The Recipe

Walter Kei’s Chili Pork

My first interview in Hong Kong for The Breath of a Wok was cooking with Walter Kei.I was jet lagged and exhausted but the moment he showed me how to make his Chili Pork I was awake and energized. We shot this on the rooftop of his building. I wish I had a photograph of his wonderful rooftop studio.

How it's done

12 ounces boneless pork belly, cut in half
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon XO sauce
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoons chili bean sauce
1/4 teaspoon chili oil
3 slices ginger
3 scallions, cut into 2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons Shao Hsing rice wine or dry sherry
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 medium yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 medium green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch cubes

One 8-ounce can sliced bamboo shoots, rinsed and drained

  1. Put the pork in a dish and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Set aside 30 minutes. In a small bowl combine the XO sauce, sesame oil, chili bean sauce, and chili oil.
  2. In a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok bring 2 cups water to a boil over high heat. Add the ginger slices and scallions and boil 1 minute. Add 1 tablespoon of the rice wine and boil 1 minute. Add the pork, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer 8 minutes. Pour out the water and seasonings. Rinse the pork in cold water, put it on a cutting board, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick bit-sized slices. The pork should still be slightly pink. Rinse the wok and dry it thoroughly.
  3. Heat the wok over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 second of contact. Swirl in the olive oil and garlic and stir-fry 15 seconds. Cover, reduce the heat to medium, and a cook 1 minute. Increase the heat to high, add the peppers and bamboo shoots, and stir-fry 1 minute. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt and stir-fry 1 minute. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons rice wine and continue to stir-fry 1 minute. Serves 4 as part of a multicourse meal.

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