Jun 2, 2015

Chinese Side Dish Recipe: Spicy Cabbage and Matsuzaka Pork Stir Fry

Most of the time western side dishes are on the lighter seasoning side, they can be buttery and creamy, but not too often packed with spices. Think about having a steak or barbecue ribs at a restaurant, the side dishes are usually grilled corn, potato varieties, creamy spinach, coleslaw, etc. Their purposes are mostly complimenting the entrée, providing nutrients, carbs, or for a refreshing taste. 

If you walk into a Chinese restaurant, especially the one that sells fiery hot Sichuan cuisine, every dish got their own spotlight shining above. Read the descriptions on the menu then you'll notice that most of the dishes are packed with flavors and more so heavy seasonings. In addition, many of them are flavored with lots of strong scented ingredients such as garlic, scallion, chili sauce, ginger, oyster sauce, etc. And everything goes so well with steamy rice. 

I do simply blanch the veggies and serve with easy dressing quite often when eating at home, or perhaps an quick stew using lots of soy sauce and garlic cloves. However, when I'm serious about cooking some Chinese food (meaning not being lazy doing the prepping/cleaning up work), heavily seasoned dishes are often my top mouth watering choices. 

Just make sure to prepare extra rice beforehand. 

Spicy cabbage and Matsuzaka pork stir fry -


  • 1 lb Matsuzaka pork/thick cut pork belly slices
  • 1/2 small cabbage
  • 1/2 onion
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 4 red chilies
  • 1 stalk scallion
  • 1 1/2 olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese chili bean sauce 豆瓣醬
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Peel and slice the onion. Discard the chili stems and chop them diagonally. Discard the scallion stem and chop into about 2 inch pieces. Peel and roughly chop the garlic cloves. Chop the cabbage into large size pieces. Lastly, chop the thick cut pork into large bite size pieces.

Drizzle just enough olive oil to a pan to evenly coat the bottom and turn to medium high heat. Add in the onion slices along with some salt and pepper. Cook till the onion turns translucent. 

Add in chilies and garlic pieces, cook for 30 seconds then add in the scallion, cook for another 30 seconds or till the edges of the onion start to brown.

Add in the pork and give it a quick sear -

Add in chili bean paste, oyster sauce, and soy sauce. Mix and cook till the meat is about half way done.

Transfer the cabbage into the pan. Don't worry about cabbage piling on top of cooked ingredients. The cabbage will start wilting down after couple minutes, just make sure to mix with the sauce once softened.

Continue to cook till cabbage reaches desired texture. I prefer mine on the softer side for this recipe.

Don't forget to prep extra rice.

Other Chinese stir fry recipes:


  1. I like the marbling on this pork. Not easy to get good quality pork here :(

    This is perfect with steamed rice (more please!), sure!

    1. Do you shop (for regular groceries) at a supermarket or at a more traditional market? Just curious~! Sometimes I'd ask the butcher to save a certain part of meat for me.