Sichuan Shredded Pork with Garlic Sauce (Yu Xiang Rou Si)

A signature dish of Sichuan cuisine, shredded pork with garlic sauce delivers a sophisticated and addictive taste: tangy, spicy, sweet & sour.
“Garlic sauce” is actually a term invented by Chinese restaurants in the West. It doesn’t indicate the sophistication of the seasoning used in Sichuan shredded pork. Essential ingredients include Sichuan pickled chilli, rice wine, black rice vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and generous amounts of garlic, ginger and spring onion. They create a tangy, spicy, sweet & sour taste known as “Yu Xiang” which literally means fish fragrance.


For the meat

  • 300 g pork fillet10oz
  • 2 tsp Shaoxing rice wine
  • 2 tsp light soy sauce
  • 3 tsp water
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tsp corn starch

For the vegetable

  • 2 tbsp Sichuan pickled chilliSee note 1 for substitute ideas
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 2 tsp garlic
  • 60 g pre-soaked wood ear, 0.5 cup (about 5g dried), see note 2
  • 60 g bamboo shoots, 0.5 cup
  • 40 g carrot, 0.5 cup
  • 1 stalk spring onion

For the sauce

  • 1.5 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
  • dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 0.5 tbsp 
  • 2 tbsp black rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • .5 tbsp corn starch

You also need

  • 3 tbsp cooking


Marinate the meat

  • Slice pork fillet then cut into long thin strips (see note 3).
  • In a bowl, rub the pork (with your hand) with rice wine, soy sauce, salt and water until no more liquid can be seen.
  • Add corn starch then mix well. Set aside.

Prepare the vegetables

  • Mince Sichuan pickled chilli (or fresh chilli), ginger and garlic.
  • Cut wood ear, bamboo shoots and carrot into thin strips.
  • Finely chop spring onion.

Mix the sauce

  • Mix all the ingredients for the sauce and stir well.

Stir fry

  • Heat up a wok (or a deep frying pan) over high heat. Pour in oil, then stir in marinated pork. Transfer to a plate when the meat becomes pale.
  • Fry Sichuan pickled chilli, ginger and garlic in the remaining oil (add a bit more if necessary). Add wood ear, bamboo shoots and carrot.
  • Stir fry for half a minute or so then add the pork. Cook a further half a minute.
  • Pour in the sauce (stir well beforehand to avoid starch sitting at the bottom). When it becomes thick, turn off the heat then sprinkle spring onion over (see note 4).


1. Substitute for Sichuan pickled chilli: If you have trouble getting Sichuan pickled chilli, please feel free to use other type of pickled chilli available (e.g. Spanish ones) or simply use fresh chilli (choose the hotness level that suits your palate).
2. Wood ear & how to soak it: Wood ear (木耳, aka black fungus) is a type of edible fungus commonly used in Chinese cuisine. It’s black in colour and usually comes in dried form. Soak it for 10 minutes in plenty of hot water (it will expand a lot) before use.
3. Tips on cutting the pork: Wet your cleaver / knife with water when slicing to avoid sticking. It’s much easier to slice a more solid piece of meat, so if possible freeze the pork fillet for a couple of hours beforehand (time may vary depending on the size).
4. Serving suggestions: This dish is typically served with plain rice. However, it’s equally nice to stir it in a bowl of freshly cooked noodles.