This is a famous dish of the Sichuan cuisine. Interestingly, I have never found one Shanghainese restaurant here in Hong Kong not listing this Double Cooked or Twice Cooked Pork Slices on their menu. A possible reason is that they love spicy food as well. Added to this, my guess is, this dish is just too simple to adapt because unlike other Sichuan foods, which require lots of spices and different types of chilies, the key ingredients for making this dish include only chili bean sauce, pork slices, green and red chili peppers.
As the name suggests, we have to cook the pork twice. First it has to be cooked by boiling or steaming. After the meat is done and cut into slices, return it to wok again for stir frying with other ingredients. Actually its Chinese name 回鍋肉 (huí ɡuō ròu in Mandarin) literally means ‘return to wok and cook the meat again’.
- 50g lean pork or pork belly
- 300g cabbage (about half a cabbage)
- 1 pc dried tofu
- 1 red chili pepper
- 1 green chili pepper
- 1 sprig spring onion, cut into sections
- 3 slices ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp oil
- Marinades for Pork
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp yellow wine
- 1/4 white pepper
- 1 tbsp sweet flour paste
- 1 tsp chili bean sauce
- salt to taste (~1/2 tsp)
- Replacement for Sweet Flour Paste
- I don’t use this paste very often, so when it is not available in my stock, I will make my own fake sweet flour paste (above in dark-brown) by combining the use of the followings, which altogether replaces 1 table spoon of the sweet flour paste,
- 1 tsp soy bean paste
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp water
- Yet when I am served with Roasted Peking Duck, I would not allow any replacements but the real sweet flour paste. Just side track a bit as I am so reminded of the fragrant, crispy Peking Duck.
Mix the marinades and rub them over the rinsed pork. Cover or wrap it properly and store in fridge over night. After marinading, steam the pork over medium heat for about 15 minutes. Check doneness of meat and slice them into about 2mm thickness after cool .
Rinse ingredients as required. Cut cabbage and deseed peppers into wedges. Slice dried tofu slightly thicker than pork (don’t make them too thin or it will be easily broken into pieces while stir frying).
Heat oil in wok, sauté garlic and ginger over medium heat until fragrant, sprinkle wine on wok and add chili paste. Toss in pork and dried tofu, keep stir frying them for 1 minute or so. Turn to high heat, put in peppers, cabbage, continue to stir fry them constantly till the vegetables evenly take up the sauce. Then pour in the sweet flour sauce, spring onion and stir well – do not allow the ingredients to lump together in the center but turn and flip them evenly along the heated wok surface. Add salt to taste. Serve hot.
I am quite satisfied with this dish even with the faked sauce. But frankly I might switch to pork belly again next time cause the lean meat is slightly drier. Besides if bamboo shoots are still in season, I will also include a few slices of them. Enjoy, whichever.
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