Moo Shu Pork
This Chinese restaurant classic is attainable at home...in fact, it's even better!
Moo Shu Pork is a staple dish in American Chinese restaurants, the perfect excuse to enjoy a Mandarin pancake smothered in hoisin sauce without the expense or decadence of Peking duck. Traditionally this dish is made with dried mushrooms, but fresh shiitakes are as easy to procure as they are to cook. Lean pork chop meat is ideal for this recipe, but you certainly can keep it vegetarian, or use chicken or beef. Homemade Mandarin pancakes are fun and easy to make thanks to a foolproof recipe from The New York Times.
Equipment: cutting board; chef’s knife; dry and wet measuring cups; measuring spoons; large and small mixing bowls; microplane; whisk; wok or large nonstick sauté pan; wooden spoon; tongs
½ cup hoisin sauce
scallion brushes for garnish (optional)
Moo Shu Ingredients:
1½ pounds boneless pork chops, trimmed
of excess fat, thinly sliced
4 teaspoons rice wine or dry sherry, divided
4 teaspoons soy sauce, divided
3 teaspoons cornstarch, divided
4 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
2 large eggs, beaten
½ small head green cabbage, thinly sliced
2 large carrots, peeled, cut into matchsticks
1 pound shiitakes, stems removed, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 bunch scallions, trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces
ground white pepper and sea salt to taste
1. First, prepare and gather the garnish ingredients. Set aside.
ILOC tip: to make scallion brushes, slice the white part of the scallion into eighths and then place the scallions half submerged in ice water for 30 minutes until the scallions "bloom."
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of rice wine or sherry, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon cornstarch. Add the sliced pork and toss well to coat. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons rice wine or sherry, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, and 2 teaspoons corn starch. Set aside while you cook the other ingredients.
3. Heat a large wok or large nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the eggs and swirl in the pan, continuing to shake the pan as the eggs cook. Break up the eggs with a wooden spoon or paddle and remove from the wok. Set aside.
4. Return the wok to the heat and add another tablespoon of oil, swirling to coat the pan. Add the sliced mushroom and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until softened. Remove from the wok and set aside.
5. Return the wok to the heat and add another tablespoon of oil, swirling to coat the pan. Add the cabbage and carrots and sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until wilted to crisp-tender. Remove from the wok and set aside. Wipe the wok clean with a paper towel.
6. Return the wok to the heat and add the final tablespoon of oil, swirling to coat the pan. Add the ginger and fry for 30 seconds before adding the marinated pork. Sauté for 4-5 minutes, until no longer pink.
7. Add the sliced scallions to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes. Return to the pan the scrambled eggs, cabbage and carrots, and mushrooms. Season generously with ground white pepper and a pinch of sea salt. Mix well to combine.
"White pepper in Chinese cooking is used the way black pepper is used in western cooking."
8. Add the small bowl of rice wine/soy sauce/cornstarch to the wok and continue to stir over medium-high heat until the sauce thickens.
9. Remove the wok from the heat and set aside to assemble the pancakes.
10. To serve, drain the scallion brushes, if using. Brush each pancake with hoisin and top with ½ cup moo shu. Top with the the hoisin-dipped scallion brush and fold the pancake.
Makes 4 servings.