This dish’s Chinese name literally means “back-in-the-pot meat.” The name comes from the fact that the fatty pork—either skin on belly or leg—is first boiled, then fried in a wok, with plenty of dou ban jiang, black beans, and leeks until it is sizzlingly delicious. The thin ribbons of fatty pork are among the most beloved of Sichuan dishes. The odd pairing of intensely flavored, fragrant pork and fresh green vegetables is a source of great nostalgia for Sichuanese people living abroad.

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Like kung pao chicken, hui guo rou comes with a side of political intrigue. It was eaten with ritualistic regularity at meetings of Sichuan’s notorious secret societies—before the communists wiped them out. It still goes by the nickname “secret society meat” (pao ge rou) in some parts of western Sichuan.

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Lao Cheng Du

Lao Cheng Du

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429-22598

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Retrieved from: Serious Eats