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Twice Cooked Pork {Family Style 回锅肉}

by Shirley

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Twice Cooked Pork {Hui Guo Rou Family Style}

Twice Cooked Pork or Hui Guo Rou {回锅肉} in Chinese is a classic Sichuan food. It features previously blanched pork belly slices deliciously pan-fried with fermented bean paste and spices. Because people blanch pork belly first before pan-frying, hence the name “Twice Cooked Pork”.

Traditionally a very spicy dish, the Twice Cooked Pork Family Style creates a mildly spicy version that all family members can enjoy, including young kids and/or people who are not in a position to eat very spicy food.

I also add optional extra vegetables such as crunchy napa cabbage stems and red onions. They are wonderful to balance the taste, texture, and nutrition.

What do you need to make Twice Cooked Pork {Hui Guo Rou}?

Hui Guo Rou Ingredients
Hui Guo Rou Ingredients

Pork Belly – Usually comes in a slab or a long strip. This time I got this pre-sliced version from my local Asian grocery store.

Pi Xian DouBanJiang – A traditional Sichuan condiment made of specially fermented beans with peppers and spices. Pi Xian is a city in Sichuan province, famous for its uniquely tasty peppers.

Just like Zhenjiang vinegar and Shaoxing wine, people name the vinegar and rice wine after the city, so do the Pi Xian DouBanJiang.

I frequently add a bit of Pi Xian DouBanJiang into many of my recipes to elevate or enhance the flavor. Red Braised Pork Belly, Pan Fried Firm Tofu, just to name a couple.

I got some of those special fermented moldy beans and the native Sichuan long red peppers a few years ago and made a batch of my own Pi Xian DouBanJiang. They truly make everything taste better!

Pi'Xian Doubanjiang
Homemade Pi Xian DouBanJiang

Mashed Fermented Soybeans – often called Dry Soybean Paste {Gan Jiang 干酱}. Or you can use Dou Chi to substitute. They are both fermented soybeans but in slightly different methods. People mash fermented soybeans into a paste for Gan Jiang, but keep the whole soybean form for Dou Chi.

You will also need cooking oil, green onions, ginger, natural soy sauce (or dark soy sauce), Shaoxing wine. I use a bit of paprika to enhance the red color since we are using less Pi Xian for a mildly spicy version.

I have been using a homemade oil sprayer since I jump-started a healthier cooking journey. They are great to spry a tiny oil evenly.

Napa cabbage’s crunchy stems and red onion are optional extra vegetables you can pan-fry together with the pork. They help cut down the saltiness and greasiness of the dish and provide additional crunchy texture and flavor too.

Crunchy stems of Napa Cabbage and Red Onion
Crunchy stems of Napa Cabbage and Red Onion

How to make Twice Cooked Pork from scratch?

Twice cooked pork is a quick and easy dish to make. See the Recipe for a detailed step-by-step tutorial. Here are the key steps:

1. Blanch the pork belly

If you are getting the pork belly slab or a long strip, you first blanch the pork belly and then cut them into bite-size slices. The blanched and firmed-up pork belly makes it easier to cut and slice.

Since I got the pre-sliced version, I cut them into bite-sizes first before I blanch.

Pork Belly Slices Cut Into Bite-Size
Pork Belly Slices Cut Into Bite-Size

How to blanch pork belly?

Fill a stockpot (4 Qt.) with 75% of water, bring it to a boil first.

If you get a slab of pork belly, first cut into long strips.

For a long-strip of pork belly, add the pork belly into the boiling water, cover the pot with a lid and wait for it to re-boil. Once the pot reaches a boil again, remove the pork from the pot using a pair of cooking chopsticks or a pair of kitchen tongs. Wait for the pork to cool down a little and cut into thin slices first and then into bite sizes.

For a pre-sliced pork belly, add the bite-size pork belly slices into the boiling water, gently stir to separate the pork.

Blanching Pork Belly
Blanching Pork Belly

Cover the stockpot with the lid and wait for it to reach a boil again. Following that, remove the pork belly from the pot using a spider skimmer, and set it aside.

Blanched Pork Belly Slices
Blanched Pork Belly Slices

2. Pan Fry with green onions and ginger

Turn heat to high and heat a wok for 1 minute. Spry a bit of oil into the Wok using a home oil sprayer and then add chopped green onions, sliced ginger, and blanched pork belly. Turn and fold the pork belly using a slotted turner for about 2 minutes.

Pan Fry Blanched Pork Belly Slices
Pan Fry Blanched Pork Belly Slices

3. Pan Fry with condiments

Pan Fry pork slices with Condiments
Pan Fry pork slices with Condiments

Add Shaoxing wine, Soy Sauce, Mashed Fermented bean, Pi Xian DouBanJiang and Paprika into the wok. Continue to fold, mix and pan fry for about 2 minutes.

4. Pan Fry with napa cabbage and red onions and wrap up

Add napa cabbage and red onion bite-size slices, and continue to pan fry for about 2 minutes.

Pan Fry Pork Belly with Napa Cabbage Stems and Red Onion
Pan Fry Pork Belly with Napa Cabbage Stems and Red Onion

All done!

Twice Cooked Pork {Family Style 回锅肉}
Freshly Made Twice Cooked Pork {Family Style 回锅肉}

Pair with a freshly made rice and enjoy an easy but super tasty dinner.

Twice Cooked Pork {Family Style 回锅肉}
Twice Cooked Pork {Family Style 回锅肉}
Twice Cooked Pork {Hui Guo Rou Family Style}

Twice Cooked Pork Recipe {Hui Guo Rou Family Style}

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Twice Cooked Pork or Hui Guo Rou {回锅肉} in Chinese is a classic Sichuan food. It features previously blanched pork belly slices deliciously pan-fried with fermented bean paste and spices. The Twice Cooked Pork Family Style intends to create a mildly spicy version that all family members can enjoy.

Ingredients

  • 2 lb pork belly
  • 3 quarts (about 2.8 liters) of water, for blanching pork belly
  • 10 thin slices of ginger
  • 2 stalks of green onions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 4 tbsp Natural Soy Sauce, or dark soy sauce, see notes
  • 2 tsp Dry Soybean Paste, or Dou Chi, see notes
  • 2 tsp - 1 1/2 tbsp Pi Xian DouBanJiang, see notes
  • 1/2 tsp paprika, optional, see notes
  • 5 inner small half stems of Napa Cabbage, optional
  • 1/3 of red onion, optional

Instructions

Prep the Vegetables:

  1. Wash, rinse the napa cabbage. Cut the stems of the cabbage with an angle to create a thinner slice of bite-size squares. The same technique we use for Napa Cabbage stir fry.
  2. Trim both ends of the red onion and peel off the outer layer. Cut horizontally and then vertically to create small bite-size squares.
    Crunchy stems of Napa Cabbage and Red Onion

Blanching the Pork Belly and Cut into Bite-Size Slices:

  1. Fill a stockpot (4 Qt.) with 75% of water, bring it to a boil
  2. For a long-strip of pork belly, add the pork belly into the boiling water, cover the pot with a lid and wait for it to re-boil.
    Once the pot reaches a boil again, remove the pork from the pot using a pair of cooking chopsticks or a pair of kitchen tongs. Wait for the pork to cool down a little and cut into thin slices and into bite sizes.
  3. For a pre-sliced pork belly, first cut them into bite-size pieces:
    Pork Belly Slices Cut Into Bite-Size
    Add the bite-size pork belly slices into the boiling water, gently stir to separate the pork
    Blanching Pork Belly
    Cover the stockpot with the lid and wait for it to reach re-boil again. Following that, remove the pork belly from the pot using a spider skimmer, and set it aside.
    Blanched Pork Belly Slices
  4. Save the water used to blanch the pork belly. They make excellent pork broth which can be used to make a delicious egg drop soup.

Pan-Fry Blanched Pork Belly:

  1. Turn heat to high and heat a wok for 1 minute. Spry a bit of oil into the Wok using a home oil sprayer and then add chopped green onions, sliced ginger, and blanched pork belly.
    Pan Fry Blanched Pork Belly Slices
    Turn and fold the pork belly using a slotted turner for about 2 minutes.
  2. Add Shaoxing wine, Soy Sauce, Mashed Fermented bean, Pi Xian DouBanJiang, and Paprika into the wok. Continue to fold, mix and pan fry for about 2 minutes.
    Pan Fry pork slices with Condiments
  3. Add napa cabbage and red onion bite-size slices, and continue to pan fry for about 2 minutes
    Pan Fry Pork Belly with Napa Cabbage Stems and Red Onion
  4. All done!
    Twice Cooked Pork {Family Style 回锅肉}
    Pair with freshly made rice and enjoy an easy but super tasty meal.
    Twice Cooked Pork {Family Style 回锅肉}

Notes

  • Pi Xian DouBanJiang is a traditional Sichuan condiment made of specially fermented beans with peppers and spices. For a mild version, use 2 tsp of them. For a medium to spicy version, use 1.5 tbsp of them.
  • Paprika is optional to enhance the red color since we are using less Pi Xian DouBanJiang for a mildly spicy version.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 servings Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 541Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 131mgSodium: 1013mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 38g

Nutrition calculation is provided by Nutritionix to the best knowledge per ingredients description and isn't always accurate.

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