Yun Nan Black Three Chops


In the 80′s, in Yunnan province, there was a young wife trying to make a traditional Kunming (capital of Yunnan) dish – Stir-fried shredded pork with pickled turnip. While she was doing the preparation, her husband came home. Because of some sort of misunderstanding, they started fighting. The wife was very upset and she found a way to release her stress: chopping whatever she has on the chopping board. When they cleared up the misunderstanding, she found that all the ingredients were chopped into small pieces. The husband was hungry, so she put them in the wok and stir-fried anyway, and turned out great! Since the pickled turnip is black in color, they named this dish: Black Three Chops.

I couldn’t find pickled turnip, so I used Yacai (which is also a type of pickled vegetable with salty flavor) instead.


Yun Nan Black Three Chops


300g minced pork
150g green and red chili pepper
100g yacai (optional)
70g onion
10g ginger
3 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp cooking wine
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp cornflour
cooking oil


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  1. Finely chop the ginger. Dice the green and red chili pepper, onion into small pieces.
  2. Heat up a wok with 2 tbsp of cooking oil over strong heat, when the oil is hot, put the minced pork and the ginger in to stir-fry. When the pork changes color, add 2 tbsp of light soy sauce and 1 tbsp of cooking wine, mix well and take out.
  3. Clean the wok, heat it up with 2 tbsp of cooking oil over strong heat, when the oil is hot, put the Yacai in, stir until they become dry. Take out.
  4. Repeat step 3, when the oil is hot, put the onion in to stir. When the onion has softened and has a mice smell come out, put the chili pepper in, mix well. When you get a nice smell from that, put the pork and yacai in, stir for a minute. Add 1 tbsp of light soy sauce, cornflour soaked by 3 tbsp of water and sesame oil, mix well. Turn of the heat and serve with steamed rice.


Yacai is a kind of Chinese pickled vegetable. It has a salty flavor. You can also make the dish without it, then you need to add salt to bring up the flavor.

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