About the recipe
Chilli bean sauce is a staple sauce used in Sichuan cooking. It comes in many different grades of quality and degree of fermentation, just like a good bottle of wine. Some are aged for 2-3 three years and others for 10 years. It is a prized ingredient used in Chinese cookery. Most of the chilli bean pastes in the west can only be found in a Chinese supermarket, make sure you find one without MSG. It gives dishes a salty beany spicy taste and delicious in a quick braised pork belly dish like this one. Use sparingly as can be quite spicy! This is a hearty dish and great served with Jasmine rice to mop up all the spicy flavours. Serve with some wok-fried pak choy or greens.
Groundnut oil -
2 cloves, chopped
2 cm piece, peeled and grated
Red chilli -
4 large, seeds removed and chopped
Chinese dried mushroom -
4, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes, stems removed and thickly sliced
Pork belly -
350g / 0.77 lb, no bone and skin removed, chopped into 2cm x 1cm pieces
1 large, cut into 1 inch batons
Boiling water -
250mll / 1.05 cups
Chilli bean sauce [do-ban jian] -
3 tbsp, available from Chinese supermarkets
Dark soy sauce -
Low sodium light soy sauce -
Spring onion -
4 large, sliced lengthways
- Heat the groundnut oil in a wok over a high heat and fry the garlic, ginger, and chillies for a few seconds.
- Add the pork, and fry briskly for 2 minutes or until it begins to brown. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 2 minutes, stirring constantly.Add the chopped aubergine and stir-fry for another 2 minutes.
- Pour in the boiling water, chilli bean sauce, and the dark and light soy sauces. Simmer, uncovered, until the meat is tender and the aubergines are soft - this should take around 20 minutes. If the sauce becomes thick, add a few tablespoons of water.
- To serve, scatter the stew with spring onions and accompany with steamed rice.