Toasted chillies infuse these crisp pork morsels with a deep, smoky heat.
crispy jasmine tea-smoked duck
2 tablespoons Sichuan peppercorns 2 teaspoons fennel seeds 1 tablespoon coriander seeds 2 tablespoons cumin seeds 1 tablespoon Chinese five spice ¼ cup (30g) sea salt flakes, plus extra to serve 1.2kg whole duck, patted dry and halved lengthways
(backbone removed) 1 cup (200g) jasmine rice 1 cup (80g) jasmine tea leaves ½ cup (90g) brown sugar vegetable oil, for deep-frying ½ cup (100g) rice flour sweet soy-braised peanuts, to serve (see recipe, page 130) Place the peppercorns, fennel, coriander and cumin in a small frying pan and toast for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Place in a mortar, add the Chinese five spice and salt, and pound with a pestle until fine, or grind in a spice grinder. Place the duck on an oven tray and rub all over with the spice mixture. Refrigerate, uncovered, for 1 hour to absorb the spices. Remove the duck from the fridge and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Place the rice, tea leaves and sugar in a large bowl and mix to combine. Line a large, flameproof, deep-sided roasting tray with 2 layers of aluminium foil, add the rice mixture and spread evenly. Place a lightly greased wire rack in the dish, ensuring it sits above the rice mixture. Place the dish over high heat. Once the rice mixture begins to smoke, place the duck, skin-side up, on the rack. Cover tightly with aluminium foil, reduce heat to medium and smoke for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, place the duck on a plate and set aside to cool. Refrigerate, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
Half-fill a large saucepan with vegetable oil and heat until it reaches 190°C (375°F) on a deep-frying thermometer. Cut the duck into 8 pieces and dust with the rice flour. Fry, in batches, for 4–5 minutes or until crisp and deep golden. Drain on paper towel. Sprinkle with the extra salt and sweet soy-braised braised peanuts to serve. Serves 4–6.
hot and numbing pork belly
2 tablespoons Sichuan peppercorns, plus
2 tablespoons extra, crushed 1 teaspoon cumin seeds 3 teaspoons coriander seeds 800g boneless pork belly, rind removed and
cut into 2cm pieces ¼ cup (60ml) soy sauce 2 teaspoons caster (superfine) sugar ½ teaspoon sea salt flakes vegetable oil, for deep-frying ¼ cup (35g) self-raising (self-rising) flour 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 1 tablespoon shredded ginger 2 tablespoons sesame seeds 4 cups (120g) dried chillies 1 cup (140g) peanuts Place the peppercorns, cumin and coriander in a small frying pan over high heat and toast for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Place in a mortar and pound with a pestle until fine, or grind in a spice grinder. Place the pork belly, soy sauce, sugar, salt and ground spices in a large zip-lock plastic bag and toss to coat. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to marinate.
Fill a wok with 5cm of the oil and heat over high heat until the oil is smoking. Remove the pork from fridge, add the flour to the bag and shake to combine. Cook the pork, in batches, for 4 minutes or until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on an oven tray lined with paper towel.
Carefully pour the oil from the wok and discard, reserving ¼ cup (60ml) oil in the wok. Return the wok to high heat, add the garlic and ginger and cook for 2 minutes. Add the sesame seeds, dried chillies, peanuts and extra Sichuan peppercorns and cook for 1 minute. Return the pork to the wok and cook, tossing, for a further 2 minutes. Serve. Serves 4–6.
crispy-skin snapper with sichuan soy broth
vegetable oil, for shallow-frying 2 x 420g whole snapper, trimmed 1 tablespoon rice flour sea salt flakes ½ teaspoon ground white pepper micro (baby) radish sprouts, to serve
sichuan soy broth
¼ cup (60ml) soy sauce ¼ cup (60ml) Chinese cooking wine (Shaoxing) 1 tablespoon caster (superfine) sugar 2 teaspoons sesame oil 4 star anise 3 cups (750ml) water 10 dried chillies, chopped 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns To make the Sichuan soy broth, place the soy sauce, cooking wine, sugar, sesame oil, star anise, water, dried chilli and peppercorns in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes.
Fill a wok with 5cm of the oil and place over high heat. Slice 3 cuts into both sides of each fish. Place the rice flour, salt and pepper in a small bowl and mix to combine. Dust each fish well with the flour mixture. Carefully lower the fish, one at a time, into the oil and cook for 4–6 minutes each side or until light golden and crispy. Place the fish on a platter. Spoon over the broth and top with the radish sprouts to serve. Serves 4.
dry-fried chilli brisket
1 litre water 1½ cups (375ml) soy sauce 1 cup (250ml) Chinese cooking wine (Shaoxing) 1 cup (220g) caster (superfine) sugar 3 green onions (scallions), halved, plus 4 extra, cut into
3cm lengths 10cm-piece ginger, thinly sliced 1 head garlic, halved, plus 2 cloves extra, crushed 4 star anise 2 cinnamon sticks 6 strips orange peel 4 dried chillies 1.2kg beef brisket ¼ cup (60ml) vegetable oil 1 tablespoon grated ginger 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns, crushed black vinegar pickled sprouts and Sichuan chilli oil,
to serve (see recipes, page 130) Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Place the water, soy sauce, cooking wine, sugar, onion, ginger, garlic, star anise, cinnamon, orange peel and chillies in a large heavy-based ovenproof saucepan. Place over high heat and bring to a simmer. Add the brisket and cover with a lid. Cook in the oven for 2½ hours or until tender. Remove the brisket from the braising liquid, reserving the liquid. Shred the brisket and set aside.
Heat the oil in a wok over high heat until smoking. Cook the brisket, in batches, for 2 minutes or until golden and crisp. Remove and set aside. Add the grated ginger, peppercorns, brisket and extra garlic to the wok, and cook for 4 minutes. Add ½ cup (125ml) brisket cooking liquid and cook for a further 4 minutes or until dry and sticky. Add the extra green onion and toss for 1 minute. Serve the brisket with the black vinegar pickled bean sprouts and Sichuan chilli oil. Serves 4–6.
1 tablespoon fermented black beans+ 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 3 cloves garlic, crushed 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger ¼ cup (70g) chilli bean sauce+ ¼ cup (60ml) Chinese cooking wine (Shaoxing) 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1½ cups (375ml) water 1 teaspoon cornflour (cornstarch) 1 teaspoon ground white pepper 900g silken tofu, cut into cubes 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns, crushed purple basil leaves, to serve Place the black beans in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside to soak for 10 minutes. Drain.
Heat the oil in a large deep-sided frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 2 minutes. Place the black beans, chilli bean sauce, cooking wine, soy sauce, water and cornflour in a small bowl and mix to combine. Add to the pan and bring to a simmer. Add the pepper and tofu, and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the tofu is hot and sauce has reduced slightly. Top with the peppercorns and basil to serve. Serves 4–6. + You can find fermented black beans and chilli bean sauce in Asian grocers.
pork wontons in sichuan chilli oil
400g pork mince 2 teaspoons grated ginger 2 tablespoons oyster sauce 1 green onion (scallion), finely chopped ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper 2 teaspoons caster (superfine) sugar 28 round gow gee wrappers ½ cup (125ml) Sichuan chilli oil (see recipe, page 130) 2 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar 1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine (Shaoxing) black sesame seeds and micro (baby) purple shiso, to serve garlic paste 2 cloves garlic, crushed ½ teaspoon caster (superfine) sugar ½ teaspoon table salt 1 teaspoon sesame oil Place the pork, ginger, oyster sauce, onion, pepper and sugar in a medium bowl and mix well to combine. One at a time, place the gow gee wrappers on a clean surface and brush the edges with water. Place heaped teaspoonfuls of the pork mixture in the centre of each wrapper and pinch the sides together to seal.
Place a large saucepan of water over high heat and bring to the boil. Cook the dumplings, in batches, for 3 minutes or until cooked through, removing with a slotted spoon. Reserve ½ cup (125ml) of the cooking liquid. Place the chilli oil, vinegar, cooking wine and reserved cooking liquid in a small bowl and mix to combine. Set aside.
To make the garlic paste, place the garlic, sugar, salt and sesame oil in a bowl and mix to combine.
Top dumplings with the chilli oil mixture and garlic paste. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and shiso to serve. Serves 4–6.
dan dan noodles
2 tablespoons fermented black beans+ 300g pork mince ¹⁄³ cup (80ml) Chinese cooking wine (Shaoxing) 2 teaspoons caster (superfine) sugar 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 2 tablespoons soy sauce 1 teaspoon sesame oil ¼ cup (70g) sesame paste+ 1 clove garlic, crushed ½ cup (125ml) boiling water 500g fresh wheat noodles++ 4 garlic chives, thinly sliced fried eschalots (French shallots), to serve Sichuan chilli oil, to serve (optional) (see recipe, p130)+++ Place the black beans in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside to soak for 10 minutes. Drain.
Place the pork mince in a medium bowl with ¼ cup (60ml) cooking wine and 1 teaspoon caster sugar, and mix well to combine. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add the pork mixture and black beans and cook, breaking up the mince with the back of a spoon, for 10 minutes or until crisp.
While the pork is cooking, place the soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame paste, garlic, boiling water, remaining cooking wine and remaining sugar in a large bowl and mix to combine. Cook the noodles in a medium saucepan of boiling water for 3–4 minutes or until tender. Drain, add to the sesame mixture and toss to combine. Divide between bowls and top with the mince, garlic chives, fried eschalots and Sichuan chilli oil (if using) to serve. Serves 4–6. + You can find fermented black beans and sesame paste in Asian grocers. ++ You can find fresh wheat noodles in supermarkets or Asian grocers in the refrigerated section. +++ Alternatively, you can use store-bought Sichuan chilli oil, available from supermarkets or Asian grocers.