Szechuan Twice-Cooked Pork, a.k.a. Double-Cooked Pork, is one of my favorites and thankfully available at most every Chinese restaurant where I live. It almost always consists of sliced pork, cabbage, black mushroom, scallions, and a brown sauce that is a blend of sweet and spicy.
I added a bit more color with red pepper and carrot in this preparation of about 4 servings.
I’ve learned that twice-cooked pork is traditionally made with pork belly (but I’ve not seen that in american restaurants). I decided to use inexpensive, lean chops instead.
First, I boiled three whole pork chops in water with salt and pepper, cooled them (with ice cubes in the water), then thinly sliced them diagonally so that cuts are across the grain and so the slices can be wider than the thickness of the chop.
To prepare the sauce: start with about a cup of stock (I made the stock with some granulated chicken-flavor instant bouillon and the water used to boil the pork), add minced fresh ginger and garlic (4 cloves), coarse ground black pepper, sugar or honey (1-2 T.), soy sauce (2-3 T.), oyster sauce (4 T.), rice vinegar (1-2 T.), a dry red wine (1 T.), black bean paste (1 T.), chili garlic sauce (1-3 T.), and a couple teaspoons of corn starch. Be sure to taste-test the sauce for the right balance of sweet, sharp (vinegar), and spicy. There’s plenty of salt in soy sauce and bean paste, so don’t add salt!
This resulted in about 2 cups sauce before reduction, which worked well, since I like my pork saucy, like my … oh you know the joke.
To fry: in canola oil, stir-fry the pork slices to brown edges, coat with some sauce, then remove. Next stir-fry the vegetables, occasionally adding sauce slowly (to coat and reduce): carrot, green and red bell pepper, scallions, then sliced black mushroom (fresh or reconstituted), and then chopped cabbage and scallion greens. Return the pork to the pan, add remaining sauce and reduce to your liking.
Serve with sticky rice and enjoy!
I read a lot of recipes and watched videos while researching this one. Here are some of the most useful:
“Chinese Twice Cooked Pork”
– I really like this guy’s amateur video… he seems like a kindred spirit. :-) He would have been fine if he’d just stir-fried the pork before putting in the vegetables that release moisture.
– This chef shows an interesting stir-fry technique and a minimal recipe.
“Double Cooked Pork Slices”
UPDATE (March 2013):
I’ve made this dish many times, most recently with pork shoulder roast ($1.99/lb.) and skipped the mushroom and substituted white onion for scallions, simply because I didn’t have them on hand. It always comes out great.