Moo Shu Pork Greatness
Chinese cuisine anyone?! Obviously, Yes Please! With over 1.5 million Chinese Canadians, arriving as far back as the 1770’s into Vancouver Island, to now as east as Toronto and beyond, the Chinese influence in culinary culture is abundant. From the gold rush to the railways, China’s impact on some really great nourishment is evident.
And Moo Shu? What ever protein you wish to use (If any), makes this dish a unique gastronomic Asian pleasure. From the marinated pork (The protein we are choosing here), to the multitude of incomparable vegetation, and that one-of-a-kind Mandarin pancake, Moo Shu really is magical! Hoisin is a must! Add Chiu Chow, Sambal, or Sriracha to make this plate sinfully sweet with heat.
Here's your staple ingredients and substitutions are offered along the way for the crafty cooker that enjoys spontaneous experimentation.
1 ¾ pork, julienned
5 tablespoons garlic, minced
5 tablespoons ginger, minced
½ cup shiitake mushroom, sliced
2 cups bok choy, julienned
½ cup bamboo shoots, julienned (Canned are cool. Just rinse.)
½ cup wood ear mushrooms, julienned (rehydrated)
8 or so dried lily buds
1 ½ cups Hoisin sauce
3 eggs, beaten lightly
1 bunch scallions cut lengthwise twice with whites attached
Half dozen Chinese pancakes, steamed to suppleness
1 teaspoon white pepper (freshly cracked is best)
½ tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon rice wine
½ cup soy sauce of your choice
½ cup sesame oil
Just a pinch together of anise, fennel, cinnamon, and clove
¼ cup peanut oil
Let’s marinate the pork butt first. 1 ¾ lbs is required for this tasty entrée. Chinese 5 Spice is key. Ginger, anise, fennel, cinnamon, cloves, onion powder, garlic, and white pepper is our choice here. Wait…That’s an 8 Chinese Spice..? Well, like we say, cooking is improv. Soy and sesame oil add the humidity needed for our pork butt, trimmed and thinly sliced across grain. This marinade is a taste which can be varied. Just a pinch of the fennel, cinnamon, anise, and clove together is more than enough. Out of the garlic and ginger, use a ½ tablespoon of the 1.5 tablespoons for the marinade. Add a quarter cup of your favorite soy sauce along with a quarter cup of the sesame oil. With our Weston - Harvest Guard Vacuum Sealer:
Place all ingredients in the accompanied vacuum bag and seal. Place in fridge for a day in the for best seasoning results.
Let’s get all our funky fungus and our variety of veggies ready to wok n’ roll. The lily buds, shiitake and wood ear mushrooms come dehydrated typically. Soak these in cold water over night in the fridge. Or use warm water and soak at least 30 minutes to re-hydrate.
Tomorrow is now here! Pull out that vacuum sealed pork, shrooms, and buds from the fridge. Basically, everything is same sized julienned. Once our goodies are all tightly wound up in its Mandarin pancake, the palate prevails over its pretty contents. Julienne the scallions, shrooms, buds, and bok choy into their appetizing slices. We will be tossing them soon with pork and eggs! Set aside.
The real fun begins! Grab your Ballarini 12.5 inch Cortina Nonstick Wok with Lid.
Peanut oil is the preferred fuel for this stir fry. Dredge our pork slices in the cornstarch to add a bit of a crisp to the meat, and to thicken your sauce once it joins the team. Heat your Ballarini Wok up to hot! Heat wok to 400. Now, time to add our friends to the pool. Quickly stir the pork for 4 minutes and set aside. Quickly scramble the eggs in the left over oil from the pork. Set aside the scrambled eggs with its buddy, the pork. Now, add everything but the pork and eggs to the wok. Let’s cook that through to a bit past al dente (3 minutes). Bring back the pork and eggs combo. Toss them in for another 2 minutes to marry all the flavors.
Start rolling the goodness! First, steam up your store bought pancakes (Found in Asian markets such as Asian Food Centre, etc.). If in the mood, or not near a pancake store, here’s a quick recipe for these gems:
1 cup of water
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 cups of AP flour
Place the flour in your Browne 5qt Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl
Gently add the H2o. When not too hot to handle, massage that dough on your lightly floured cutting board into a lean batter. Rest with a dish towel over it for a half an hour. Now, with a rolling pin, roll out your dough about a ¼ inch on your floured board. Cut into three inch circles. Dab a drop of oil onto the first circle. Press another circle on top. Now roll em’ together to make a wonderful seven inch diameter pancake. Keep under a dank cloth until ready to cook in skillet. Medium heat and no oil will give you a slightly crisp, yet pliable pancake. When your fingers can handle that hot pancake, peel into two pancakes. How fun! Two for one. Keep hot in foil until you are ready to Moo Shu yourself into a food coma.
Slather as much hoisin (with or without your desired heat source) as your taste requires. Toss the concoction on your pancake. Roll. Eat! Love!