Boiled pork belly with garlic sauce (蒜泥白肉) is one of my favorite Sichuan cuisine dishes. It’s delicious, and it’s also a very popular dish in both Chinese and Taiwanese households.
When cooking you need to bring the pork belly to a boil over high heat and then simmer for about 1 hour. You can use a chopstick to poke the pork belly while cooking, and if the chopstick can go through the pork belly, then the pork belly is ready.
- 5 cups of water
- 1 tablespoon rice wine
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 star anise
- 2 cardamom pods
- 1 ounce/30 grams spring onion
- 2 knobs ginger (each about 1-inch)
- 2 pounds 3 ounces pork belly
- 1 cucumber (thinly sliced)
- Optional: 1 tablespoon roasted crushed peanuts
- For the Garlic Sauce:
- 3 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon black vinegar
- 1 drizzle white sesame oil (or blended sesame oil)
- 1 ounce/30 grams garlic (peeled and finely chopped)
Gather the ingredients.
Place the water, rice wine, salt, star anise, cardamom pods, spring onion, and ginger into a stockpot. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add the pork belly and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 1 hour until the pork is cooked—test by piercing the pork with a chopstick. The chopsticks should go through the meat easily. Set aside to cool. Reserve stock.
Place all the ingredients for the garlic sauce in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of stock from the stockpot and mix well. Set aside for at least 30 minutes.
Using a sharp knife, slice the cooled pork into 3mm (1/8-inch) thick slices.
Arrange the pork on a serving plate with the cucumbers. Garnish with crushed peanuts if desired. Serve with the garlic sauce.
- Try to slice the pork belly as thin as possible so you won’t feel the pork belly is so greasy and heavy to eat.
- Crushed peanut is an optional extra, but it does add extra flavor and texture to the dish. If you have a peanut allergy or think it’s too much hassle then leave it. It won’t affect the flavor of this dish too much.
- You can add some chili oil or Sichuan pepper oil if you like your food hot and spicy.