1.21.2005

Mu Shu Pork

"Mu shu" is said (by a website I found) to mean "forest blossom." This could be a reference to the presence of lily buds in the traditional recipe. Or it could be because the monks that created it worshipped in a monastery surrounded by flowers, deep in the forests of Ban Bi Dian (I just made that up).

It is, hands down, my favorite Chinese dish, and I was excited to find a recipe for it in my new "Essentials of the Wok" cookbook. I immediately bought all the ingredients I could find and set about distorting the recipe to suit my own malevolent ends.

First of all, I couldn't find lily buds. Second of all, in my trip to the Asian market I forgot to pick up some Chinese rice wine, so I used sake, which I almost always seem to have a bottle of. There is a lot of mutual political antagonism between China and Japan right now, so this is my own little way of trying to bring the two nations closer together.

I posted the recipe in the comments, since it is rather long. It requires a lot of preparation, but you can make extra pancakes and freeze them, drastically cutting down on prep time. Check with your Asian grocer, you may even be able to buy the "pancakes."


3 comments:

Kitchen Monkey said...

MU SHU PORK

INGREDIENTS:

2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
3 Tbsp. light soy sauce
2 Tbsp. Chinese rice wine (or sake!)
2 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
3 Tbsp. corn meal (preferably ground fine)
1 lb. pork loin fillet, julienned

2 Tbsp. chicken stock
3/4 cup of dried black fungus (use shitake if you can't find dbf)
[original recipe also calls for 1/2 cup of lily buds, which I ommited on account of having none]
2 cups finely shredded wom bok (I used nappa cabbage, which is not so different)
1/4 cup julienned bamboo shoots
5 scallions sliced thinly on the diagonal
white pepper to taste

PANCAKES

10 0z. all-purpose flour
200 ml. boiling water
1/2 tsp. vegetable oil
flour for dusting.

1) MARINATE the PORK: Combine the garlic, ginger, 1 Tbsp each of the soy sauce, rice wine, hoisin sauce, and cornmeal in a large non-metallic bowl. Add pork strips, mix well, cover, marinate for at least 3 hours.
2) MAKE PANCAKE DOUGH: sift flour into large bowl, make into volcano shape, slowly add boiling water into center of volcano. Stir with spatula or wooden spoon, add oil. Continue to add flour until ball of dough reaches a consistency that enables you to form a nice ball without it sticking too much. Begin to knead, adding flour when it gets too sticky. Cover dough and set in fridge for at least 1/2 hour. Rip off pieces about the size of a ping pong ball, smoosh with palm, and roll thin with a pin or with your pasta machine. Once everything else is done you should dry-fry the pancakes over medium heat on each side, just long enough for small dots of brown to appear. They can be frozen for another time!
3) ASSEMBLE INGREDIENTS: a) soak the black fungus (not as nasty as it sounds) in boiling water for about 20 minutes, then chop. b) In a dish, combine the remaining amounts of soy sauce, rice wine, hoisin, and cornmeal into a paste. Don't worry, the cornmeal expands--it will get pasty. c) make sure all your other ingredients are cut and ready to go.
4) WOK THE EGGS: whisk the eggs, heat 1 tsp veggie oil & 1/4 tsp sesame oil over high heat. Add eggs. Stir consantly with a silicone spatual for about 15 seconds, don't let the eggs stick! Spatula the eggs into a bowl and set aside.
5) WOK THE PORK: Add 2 tsps. veggie oil. Add the pork strips, about 1/3 at a time, stirring constantly, until they are nice and seared, removing each batch and starting with the next.
6) WOK THE VEGGIES: Remove the last batch of pork, add a little more veggie oil and about 1/2 tsp sesame oil, then add the vegetables. Stir fry until the cabbage begins to wilt. Finally, return the pork and scrambled eggs, and add the paste mixture and stir-fry everything together for a few more minutes.
7) ASSEMBLE: brush some hoisin sauce onto the surface of a pancake, and spoon the stir-fry on top. Fold in half or roll up. Eat!

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