STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS WITH PICTURES
Cut 500 grams of pork shoulder bite-size strips. Besides the pork shoulder, this dish can be made with pork belly, pork loin, and short pork rib. It really depends on your preference or what you have in the fridge.
Marinade the pork with 1 tbsp of minced garlic, 2 tsp of minced ginger, 1 tsp of five-spice powder, 1 tbsp of Chinese cooking wine, 1 tsp of salt, 1/2 tbsp of soy sauce, 1/3 tsp of baking soda. Mix well and let it sit for 30 minutes.
During this time we will make the aromatic spice powder or what we called 蘸料, which is something like a dry rub but you serve it as a dipping component for crunchy stuff.
You will need 1/2 cup of red dried chilies, 1 tbsp of Sichuan peppercorns, 1 tsp of white peppercorns, 2 tbsp of a sesame seed, 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds, 1 small piece of dried orange peel. Note: it is not easy to find in the western country but you can make your own by simply dehydrating the orange peel. Just make sure you remove the white bitter layer so it tastes better.
Stir the spices over medium-low heat for a couple of minutes. Remove everything from the wok and let it cool. If your cumin seed and sesame seeds are roasted, you don’t have to add them to the pan.
Grind all the spices into a fine powder then add 1 tsp of salt, 1 tsp of sugar, 1 tbsp of roasted sesame seeds, and 1/2 tsp of roasted cumin seeds. I love to bite into the sesame and cumin seeds.
Mix well and the 蘸料 is done. I usually make more than what I need because you can sprinkle it on fried chicken, squid, wonton, potato wedges, or any other crispy food.
Next, we will make the batter. In a big mixing bowl, add 30 grams of all-purpose flour, 120g of sweet potato starch, 1/2 tsp of baking powder, 1 whole egg. Pour in some 90 grams of water and add 25g of vegetable oil. Mix until smooth. If you don’t have sweet potato starch, you can use potato starch or tapioca starch. Combine the batter with the pork and mix thoroughly.
Bring the oil to 370 F. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can drop in a little bit of batter. If you see it bubbles a lot and it floats to the top in 2 seconds, that means the temperature is good.
Add the pork piece by piece so they don’t stick together. Don’t crow the wok. It is better to fry them in batches.
Keep the heat at medium-low and fry for 5 minutes. Stir constantly to ensure even cooking. This is the first frying. We are just trying to cook the pork through. It doesn’t need to be golden brown. When you see they don’t bubble viciously anymore, you can take them out.
Once you finished all the pork, let it rest for 20 minutes and we will double fry it later to reinforce the crust.
For the double frying, we will bring the oil to 400 F and fry the pork for 2-3 minutes. When the outside becomes golden and crispy, you can remove them. Use some pepper towels to absorb the excess grease. Serve with the spice powder.
Souped Up Tips: Once you finish the first frying, you can freeze it for future use. Whenever you want to eat them again, don't even need to defrost, just directly double fry and it will be ready right away.