sticky szechuan pork with sesame seeds recipe

Mighty Spice: Sticky Szechuan pork


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 dried red chillies, roughly chopped
  • 6 star anise
  • 500g boneless pork belly, cut into 2.5cm/1in-wide pieces
  • 2.5cm piece root ginger, roughly sliced
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds


  1. Heat the oil in a wok over a high heat. When smoking hot, chuck in the dried red chillies and star anise and stir-fry for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the pork belly, ginger and salt, and continue to stir-fry for 2–3 minutes, or until the pork starts to take on a little colour.
  2. Pour over 500ml hot water, which should just cover everything, and give it a good stir. Bring to the boil, cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour 30 minutes, or until the pork is cooked through and tender. Remove the pork from the wok with a slotted spoon and set aside. Skim off any excess fat from the surface of the liquid left in the wok using a spoon.
  3. Whisk together the vinegar, sugar, soy sauce and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl and then add to the wok. Turn the heat up to high and cook, stirring continuously, for 5 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced by half.
  4. Return the pork to the wok, add the sesame seeds, then stir-fry for 2–3 minutes, or until the sauce has become really thick and sticky and the pork is well-coated. Sprinkle over the sesame seeds and serve immediately.

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