Hakka Style Pork, Dried Squid and Leek Stir Fry

When I visited Taiwan in 2015, I had a gastronomical time eating through all the local foods on offer. Taiwan is a city full of phenomenal food and one of my favourite food memories are all the 'stir-fry' restaurants available. Simple put, every dish on offer can be stir fried and usually served with steaming rice and a side of soup.

One dish that brought back nostalgic memories was pork belly slices stir fried with dried squid and leeks. Whilst I've never eaten this dish growing up, the distinctive Hakka style of using dried seafood and salty umami coated pork belly reminded me so much of the food my dad makes.

[The original Hakka style pork, dried squid and leek stir fry I tried in Taiwan]

I've since recreated this dish a few times at home and it has been successful as well as hugely satisfying. Serious Eats has a great account of this dish and it's Hakka roots. I've made a vegetarian version of this stir fry dish too, replacing the pork belly with pan fried firm tofu, and the results are just as good.

Dried squid is not always easy to find, but Chinese supermarkets will be your best bet. My parents gave me a huge bag of dried squid from Hong Kong, which I am grateful to still be slowly working through.

The dried squid and pork can take a little while to prepare, but if you want to save time, you can rehydrate the squid and cook the pork belly the day before. The stir frying itself takes less than 10 minutes!


500g pork belly
1 piece squid
1 leek
2 tsp chilli bean sauce
1 tsp soya sauce
1 tsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp oil
1/4 cup water

1) Rehydrate the dried squid in hot water for around 30 minutes until softened. Then remove any of the soft bones and the 'beak' like mouth at the top of the tentacles and slice into thin strips
2) Heat a pan of water and bring to a boil, and then submerge the pork belly in fully. Turn heat down to low and simmer for 20 minutes, then drain and rinse under cold running water for a few seconds
3) Slice the pork belly thinly and set aside
4) Wash and slice leeks thinly and set aside
5) Heat oil in the wok on high heat then add in pork belly and stir fry until it turns golden brown. Then add in the dried squid and leeks and continue to stir fry for another 2-3 minutes until the leeks soften
6) Add in the chilli bean sauce, soya sauce and oyster sauce and stir well to combine. Add in 1/4 cup of water to steam cook the pork and veggies and carry on frying on high heat until some of the water evaporates
7) Turn off the heat and serve with steamed rice

Do give this delicious Hakka Style Pork, Dried Squid and Leek Stir Fry a try for yourself!

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