Twice-cooked pork (Chinese: 回锅肉; pinyin: Húi Guō Ròu, literally: meat that has been returned to the wok) is probably the best-known Sichuan-style Chinese dish. Twice-cooked pork is cooked by boiling pork rib steak chunks in hot water with slices of ginger and salt first, then after being cut into thin slices, the pork is put back into a wok and shallow-fried in hot oil.
Legend[change | change source]
Twice-cooked pork is said to have started in the Qing Dynasty, while the Qianlong Emperor toured Sichuan. Qianlong wanted a feast at every stop that he made, and, when he arrived at one particular village, the villagers were very worried. The crops had not been harvesting well that year and there may not have been enough to host the emperor. They were worried that the emperor would do bad things to them if they did not give him a feast, so they quickly put the food they had not yet eaten back into the pot, cooked it again (thus "twice-cooking" them) and served the food to the emperor. To their surprise, the emperor enjoyed it, and so the "Twice Cooked Pork" became a famous Sichuan dish.