Sticky Szechuan Pork with Sesame Seeds

Part two of our Chinese take-out at home consisted of a delicious, sticky pork stir fry with white rice. If you are luckier than me and have a full sized range, I’d encourage you to dress up the rice a bit, but I just didn’t have the space to prepare a fancy rice dish alongside two other plates. Typical New York City problems…

This was yet another recipe from John Gregory-Smith’s Mighty Spice with only a few substituions. His recipe calls for pork belly, but due to a lack of availability, I used Chinese style spareribs instead. Unfortunately, they were not as boneless as the store stated, which made things a little tricky. However, the dish turned out quite well flavor-wise and I imagine would have been infinitely better with a higher quality of pork. The original recipe also calls for 4 dried red chilis, which I substituted with red pepper flake as I already had that on hand.

Sticky Szechuan Pork with Sesame Seeds

  • 2 tbsp veggie oil
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 6 star anise
  • 1 1/4 pound boneless Chinese spareribs, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1″ piece fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 cup jasmine rice, cooked to package instructions

Heat the oil in a wok or Dutch ven over hight heat. Once the oil is smoking, add in the red pepper flake and star anise and stir fry for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the pork, ginger and salt and continue to stir fry for 2-3 minutes until the pork starts to brown.

Pour 2 cups of hot water over the pork, which should be just enough to cover everything. Give it a good stir and bring up to a boil. Cover and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Remove the pork and skim the fat off the top with a slotted spoon.

Whisk together the vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl, then add to the pot. Bring the heat up to high and cook, stirring continuously for 5 minutes, or until the sauce reduces by half.

Return the pork to the pot and add the sesame seeds. Stir fry for another 2-3 minutes until the sauce becomes really thick and sticky and the pork is well coated. Serve immediately over rice.


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