Sichuan Double-Cooked Pork Belly

Thoughts on cooking Sichuan Double-Cooked Pork Belly from J. Kenji Lopez-Alt’s _The Wok_ cookbook.

Tonight's The Wok meal was Lopez-Alt’s second “Chunking Pork, Two Ways” recipe: “Sichuan Double-Cooked Pork Belly.” Last week was the first of the two recipes.

This rendition was a little more involved by first boiling pork belly in lightly spiced water, and it required another ingredient I don’t keep on hand: tianmianjiang (“sweet fermented bean paste”).

Boiling the pork first wasn’t difficult, but added time. Not only the fifteen minutes spent boiling, but another 30 minutes to cool in the fridge before slicing. The hardest part was then slicing the pork belly into the appropriately thin slices. I’d guess maybe half of the pork ended up the right thickness.

I found tianmianjiang at my local Asian market. I looked myself first and then asked if I had found the correct ingredient. I had not, and they helpfully showed me to what I needed.

The stir-fry was straightforward. The big difference between this recipe and last week’s is the addition of the tianmianjiang and doubanjiang (“Sichuan broad bean chile sauce”) along with the douchi. The doubanjiang gave the dish a bit more kick.

The meal was tasty. I enjoyed the extra spice. My son ate a portion of it, so it couldn’t have been too spicy. My daughter chose not to try it. My wife said it tasted good but found the pork belly “unwieldy.” Perhaps smaller pieces would have helped.

I am cooking my way through J. Kenji Lopez-Alt’s The Wok cookbook. Read more about it.