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Homestyle Suanni Bairou (蒜泥白肉) Sichuan Garlic Pork

The Mala Market
Author: Kathy Yuan | The Mala Market | Inspiration & Ingredients for Sichuan Cooking


  • mortar and pestle


  • 4-5 slices fresh ginger, washed
  • 1 scallion, washed and chopped into segments
  • 1 teaspoon whole huajiao (Sichuan pepper)
  • splash any rice cooking wine (liaojiu)
  • ½ pound pork belly, minimum 70% lean, skin-on preferred approx. 220 grams
  • 7-8 cloves fresh garlic, peeled minimum 10% of pork belly by weight. Err on the side of more
  • small pinch salt
  • ½ celtuce or cucumber, peeled and thinly slivered
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce (laochou, Zhongba preferred)
  • ½ tablespoon light soy sauce (shengchou, Zhongba preferred)
  • 1 tablespoon hongyou (red oil from Sichuan chili oil) see Notes
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes from chili oil see Notes
  • ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil (Cuizi preferred)
  • large pinch sugar to taste


  • In a medium pot, add the pork, ginger, smashed scallion, huajiao, a generous pour of cooking wine and enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer over low-medium heat for 15 minutes. Skim away the scum that rises to the surface. Test for doneness by poking the center of the meat through the skin with a chopstick—it should slide through easily with little resistance, and the juices should run clear. Turn off the heat and cover the pot so the meat can soak and finish cooking through residual heat, another 10-15 minutes.
    Transfer the soaked pork to a cutting board and let it cool while you prepare the dressing. If preparing ahead of time, let the meat cool in the fridge. The rested and cooled meat will be easier to slice.
  • Roughly chop the smashed garlic and pound into paste with a small pinch of salt using the mortar and pestle. The soy sauce you’ll add later is salty too, so salt with a very light hand at this step.
    *Optional: You can add a tiny bit of sesame oil to keep the garlic color from oxidizing if you prepare this step ahead of time.
  • In a small bowl or glass, add the garlic paste, dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, chili oil, toasted sesame oil and a big pinch of sugar. Mix well to combine.
  • Thinly slice the cooled pork (skin-side down). Aim for as thin and uniform as possible. The thinner your slices, the more slices you’ll get out of the strip, and the more dramatic your final plating will be.
  • In the center of a large serving plate, assemble the slivered celtuce in a tall circular mound. Arrange the pork belly slices around the mound, layering them neatly in the order they were sliced for the most uniform look. Gently spoon some of the garlic and chili flake bits from the dressing bowl over the slices to distribute the solid bits evenly. Pour or continue spooning the rest of the liquid dressing over the rest of the pork belly, allowing the red oil to pool generously at the foot of the mound.


To make Kathy's family's Sichuan homestyle lajiaoyou using roasted rapeseed oil and fragrant-hot ground chilies, see her Traditional Sichuan Chili Oil recipe. Or, for the ultra-mouthwatering 香辣 (xiānglà)/fragrant-hot version, see the Aromatic Sichuan Chili Oil recipe!