Szechuan Twice-Cooked Pork

My version of the ever-popular Szechuan Chinese stir-fry. made easy for the American Kitchen!

Szechuan Twice-Cooked Pork

A take-off on the classic Chinese pork dish with a simple preparation.

I have to admit, the title of this recipe is a little bit misleading. Usually, twice-cooked pork is made using pork belly. First the pork belly is braised with some seasonings and spices, then sliced and cooked as a stir-fry. It results in a nice tender, flavorful pork dish.
In this recipe, I am using pork tenderloin, because it is what I had set aside for cooking when I cam across the baby bok choy and wanted to make twice-cooked pork. But of course, we can’t cook pork tenderloin twice without ruining it. And since the reason for cooking pork belly twice is to achive a tender texture, we don’t have to worry about braising the pork tenderloin to make it tender. Pork tenderloin IS tender.
But that being said, the nice flavors that work their way into the pork belly while it braises would be lost in a tenderloin if we don’t take steps to make sure they get in there. So in this recipe, I have mixed up a nice marinade which includes all the essential flavors of twice-cooked pork and the great thing is, it also doubles as a sauce.
While we may not be using the traditional method, this may in fact be something quite more delicious (and having tasted it I can assure you it is) and everything I would look for in twice-cooked pork I found doing the recipe this way, if not even easier.

Twice-Cooked Pork platter

Ingredients:

  • 1-1.25 pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed, and sliced into medallions
  • Marinade ingredients:
    1/3 cup shaoxing cooking wine
    1 tablespoon miso paste
    1 tablespoon Korean gochujang paste
    1 tablespoon Korean ssamjang paste
    1 teaspoon garlic paste
    1 teaspoon ginger paste
    1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
    1 teaspoon five spice powder
    1 teaspoon sugar
    1/2 teaspoon ground szechuan peppercorns, sifted to remove grit
    1 tablespoon regular sesame oil (not the dark toasted type) or substute peanut oil or the equivalent
  • Stir-fry ingredients:
    6 ounces “Shanghai junior” baby bok choy (or as small as you can get)
    1 large onion, coarsely chopped
    1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
    1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
    1 bunch scallions, cut into finger lengths
    peanut oil
    5-6 dried whole hot red chiles
    1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
    1 teaspoon ginger, chopped

Method:

  1. Marinate pork in the marinade for at least 6 hours or preferably overnight.
  2. Drain marinade from pork and reserve.
  3. Heat oil in wok and add hot chiles.
  4. Cook briefly, then add ginger, garlic, onion, bell peppers and bok choy.
  5. Cook several minutes until crisp-tender, then add scallions.
  6. Cook briefly then pour vegetables into a bowl and keep warm.
  7. Heat more oil in wok and add drained pork; cook until cooked through then add remaining marinade to the wok and cook until it reduces somewhat.
  8. Add vegetables back to the wok with the pork and cook a minute or so until it is all hot.
  9. Serve with rice.

Twice-Cooked Pork

You might also like:

Chinese Sticky Sesame Chicken Wings

Hen of the Woods Soup

Cantonese Chop Suey on Pan Fried Noodles

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