Sichuan food is my fave. My love of Chinese inspired cooking stems from many moons ago when I was a young girl – my parents, sister and I, every Saturday night, would set up camp on a towel on the living room floor in our Yorkshire home, in front of the fire, watching Blind Date, with a Chinese takeaway. I’ve loved it ever since, but only got acquainted with authentic Chinese food in my adult life.
I recently moved to a new flat in Streatham Hill and as soon as I got my new kitchen up and running, the first thing I wanted to make was Sichuan. Anything Sichuan. I popped to Dove & Sons at Clapham Junction and picked up a kilo of pork belly (yes, for two!) and dashed home to get going. Since I’ve moved I can’t find all my herbs and spices so I knew I needed something simple and so I decided to go for a hong-shao or red-brasing method, and cook my pork belly in a simple blend of soy sauce, sugar and spice.
(Recipe adapted from one of my favourite sites – China Sichuan Food)
- 500g pork belly cut into cubes around 2 inches
- 4 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 inches ginger (I always do mine in batons)
- 4 chopped spring onions
- 1 cup hot water
- Oil for brushing
- Boil a large pot of water, add a couple of batons of ginger and half the spring onions. Cook the pork belly for around four minutes and set aside and drain.
- Heat up a wok on medium heat and brush the bottom with oil. Sautee the pork belly until it’s slightly brown. Transfer the pork cubes out to a warmed pot.
- Put the brown sugar in the wok and stir fry until all the sugar melts and it bubbles. Keep stirring! Pour in around a cup of hot water and mix well.
- Return the pork belly into your wok and add the light soy sauce.
- Bring all the contents to the boil and lower to a simmer for 45 minutes with a lid on.
- Take off the lid and turn up the heat to thicken the sauce for around 15 minutes. Stop when you see large bubbles and the sauce has thickened.
- Garnish with some chopped green onions and serve with Chinese-style cabbage (recipe coming soon).