It is a classic Sichuan dish – pork belly slices with garlic sauce. It is my all-time favorite. Every piece of meat is thinly sliced and coated with that savory garlic sauce, so flavorful and garlicky. Hope you will enjoy it!
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Sliced Pork Belly With Garlic Sauce [蒜泥白肉]
Ingredients to cook the pork
Ingredients for the Sichuan sweet soy sauce
Ingredients for the sauce
- cucumber shreds
- diced cilantro
- Get a lean piece of pork belly with clear layers. That ensures your dish come out authentic.
- We gonna cook the pork in a seasoned liquid: - 5 slices of ginger, 8 cloves of garlic, 2 pieces of scallion, 2 pieces of bay leaves, 1 small stick of cinnamon, 1 piece of star anise, 1/2 tbsp of Sichuan peppercorn, 1/4 cup of Chinese cooking wine, 2 liters of water. Cover it and bring this to a boil. Then turn the heat to low. Simmer it for 40 minutes.
- At the same time, we can make 复制酱油, which is a Sichuan style sweet soy sauce. It is commonly used in many classic Sichuan dishes, such as mouthwatering spicy chicken (口水鸡), Zhong's spicy dumpling (钟水饺), sweet soy sauce noodles (甜水面), or other Sichuan cold dish (四川凉拌菜).
- You will need 1 cup of light soy sauce, 1/3 cup of brown sugar, 1/4 cup of water, 3 slices of ginger, a bunch of scallion, 1 star anise, 1 small stick of cinnamon, 1/2 of a black cardamom, 1 piece of bay leave, 1/2 tsp of fennel seeds, 1/2 tbsp of Sichuan peppercorn. Bring this to a boil. Turn the heat to low and simmer the soy sauce without the lid for 20 minutes. We want to slowly reduce the liquid to half. Take out the spices. You should have about 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp of liquid. You don’t need to measure it exactly, just eyeball it. Or you can tilt the pot and the sweet soy sauce should be thick enough to attach a thin layer of soy sauce at the bottom of the pot. Store this in a sealed container. It will stay good for 6 months at room temperature.
- Now let me show you how to use this sweet soy sauce to make the garlic sauce. You will need 15-18 cloves of garlic. Put them in the blender, add 3/8 tsp of salt and 2.5 tbsp of water. Blend them into a thick puree. The water amount is very little, you might need to shake the blender to get all the garlic pieces. To the garlic puree, add 1.5 tbsp of the sweet soy sauce that we made, 1 tbsp of regular light soy sauce, about 4 tbsp of hot chili oil. You can definitely adjust the heat level to your own preference. 4 tbsp if my limited. Just mix the sauce until everything is well combined. If you want, You can add some Sichuan peppercorn powder but in this dish, the garlic is the star, you don’t want other spices to take over the flavor.
- Let’s take a look of the pork. It should be tender enough to let the chopsticks poke through easily. You don’t want to cook it too long or else the pork will be too tender. Take it out and let it cool down for 30 minutes. Then slice it thinly. If the pork is too tender, you won’t be able to slice it as thin as you want because the meat will break apart, which affects the final presentation but doesn’t affect the flavor.
- Place some cucumber shreds in the middle of the plate. Put the pork slice over it and line them nicely. Top some cilantro and pour the sauce all over the meat. Enjoy!