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Huiguo Rou (Twice Cooked Pork 回锅肉)

Huiguo Rou (Twice Cooked Pork  回锅肉)

What is it?
Huiguo rou or twice cooked pork, (sometimes “double cooked pork”) is one of the most popular Sichuan dishes. The recipe sees pork ribs boiled first in hot water with ginger and salt, and then cooked again in a wok with Sichuan peppercorns, cabbage and bell peppers. So the dish gets is name for the meat that is returned to the wok, after an initial cooking in the pot.

Why is it famous?
According to folklore, the dish originated in the Qing Dynasty when the Qianglong Emperor (1735-1796) was touring Sichuan. He demanded a feast at every stop he made around the province. When he approached one particular village, the villagers were aghast. The crops had not been harvested and there was insufficient food to host the emperor.

So they hastily put their (already cooked) leftovers together and threw them into a wok. Clearly hygiene was not a primary concern, however illustrious the visitor. But to their surprise, he enjoyed it tremendously.

Where to eat it?
The Sichuan Provincial Office Restaurant in Beijing is one of the most popular destinations for Sichuan food in the country’s capital. 5 Gongyuan Toutiao, Jianguomennei Dajie, Beijing (Tel: 86-10-6512-2277), remember to make a reservation before you go; or try Tao Ran Ju, Kuntai Building, 12 Chaowai Dajie, West of Landao Centre (Tel: 86-10-6599-3330). In Chongqing, the restaurant Yangji Longfu pioneers a form of cuisine called “jiang hu cai”. Jianghu, which literally translates as “rivers and lakes,” is a counterculture represented by workers who’ve forged their living with the skill of their own two hands. In other words, the cuisine is informal and approachable. Address: Number 7, 32 Linjiang Zhi Road, Chongqing;Tel: 86-23-8655-8989.

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