Sichuan Crispy Fried Pork

Sichuan fried crispy pork is an underrated Sichuan dish. It is extremely popular in Sichuan kitchens especially for birthday parties and other meetings together meals. With very basic ingredients, fried pork creates the aromatic crispy shell and tender meat inside.

Sichuan crispy pork|chinasichuanfood.com

The most popular way of serving this is to eat directly with the dry mix. Crispy pork (酥肉) is also a great ingredient for hot pot, stews, and soups. In each Sichuan hot pot restaurant, crispy is the top-recommended dish. We usually make a larger batch since deep-frying is quite time-consuming. Sometimes, we save them for later soups and stews. But in most cases, we share them with our families and neighbors.  It works fine as a gift because of the long storage time.

The batter I used in this recipe is a little bit thick, so the crispy pork is hard fried dish (硬炸). Since the batter contains less water, it becomes crispy and stiff after deep-frying. On the contrast, there is also a soft fried dishes (软炸) in Chinese cuisine. The most famous ones inside China are soft fried shrimp and soft fried pork tenderloin.  For all hard fried dishes, fat is quite important to avoid the shell from drying out. Pork belly is the most frequently used cut for crispy pork in traditional ways. But I feel it is too fatty so I choose to use pork butt this time. If you insist with pork belly, remember to choose leaner pork belly.

Important ingredients

Sweet potato flour (红薯粉) is an extremely popular flour used in many Chinese cuisines including Szechuan cuisine. We made a large bag using the sweet potatoes growing in our own field each year. Most of the sweet potato flour is coarse-textured, which will give the characteristic crumbly texture on the surface. You can try to search it in Asian grocers, otherwise, mix cornstarch and all-purpose flour.

Sichuan peppercorn (花椒) also known as Szechuan pepper, Szechuan peppercorn, or Sichuan peppercorn is an important and popular spice used in China, especially in Sichuan cuisine. And recently some readers from USA told me that it is called Chinese prickly ash as well in the US. High quality of Sichuan pepper is named as one of the two hearts of thousands of Sichuan style dishes. Sichuan peppercorn is the highlight of the dish, adding a very unique flavor in a small part of the dish. We usually use whole Sichuan peppercorn in our crispy pork. But if you hate biting Sichuan peppercorn seeds, you can use ground Sichuan peppercorn power in the batter.

Sichuan crispy pork|chinasichuanfood.com

Cook’s Note

  1. I have made a big batch this time, you can make only 1/4 of this for one time serving.
  2. If you make a big batch too, think about your heating preference first. If you want to re-heat by deep-frying again, you can store that crispy pork after the first time deep-frying. Re-heating will work as the second time frying. For microwave reheating, fry twice as the instructions.
  3. You can use the leftover fried crispy pork in soups and stews as a semi-finished ingredient.
  4. Choose the right cut of pork is extremely important for this dish. Pork butt and pork belly are the only two options. The fat contained help to make the inside tender and juicy.

Sichuan crispy pork|chinasichuanfood.com

Ingredients

  • 1000g pork butt or leaner pork belly
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp. salt, divided
  • 1 tbsp. shaoxing cooking wine
  • 1 tbsp. Sichuan peppercorn
  • 1 tbsp. oyster sauce
  • oil for deep-frying
  • 500g sweet potato starch
  • 1/2 tbsp. white pepper
  • 5 middle size eggs
  • 100ml water for adjusting

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Depending on the size of your egg,  the water amount might be different.

In a large bowl, mix sweet potato starch with 1/2 tablespoon of salt. And crack eggs in. Then slightly add water until the batter can hold shapes for 2-3 seconds and just running. Combine well and set aside for 30 minutes.

Sichuan crispy pork|chinasichuanfood.com

Cut the pork butt into small strips around 3cm wide. Transfer to a bowl and marinate with salt, white pepper and Sichuan peppercorn. Mix the pork strips in.

Sichuan crispy pork|chinasichuanfood.comSichuan crispy pork|chinasichuanfood.com

Heat oil to 160 to 170 degree C, and slide the pork strips in. Fry for around 3 minutes over medium fire until slightly browned. Transfer out and strain oil.

Sichuan crispy pork|chinasichuanfood.com

Heat oil to 200 degree C (almost smoky), place the fried pork in. Quickly fry for 20 to 30 seconds until golden brown. Serve hot. If you want a hotter version, you can serve with a dry dip.

Sichuan crispy pork|chinasichuanfood.com

Sichuan crispy pork|chinasichuanfood.com

Sichuan Crispy Fried Pork

Sichuan deep-fried crispy pork

Ingredients

  • 1000g pork butt or leaner pork belly
  • 1 and ½ tbsp. salt, divided
  • 1 tbsp. shaoxing cooking wine
  • 1 tbsp. Sichuan peppercorn
  • 1 tbsp. oyster sauce
  • oil for deep-frying

Coating Batter

  • 500g sweet potato starch
  • ½ tbsp. white pepper
  • 5 middle size eggs
  • 100ml water for adjusting

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, mix sweet potato starch with ½ tablespoon of salt. Crack eggs in. Then slightly add water until the batter can hold shapes for 2-3 seconds and just running. Combine well and set aside for 30 minutes.
  2. Cut the pork butt into small strips around 3cm wide. Transfer to a bowl and marinate with 1 tablespoon of salt, white pepper and Sichuan peppercorn.
  3. Mix the pork strips in.
  4. Heat oil to 160 to 170 degree C, and slide the pork strips in. Fry for around 3 minutes over medium fire until slightly browned. Transfer out and strain oil.
  5. Heat oil to 200 degree C (almost smoky), place the fried pork in. Quickly fry for 20 to 30 seconds until golden brown. Serve hot. If you plan a hotter version, you can serve with a dry dip.

Notes

Hot dipping note: add 1 tablespoon of Chili pepper flakes and 1 tablespoon of ground cumin. Heat over slowest fire until aromatic. Transfer out to cool down.

 

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Sichuan crispy pork

This article was published by chinasichuanfood.com. Click here to read the original.

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