Twice Cooked Pork With Cabbage Recipe

Whether you're having a big dinner party with friends or a Friday night by yourself, you can usually bank on a classic Chinese dish that will be a big hit amongst all the diners. This twice cooked pork with cabbage sounds impressive and combines ingredients that create a super spicy, sweet authentic dish. However, this recipe developed by Ting Dalton isn't just really accessible and straightforward, it pairs super simple ingredients to create a really delicious meal.

Sliced pork belly is the star of the show in this twice-cooked pork recipe. However, it's the combination of garlic, ginger, five-spice powder, Shaoxing wine, and dark soy sauce that really make it sing. Dalton teams the pork up with steamed rice and cabbage to create a really interesting and appealing plate of textures and flavors. They write that you can also add the pork and cabbage to ramen and soup to add a different twist.

You can adapt this recipe to your tastes. If you love spicy food then add more chili. Alternatively, if you prefer milder flavors then you can pair it back.

Gather your ingredients

This recipe packs a serious punch. Its subtle ingredients cook down into a distinct and deeply flavorful whole. The pork belly takes center stage, here, lending savory depth. If you aren't confident with cooking pork belly, which may be a new ingredient for some home cooks, then feel free to ask your butcher for advice. Ensure you have all of your ingredients out and measured out in front of you before you begin to save any stress during cooking, a step that's known amongst professional chefs as mise en place.

To make this recipe, you will need 1 pound of pork belly that's been sliced into 1-inch cubes. Be sure to also get 3 cloves garlic, crushed, 2 slices of ginger, 1 teaspoon five-spice powder, 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 2 cups water, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce, 2 teaspoons sugar, 2 greens onions, sliced, 1 Chinese cabbage, leaves washed and separated, and 1 tablespoon oyster sauce. The type of Chinese cabbage you will need here is also often called Napa cabbage and will come in an oblong head of tightly packed light green or nearly white leaves.

Simmer the pork belly

Heat 2 cups of water in a large wok or pan until it's boiling. Once the water is properly hot, drop the pork pieces into the pan and bring them to a simmer. Ensure all of your pork pieces are the same size so they'll take the same amount of time to cook and will do so evenly.

Simmer the pork in this way for 10 minutes. Once the time is up, drain the pan or wok well and put the cooked pork to one side. Sure, this may seem like an extra step but, by cooking the pork first in the boiling water, you're ensuring that you remove any impurities and will also tenderize the meat. It also renders out some of the pork fat, which could otherwise leave an unsightly and unpleasant grease slick on your final dish.

Prepare the soy sauce mix

Once you've put the pork pieces in the wok or pan of water you can make a start on the soy sauce and five-spice powder mix which will create a flavorful sauce that will then coat the pork pieces later. In a large bowl mix together the dark soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, sugar, and five-spice powder. Make sure that you measure out the ingredients exactly or you won't get the taste you're looking for, as the balance of these flavors is key to getting the final character of this twice cooked pork just right. 

Once all of the ingredients are in the bowl, simply stir them well to combine. Ensure that the five-spice powder is fully incorporated into the mix and the sugar is dissolved in order to avoid a grainy texture. Set this mixture aside, but don't put it too far away — you'll be using it shortly.

Stir fry your ingredients

Once your pork has been cooked the first time and your soy mixture is made, you can move on to the second cooking stage. First, wipe down the wok or large pan you've used and then heat one tablespoon of vegetable oil in it to medium-high heat. When it's hot add two cloves of garlic, ginger slices, green onions, and pork pieces. Let the pork begin to brown and then add the soy sauce and five-spice mixture to the wok. Combine well and then add the water.

At this point, you can turn the heat down and cover the wok or pan. Cook this mixture on low heat for one hour until the pork is really tender. If you feel it needs more water you can keep adding it during cooking. If the sauce is still a little runny, mix the cornstarch with one tablespoon of water and then add it into the pork mixture and allow it to thicken. 

Remember to take out the ginger pieces before serving the final meal, as they add plenty of flavor but would be unpleasant to bite into while eating. If you'd like to add an extra kick of heat, you may also add in some freshly chopped chili to the pork during this stir frying step.

Cook the cabbage

At this point, the pork will be sticky, spicy, and utterly delightful. Cabbage arguably makes the best crunchy accompaniment to this savory main star. While the pork is still simmering, take another pan and bring it to medium heat with the remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add a clove of garlic and your cabbage leaves, which have been washed and separated from the main head of the cabbage

There's nothing worse than mushy cabbage, right? So while cabbage is wilting, keep an eye on it. As it softens, add the oyster sauce and stir to incorporate. It'll take between three and five minutes to fully wilt, but remember that you want the cabbage to be softer than its raw form, but it should still be able to hold its shape. As soon as the texture of the cabbage is just right, take it off the heat.

Serve the twice cooked pork and cabbage alongside rice

If you want to eat your twice-cooked pork and cabbage with a traditional carb, then steamed rice is ideal. This meal also works really well served on top of ramen noodles and alongside a simple soup. 

This recipe lends itself really well to different needs and tastes, especially when it comes to cooking with a shortened schedule. If you're short on time, you can cook the pork in a pressure cooker, where it'll take around 25 minutes to become tender. You might also consider experimenting with adding different spices to the mix, like chili flakes for added heat — though be aware that you should try to make this recipe as-is at least once, so you have a sense of the subtle flavors that go into this meal.

If you happen to have any leftovers of your twice cooked pork with cabbage, store them in an airtight container and put it in the refrigerator for two to three days. You could also store it in the freezer for up to three months.

Twice Cooked Pork With Cabbage Recipe
4.6 from 5 ratings
This twice cooked pork with cabbage sounds impressive and combines ingredients that create a super spicy, sweet authentic dish that everyone will love.
Prep Time
15
minutes
Cook Time
1.33
hours
Servings
4
servings
Finished Twice Cooked Pork With Cabbage
Total time: 1.58 hours
Ingredients
  • 1 lb pork belly sliced into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 1-inch slices ginger
  • 1 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 greens onions, sliced
  • 1 Chinese cabbage, leaves washed and separated
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
Optional Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
Directions
  1. Heat water in a large wok or pan and bring it to a boil. Drop the pork pieces into the water and bring them to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes, drain well, and put aside.
  2. While the pork is simmering, in a bowl mix the soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, sugar, and five-spice powder. Set aside.
  3. Wipe down the wok or large pan, then inside heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to medium-high heat. Add two cloves of garlic, ginger slices, green onions, and pork. Let the pork begin to brown and then add the soy sauce and five-spice mixture to the wok. Combine well and then add the water.
  4. Turn the heat down low and cover. Cook for one hour, until the pork is tender.
  5. If the sauce is runny, mix the cornstarch with one tablespoon of water and then add it to the pork mixture to thicken.
  6. While the pork mixture is cooking, in another large pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to medium heat and add one clove of garlic. Then add the cabbage leaves. As they begin to wilt, add the oyster sauce and carefully stir. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
  7. Serve cabbage and pork with rice.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 701
Total Fat 67.5 g
Saturated Fat 22.5 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 81.6 mg
Total Carbohydrates 10.3 g
Dietary Fiber 1.1 g
Total Sugars 2.9 g
Sodium 831.5 mg
Protein 12.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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