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Twice Cooked Pork {Hui Guo Rou 回锅肉}

Traditional Sichuan {Szechuan} Hui Guo Rou {回锅肉}

by Shirley
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Twice Cooked Pork {Hui Guo Rou}

Twice Cooked Pork or Hui Guo Rou {回锅肉} in Chinese is a classic Sichuan food. It features previously low-heat boiled pork belly deliciously stir-fried with garlic or other vegetables.

The iconic ancient Chinese condiment Douchi {豆豉} and Doubanjiang {豆瓣酱} work magically together to create this unstoppable appetizing yumminess. Because people simmer the pork belly in water until fully cooked first before pan-frying, hence the name “Twice Cooked Pork”.

Twice Cooked Pork {Hui Guo Rou} Recipe

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

Twice Cooked Pork {Hui Guo Rou} Recipe Ingredients
Hui Guo Rou Ingredients

Pork Belly – Usually comes in a slab or a long strip. Nevertheless, pre-sliced pork belly is also available in some Asian grocery stores. Needless to say, pre-sliced pork belly makes it easier and faster to make twice-cooked pork {Hui Guo Rou}.

presliced pork belly

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

Just like Zhenjiang vinegar and Shaoxing wine, people name the vinegar and rice wine after the city, and 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 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

Douchi {豆豉} are fermented soybeans or black beans. It is an ancient Chinese condiment, dating back to as early as 165 B.C. Douchi has a unique taste and flavor, commonly used together with Doubanjiang to create this iconic flavor behind dishes such as Ma Yi Shang Shu {minced pork with glass noodles}.

I also use it for a quick & tasty Asian Fusion Fried Rice.

douchi and doubanjiang

You will also need green onions, ginger, garlic, natural soy sauce (or dark soy sauce), and Shaoxing wine.

For vegetables, green garlic leaves are an excellent choice. You can generally use young leek leaves to substitute. However, unlike garlic leaves which have an explosive flavor and taste which complements pork especially well, leek leaves have a muted flavor and taste.

A tiny bit of red pepper is often used to make the color pop.

If I do not have garlic leaves, I often use a combination of red onion and cabbage, which works out great too.

prepare vegetables and herbs for twice cooked pork

How to make Twice Cooked Pork from scratch?

The first thing first is to boil/blanch the pork belly

If you are getting the pork belly slab or a long strip, you first boil the pork belly with low heat until fully cooked and then cut them into bite-size slices. The boiled and firmed-up pork belly makes it easier to cut into slices.

If you happen to get the presliced pork belly, just cut them into bite sizes first before I blanch.

bite-size pork belly slices
Pork Belly Slices Cut Into Bite-Size

How to boil/blanch pork belly?

Fill a stockpot (4 Qt.) with 60% of water, and bring it to a boil first. If you get a slab of pork belly, first cut it into long strips.

Add the pork belly to the boiling water, cover the pot with a lid, and wait for it to reach a boil again. Then turn the heat to simmer and cook for about 20 minutes.

blanching pork belly in the pot

For a pre-sliced pork belly, simply add the bite-size pork belly slices into the boiling water. Gently stir to separate the pork and wait for it to reach a boil again.

Blanching Pork Belly
Blanching Pork Belly

The Second is to Pan Fry cooked pork slices

This cast iron wok is perhaps the best Wok out there. Made of healthy materials and has a superb ability to withstand and retain heat. It also distributes heat evenly during cooking.

Not only do I use it for Chinese stir fry, but I also use it in conjunction with these two-tiered bamboo steamers for my everyday steaming set, as well as deep-frying.

If you use the cast iron wok, simply add the green onion, ginger, and garlic to the wok along with the cooked pork slices. No need to add oil as the pork belly has plenty of fat to spare.

pan fry pork belly slices in the wok
Pan Fry Blanched Pork Belly Slices

This step is to firm up pork belly slices and also force out extra pork fat. Toward the end of the 5-8 minutes of pan-frying, if there is lots of pork fat in the bottom of the wok, remove them before proceeding to the next step. Save the pork fat for yummy dishes such as Yang Chun Noodles and Fried Rice.

PAN FRIED PORK BELLY SLICES AND PORK FAT

The third is to stir fry twice-cooked pork {Hui Guo Rou 回锅肉}

Add Stir Fry Sauce to the wok, fold, and turn for about 1 minute or till pork is sufficiently flavored and colored.

Stir fry pork slices for Twice Cooked Pork

Following that, add vegetables to the wok. Continue to turn and fold for another minute or till the vegetable wilt.

Make twic cooked pork in the wok

Enjoy an appetizingly yummy Twice Cooked Pork {Hui Guo Rou 回锅肉}!

Twice cooked pork {Hui Guo Rou}
Twice Cooked Pork {Hui Guo Rou}

Twice Cooked Pork {Hui Guo Rou} Recipe

Yield: 4 servings
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 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 douchi {豆豉} and doubanjiang {豆瓣酱}. Perfect to pair with steamed rice for a yummy dinner.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb pork belly
  • 1 small piece of ginger, thinly minced, organic preferred
  • 2 stalks of green onions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 lb vegetables, such as garlic leaves, young leek, red onion, cabbage, red bell pepper, see notes

For Stir Fry Sauce:

  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tbsp naturally aged soy sauce or dark soy sauce, see notes
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp douchi, original flavored
  • 1/2 tbsp doubanjiang

Instructions

  • Gather and Prepare Ingredients:
  • Add everything under "For Stir Fry Sauce" in a small bowl.
  • Chop leek and/or garlic leaves into bite-size lengths. Slice and mince the ginger and garlic. Remove the seeds of the red bell pepper and cut them into small thin slices.
    prepare vegetables and herbs for twice cooked pork

Prepare Pork Belly for Stir Fry:

For Pork Belly Strip:

  • Fill a stockpot (4 Qt.) with about 60% of water, turn the heat to medium-high and bring it to a boil.
  • Add the pork belly into the boiling water, cover it with a lid and bring it to boil again and then turn the heat to simmer and cook for 20 minutes. You know it is ready when you can poke through the pork easily using a pointy chopstick with no blood coming out either.
    blanching pork belly in the pot
  • Remove the pork belly from the pot, cool it a little bit on a plate, and then cut across the grain into bite-size thin slices.
    sliced blanched pork belly

For Pre-Sliced Pork Belly:

  • You can indeed get pre-sliced pork belly from Asian grocery stores, which makes the cooking process much easier and faster.
    presliced pork belly
  • Simply cut the long pork belly slices into bite-size pieces.
  • Add the bite-size pork belly slices into the boiling water, and gently stir to separate the pork
    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

Pan-Fry Blanched Pork Belly:

  • Turn heat to medium-high and heat a wok for 1 minute. No need to add oil as the pork belly shall have plenty of fat. Add chopped green onions, sliced ginger, and garlic, as well as blanched & sliced pork belly.
    blanched pork slices, green onion, ginger and garlic in the wok
  • Turn and fold the pork belly using a slotted turner for about 8 minutes. You do not have to do it nonstop. Spread out the pork slices along the wok's walls and let it cook for 1 minute or so and then toss and turn the pork slices. You will notice pork fat is seeping out.
    pan fry pork belly slices in the wok
  • If there is a lot of pork fat in the wok, then remove the pork slices and then scoop out most of the pork fat, and store it in a glass container, just leave a little bit to stir fry the vegetables later. Save the pork fat to make Fried Rice, Chow Mein, or Yang Chun Noodle later.
    PAN FRIED PORK BELLY SLICES AND PORK FAT
  • Add the pan-fried pork belly slices back to the wok and pour the stir fry sauce from the small bowl. Toss and turn for about 30 seconds.
    Stir fry pork slices for Twice Cooked Pork
  • Add leek and/or garlic leaves, as well as red bell pepper slices, and continue to toss, and turn for about 2 minutes, or till leek/garlic leaves wilt.
    Make twic cooked pork in the wok
  • All done! Enjoy a delicious twice-cooked pork dish. Pair with freshly made rice and enjoy an easy but super tasty meal.
    twice cooked pork {Hui Guo Rou}

Notes

  • This recipe has a very mild spicy level, suitable for all family members. If you prefer spicy food, then increase the doubanjiang to 1 tbsp. Store-bought doubanjiang is usually high in salt, you may want to then tone down the soy sauce level accordingly.
  • I like abundant vegetables, usually including about a half-pound (8 oz) of garlic leaves/leek. If you prefer this dish to be meatier, then only use about 4 oz. In that case, remember to dial down the soy sauce level to just 1 tbsp of dark and light soy sauce combination.
  • For the vegetable, you will need some strongly flavored ones such as garlic leaves. If you do not have garlic leaves, then use a combination of red onion and cabbage. Slice the cabbage with an angle to get consistently thin slices, similar to the thickness of red onion layers.
  • Remember to save the pork stock used to blanch the pork belly. They are perfect for making a delicious Hot and Sour Soup.
  • Natural soy sauce is called Jiang You {酱油} in Chinese, they are traditionally brewed and naturally aged soy sauce. Dark vs. Light Soy Sauce is a modern time Cantonese invention. You can generally substitute Jiang You with dark soy sauce.
  • Pi Xian DouBanJiang is a traditional Sichuan condiment made of specially fermented beans with peppers and spices.

Nutrition Information
Yield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 442Total Fat 25gSaturated Fat 9gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 15gCholesterol 95mgSodium 889mgCarbohydrates 23gFiber 2gSugar 3gProtein 31g

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

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