Twice-Cooked Pork with Leek & Capsicum

This is a truly delicious Sichuan-inspired dish. The pork belly is twice-cooked, rendering it melt-in-the-mouth tender. It’s one of my favourite Sichuan dishes and it can be enhanced by stir-frying some slices of firm tofu with the pork. If you want to try it with the tofu, just add it to the wok when you add the leeks.

Ingredients

  • 400 g (14 oz) piece of boneless pork belly
  • 1 leek, cut into julienne
  • 1 red capsicum (pepper), cut into julienne
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • 2 long red chillies, finely sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • teaspoons shaoxing
  • teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • teaspoon light soy sauce
  • teaspoons hot bean paste
  • teaspoons sweet bean paste
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chicken stock
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar

Method

In a medium pot, boil enough water to cover the pork. Add the pork to the boiling water, reduce the heat and cook at a bare simmer for 30 minutes, or until the meat is tender. Drain, let it cool, and then cut it into very fine slices.

Heat the oil in a wok or deep-fryer until just smoking (180°C/350°F), and deep-fry the pork in batches for just long enough to slightly colour the meat, then drain on paper towel. Pour all but 2 tablespoons of oil from the wok.

Reheat the oil in the wok until just smoking. Add the leek, capsicum, chilli and garlic and stir-fry until fragrant. Deglaze the wok with shaoxing, add the soy sauces, bean pastes, stock and sugar, and return the pork to the wok and stir-fry for another 2 minutes.