Recipe Project #62: Pretty good not bad Szechuan Pork


Awhile back, one of us picked up some beautifully thin-sliced pork at the Asian market. I made some fabulous fried rice with it several nights in a row. It was so fabulous that we wanted more, and so one of us grabbed another package of pork — a package that turned out to be sliced pork belly instead. It’s a big package, too: enough for three meals, easily. All of my earmarked pork belly recipes call for slabs that can be braised or smoked or confited, none of which is useful for dealing with slices. After rifling through several cookbooks and some frantic googling, Facebooking, and tweeting, Mr. Husband pulled the ever-reliable Asian: the essential recipe collection off the shelf. It contained this, which resulted in a more successful dinner than last night’s gamey pork belly pad see ew. It’s a bit reminiscent of a fried “bacon” dish we had years ago at Willow Gate in St. Paul. I’ll probably make it again tomorrow to use up the rest of the belly, but it won’t be a standard for us.

Spicy Szechuan Pork

10 oz pork belly, thinly sliced
1 tbsp vegetable or peanut oil
1 tbsp chili bean sauce
1 tbsp fermented black beans, rinsed and lightly mashed (I just used black bean sauce)
1 tsp sweet red bean paste (optional, I omitted it)
1 green bell pepper, finely sliced (I used yellow and orange)
1 red bell pepper, finely sliced
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp dark soy sauce
pinch of white pepper

Bring a pan of water to a boil and place the pork slices in the pan, then cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes, skimming occasionally. Let the pork cool and rest before slicing thinly.

In a preheated wok or deep pan, heat the oil and stir-fry the pork slices until they begin to shrink. Stir in the chili bean sauce, then add the black beans and the red bean paste, if using. Finally, toss in the bell peppers and the remaining ingredients and stir-fry for a couple of minutes.

I topped everything off with a handful of finely sliced green onions and served it over sticky rice.

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