Here's a different but totally authentic Sichuan preparation of our much loved pork belly!
The long slow cooking followed by stir frying provides a meltingly tender and rich dish - simply delicious with the heat from the hot chili sauce!
approximately 1 kg pork belly
6 whole spring onions
6 slices peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon salt
6 spring onions, chopped
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
1.5 tablespoons hot chili bean sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine or dry sherry
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Take a large pan, fill with water and bring to the boil. Immediately add the pork belly, whole spring onions, sliced ginger and 1 tablespoon of salt. Reduce the heat to a simmer and place a tight fitting lid on the pot. Now allow the pork belly to cook at a simmer for 90 minutes. The wonderful flavours of the spring onions and the ginger will permeate the pork as it cooks - it will smell great too!
After 90 minutes, remove the belly pork and set to one side, allowing it to cool thoroughly. Discard the cooking liquid.
When cooled completely, using a very sharp knife, carefully slice the the belly into 6mm (1/4 inch) slices.
Now take a wok or large frying pan and heat quickly. Over a moderately high heat add the vegetable oil and then the pork belly slices and stir fry for around 8 to 10 minutes (depending upon the heat) until the remaining fat starts to crisp up. Now drain off any excess oil and immediately add the finely chopped ginger and garlic and stir fry for no more than 30 seconds, being careful not to allow the garlic to burn or brown!
Add the chopped spring onions and stir fry for a further 3 minutes over a slightly reduced heat, before finally adding the chili bean sauce (available from many supermarkets and all asian food stores), the rice wine or dry sherry, soy sauce, sugar and salt again stir frying and mixing well for another 3 minutes.
Turn off the heat, place into a serving dish and serve immediately with boiled rice and chinese vegetables.
This simple dish combines wonderfully the richness of the pork, the heat of the chili and the wonderful warmth and flavours of the ginger, soy and spring onions - please try this at home, I guarantee you will not be disappointed!