Sichuan food is hot, spicy, and sensual, and the chilli is one of the mainstays of that region’s cuisine. Unlike in the West, restaurants there do not offer chillies in oil or a paste at the table to augment tastes. Instead they season a dish before it arrives. Fragrant, roasted Sichuan peppercorns combined with freshly crushed dried chillies ensure that diners have a tasty dish, though not all chillies used are hot. In this recipe mild chilies are combined with thinly sliced pork to create a pleasing, nutritious dish which is colourful, fragrant, and flavourful. I discovered it in the Shu Feng Yuan restaurant/collective in Chengdu, Sichuan.
Cut the pork into
Cut the chillies in half lengthways and seed them.
Heat a wok or large frying pan until hot. Add 1½ tablespoons of the peanut oil and the pork and stir-fry for 1 minute. Remove the pork with a slotted spoon.
Reheat the wok or frying pan. Add the remaining oil. When it is very hot, add the fresh chillies, garlic, chilli powder, and peppercorns and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Then add the water, 1 tablespoon rice wine or sherry, soy sauce, and sugar and cook for another 30 seconds. Return the meat to the mixture and heat through. Stir well, turn onto a platter, and serve.
© 1990 Ken Hom. All rights reserved.