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Pork Twice Cooked - Sichuan
China - Sichuan

4 main  
6 hr  
Very tasty, rich and satisfying, though not exactly your low calorie cuisine. The bean pastes used are a bit different from those used in the rest of China and a bit harder to find, but worth it.

Pork with Skin (1)
Leeks (2)
Black Beans (3)
Sweet Bean Paste (3)
Chili Bean Paste (3)  
Soy Sauce, dark
Lard or Oil (5)
Prep   -   (5-1/2 hrs - 35 min work)
  1. Prepare your slab of PORK. Bring plenty of water (or stock if available) to a boil in a large pot, drop in the Pork, bring back to a boil and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes until cooked through. Reserve the resulting broth for another use.
  2. Remove Pork from the pot, cool it thoroughly, then refrigerate until it is thoroughly chilled all the way through.
  3. When Pork is thoroughly chilled, slice it thin. Individual pieces should be about 1 inch (skin to lean) by 2 inches long and less than 1/4 inch thick. Every slice should have layers each of skin, fat and lean.
  4. Slice tender part of LEEKS thin on a steep diagonal into "horse ear" slices.
  5. Rinse BLACK BEANS, crush them very lightly and mix with Sweet Bean Paste.
  6. Measure out your Chili Bean Paste.
  7. Mix Soy Sauce and Sugar.
RUN   -   (20 min)
  1. Heat Lard in a wok and sir in Pork. Fry stirring over moderately high heat until much of the fat has melted out and the slices are getting crispy on the outside and starting to curl. You're going to have some spattering here because pork skin does that.
  2. Push the Pork up the side of the wok or remove it with a slotted spoon (necessary in smaller or steeper woks). At this point you can spoon or pour out some fat if it looks like too much, but there should still be at least a couple tablespoons. Stir in Chili Bean Paste until the oil is red and fragrant, just a few seconds. Stir in Black Bean mix and fry stirring for a few seconds until aromatic, then stir Pork back in.
  3. Stir in Soy Sauce and Sugar. If you need to hold it, hold at this point.
  4. Stir in Leeks and fry stirring until they are just cooked through, just a minute or two. Serve immediately.
  1. Pork with Skin:   In Sichuan this would be cut from the thigh and would be a slab with about 1/2 lean and 1/2 fat. This cut is not generally available in the U.S. so Über expert Fuchsia Dunlop recommends using a slab of pork belly, but that's quite a bit fattier (though very tasty!). I cut a slab from the skin side of a picnic shoulder and cut the slices a bit wider (more lean). A leg would do fine too.
  2. Leeks:   Whole large Chinese Leeks are often unavailable even in Los Angeles. They are long and narrow, more tender than regular leeks but sharp and garlicky in taste. If you don't have them get the smallest, longest youngest regular leeks you can find and cook them a bit longer than Chinese leeks would take. Optionally slice up a couple cloves of garlic to toss in with the leeks.
  3. Black Beans:   These are salty fermented black soybeans sold in plastic bags and cylindrical paper boxes in any market serving an East or Southeast Asian community. For details see our Fermented Black Beans page.
  4. Bean Pastes:   Authenticity demands chili and sweet bean pastes made with fava beans (broad beans) rather than the soy beans used in the rest of China. I use Lian How brand for both pastes. Ms. Dunlop suggests using a sweet fermented wheat flour paste if you can't find the sweet bean paste.
  5. Lard or Oil:   Lard is the traditional frying medium through Thailand and much of China. The American Heart Association so villainized it Americans are afraid to use it, but it's not nearly as dangerous as the trans fats the AHA told us to use instead. It has a better health profile than butter, and is now increasingly used by top chefs. For details see our Lard page. If you still don't want to use it, use Pure Olive Oil (not virgin), or Avocado oil for richer flavor.
  6. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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