• 5 oz. peas
  • salt
  • 5 tbsps rice meal
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • ¾ pound pork belly, with skin
  • 2 tbsps spring onion greens, finely sliced
  • Marinade
    • 1-½ tbsps chili bean sauce
    • 2 tsps fermented tofu
    • 2 tsps shaosing wine
    • 1 tsp finely chopped ginger
    • tsp ground white pepper
    • ¼ tsp dark soy sauce


1. Place the peas in a bowl and add 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tbsp of the rice meal, and 2 tbsp of the stock. Mix well. Cut the pork into slices like very thick bacon slices, about 4 in long and 1-1/2 in thick, and place in a bowl. Add all the marinade ingredients, the remaining rice meal and stock, and 1/4 tsp salt, and mix well.
2. Arrange the pork slices over the sides and base of your bowl in an overlapping pattern, leaving no holes, with the strip of skin on each piece of meat resting on the bowl. Fill with the peas, spread evenly so the top layer is fairly flat. Bring plenty of water to a boil in a wok or steamer, lay the bowl on the rack, cover and steam over medium heat for two hours.

3. Remove the bowl from the steamer. Cover with a deep plate, then swiftly invert. Remove the bowl, leaving a bowl-shaped mound of meat and peas. If it subsides slightly in its tenderness, don’t worry; it’ll taste fantastic. Sprinkle with the sliced spring onions and serve.


Steaming bowl should be about 7” in diameter and 2” deep.
To make your own rice meal: Place 5 oz dry Thai fragrant rice, 1 star anise, and a couple of pieces of cassia bark in a dry wok. Heat over a medium flame for about 15 minutes, stirring, until the rice grains are brittle, yellowish and aromatic. Remove from the wok and allow to cool. Pluck out and discard the spices. Using a grinder or blender, grind the rice coarsely, until it has the consistency of fine couscous. Store in an airtight jar until needed.

Alternatively, you may find it in a Chinese supermarket labeled “steam powder”
Pretty sure the recipe has a misprint - "thick slices of bacon" are not 1-1/2" thick, that's just a hunk of pork. I used 1/4" thick slices, which was enough to completely cover the bowl when overlapped. Also, most recipes say to marinate the pork for about 30 minutes to an hour; this seemed fine, but I don’t think more marination would have a downside.


Fuchsia Dunlop


2 servings




Asian : East Asian : Szechuan