This Sichuan Three Pepper Pork Belly Stir-fry is based on one of my favorite restaurant dishes, Sichuan Three Pepper Chicken. Instead of using chicken, however, I’ve decided to use crispy chunks of pork belly!
The inspiration for this variation comes from one of our family’s favorite restaurants and the discovery of a “Three Pepper” fatty pork intestine dish, which doesn’t sound like it could possibly be good, but is off the charts in terms of how delicious it is (and probably how unhealthy it is).
That doesn’t stop us from ordering it every so often, though. Judy’s dark secret is that she loves offal, so when she gets a craving, she can’t be stopped! Though even we have to admit that preparing and frying pork intestines is a bit much for us to stomach as home cooks.
So I improvised and used pork belly to get a similar flavor at home! Because with a restaurant charging up to $16 an order and $12 for a side of veggies, why not cook at home for a fraction of the cost?
Serve with Rice & A Vegetable!
This dish must be enjoyed with bowls of white rice, and I recommend also serving it alongside a nice healthy stir-fried vegetable dish, like a simple stir-fried bok choy or stir-fried pea tips with garlic to balance out the meal. For anyone less familiar with spicy Sichuan food, a tall cool glass of water nearby would be refreshing, if not prudent.
Given how many variations on “three pepper” dishes we’ve had, in my humble opinion, this dish is the pinnacle, the apex, the zenith of Sichuan cooking! You can obviously see that I’m pretty fond of my Sichuan peppers and even more fond of this Sichuan Three Pepper Pork Belly Stir-fry.
Sichuan Three Pepper Pork Belly: Recipe Instructions
Heat your wok with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil until just smoking, and add the pork belly.
Stir fry the pork belly, turning down the heat to medium and cooking the pork until just crispy and browned (about 6 minutes). Remove the crispy pork belly from the wok and set aside.
Turn the wok back up to high heat, and add the long hot green peppers to the leftover oil from frying the pork belly. Stir-fry until just scorched, but not wilted, and set aside along with the crispy pork belly.
At this point, there should still be leftover oil in the wok. Turn the heat down to medium, and add the ginger. Gently stir until fragrant. Add the dried red chili peppers, garlic, and the Sichuan peppercorns if you are using the whole peppercorns.
Some people enjoy the whole peppercorns, but others don’t–especially if you bite into one! For this dish, I don’t mind them whole, but if you would rather grind them or use Sichuan Peppercorn Powder, hold off on adding them to the dish at this point.
Gently stir-fry for another 30 seconds. It’s important to toast the dried peppers and garlic but not burn them, or it will result in a bitter flavor!
Next, turn the heat back up to high, and stir in the pork belly and peppers you set aside before. If you’re using the ground Sichuan peppercorns or Sichuan peppercorn powder, add them to the dish now.
Add the scallions on top, and stir fry for another 60 seconds until the crispy pork belly pieces are well-coated with all the spices.
Make sure you serve the Sichuan Three Pepper Pork Belly Stir-Fry with plenty of white rice!