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sichuan bacon recipe

Sichuan Chinese Bacon

You can usually get big slabs of pork belly from local pork producers at your farmer's markets, or any decent butcher can order you one. You do need some curing salt No. 1 for this recipe, which you can buy online. Once made, this will keep about 2 weeks in the fridge, and indefinitely in the freezer. 

Course Cured Meat
Cuisine Chinese
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Serves 3 pounds
Author Hank Shaw

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds pork belly, skin on or off
  • 1/2 cup 1/2 cup Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
  • 27 grams kosher salt, about 3 level tablespoons
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Sichuan peppercorns, ground
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 5 star anise pods, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 grams Instacure No. 1, about a heaping 1/4 teaspoon

Instructions

  1. Moisten the pork belly with the Shaoxing wine. Mix the rest of the ingredients together and rub into the meat, making sure all surfaces are coated.
  2. Put the pork into a large sealable plastic bag, or vacuum seal bag, or just a plastic or glass container just about large enough to contain it. Sprinkle over any remaining cure, seal the container up and put in the fridge.
  3. Every day for 5 days, turn the bacon over. After 5 days, check to see if the bacon is firm. If it is not firm throughout, give it up to another 2 days in the fridge.
  4. Take the bacon out, rinse off the cure and pat it dry. Set the bacon out on a rack to dry, preferably in a cool, airy place. Let it sit for 1-3 hours.
  5. Smoke the bacon over the wood of your choice. I try to keep the smoker as cool as possible because you don't want to fully cook this bacon; less than 200 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal. It is supposed to be very smoky, so go for at least 4 hours. Remove it from the smoker when it's as smoky as you like, then let it cool to room temperature before putting it in the fridge or freezing it.