.
How to Make Twice Cooked Pork
Step 1. Cook pork belly first and slice.
Put pork belly in a pot of water and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove the pork belly from the pot and let it cool slightly. Then slice the pork belly thinly into bite sized chunks.
Step 2. Stir-fry pork belly
Heat oil in a wok over high heat until smoke appears. Add oil and pork belly slices. Sear the pork until it develops a slightly browned surface and releases some of its fat, which takes about 2 minutes.
Push the pork slices to one side of the work, and reduce the heat to medium.
Step 3. Add savory condiments
Add chili bean paste (doubanjiang) and stir fry for 30 seconds until the oil is red and fragrant. Then, add garlic and fermented black beans. Stir-fry for a few seconds more to release the aroma. Add the shaoxing wine, sugar, and soy sauce, then toss everything together.
Step 4. Add leek and red chili (if using)
Finally, stir fry the leek and chili until they heat through, then add them to the dish. Serve immediately with rice.
More delicious Chinese stir-fry dishes
If you enjoy Chinese dishes, try these mouthwatering Chinese stir-fry recipes. All are easy to cook at home.
- Chinese Beef and Pepper Stir-fry
- Chinese Crispy Beef Under 30 Minutes
- Yellow Chives and Chicken Stir-Fry Recipe
- Three Cup Chicken (San Bei Ji)
- Classic Mapo Tofu Recipe
- Quick Chili Garlic Shrimp (with Chili Crisp)
Twice Cooked Pork (Sichuan Pork Stir-Fry)
- 1 lb pork belly, with skin preferred
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp Sichuan chili bean paste (doubanjiang)
- 2 tsp fermented black beans (douchi)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp shaoxing wine (Chinese rice wine)
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp dark soy sauce, or regular soy sauce
- 1 Asian leek, diced diagonally. See note below.
- 1 red chili or red pepper, diced diagonally
- Put pork belly in a pot of water and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove the pork belly from the pot and let it cool slightly. Then slice the pork belly thinly into bite sized chunks.
- Heat oil in a wok over high heat until smoke appears. Add oil and pork belly slices. Sear the pork until the surface gets slightly browned and some of the fat has melted out, about 2 minutes. Push the pork slices to one side of the work, and reduce the heat to medium.
- Add hot bean paste and stir fry for 30 seconds until the oil is red and fragrant. Then, add garlic and fermented black beans. Stir-fry for a few seconds more to release the aroma. Add the shaoxing wine, sugar, and soy sauce, then toss everything together.
- Finally, add the leek and chili and continue to stir fry until they are heated through. Serve immediately with rice.