Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mu shu pork - week 45 of 52

This week I had a craving for Chinese food – after being on the road for 3 weeks, just wanted a good home cooked meal. Mu shu pork is one of my favourites – Chinese fajitas!

Mu shu pork is a northern Chinese dish generally made of shredded or sliced pork, eggs and Chinese black mushrooms and shredded bok choy. These are stir fried together and wrapped in a thin pancake.

I went to T&T to get most of these ingredients. Some changes to the recipe-
- Used ground pork instead of shredded pork
- Added fresh shitake mushrooms (about 5)

The mu shu pork is very easy to make – just takes some patience with the chopping. One thing about the black mushrooms is you buy them dried and they expand to about 5 times the size once you rehydrate them! They are an acquired taste, as they have a texture that you may not like (think a little rubbery, like the seaweed in wakame salad).

I wanted to make fresh pancakes – those are a little time consuming – so you may want to just serve the mu shu pork as a stir fry if you don’t have the patience.
I’ve always wondered how they got them so thin! You only need two ingredients – boiling water and flour. Knead until smooth and then let rest for about 20 minutes. Then you take small pieces, brush the tops of two of the pieces with sesame oil and then roll out into a flat pancake. These are then cooked in a non-stick pan and then removed from the heat. The sesame oil between the pancakes allow them to be peeled apart – becareful – the pancakes are really hot and release some steam. It’s really neat though!

I really enjoyed the mu shu pork and pancakes – the pancakes didn’t turn out perfectly round, but still turned out super tasty! Time consuming but definitely worth it!

Enjoy! Bon appetit!

Mu Shu Pork – serves 4 – courtesy of
Rating (out of 5) ****
Cost **

• 2 tablespoons soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon dry sherry
• 1 teaspoon hoisin sauce
• 1/2 pound boneless lean pork, shredded
• 4 dried black mushrooms
• 2 cups finely shredded Napa cabbage
• 1 carrot, julienned
• 3 scallions, white and light green parts, slivered
• 1 cup bean sprouts
• 3 tablespoons peanut oil
• 2 eggs, lightly beaten with 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 3 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
• 3 tablespoons chicken stock
• 2 tablespoons soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon dry sherry
• 2 teaspoons sesame oil
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• Hoisin sauce

Combine soy sauce, sherry and hoisin sauce in a bowl. Add the pork, toss to coat evenly, cover, refrigerate and marinate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, soak the mushrooms in enough hot water to cover for 20 minutes. Drain and thinly slice. Set aside on a plate, along with the cabbage, carrot and scallions.
Heat a wok or large skillet over medium/high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil and swirl to coat. Pour in the eggs, swirling and tilting the wok to form a thin film. Cook just until the eggs are set and feel dry on top, about 1 minute. Transfer to a platter, let cool slightly and cut into 1 inch strips.

Return the wok to high heat, and swirl in the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add the garlic, and ginger, and stir-fry to release the aromas, about 1 minute. Add the pork and stirfry until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the reserved mushrooms, cabbage, carrot, bean sprouts, and scallions, along with the chicken stock, and stir-fry another 2 minutes. Stir in soy sauce, sherry, sesame oil, and sugar, and cook, stirring until sauce boils, about 1 minute. Add egg strips and mix well. To serve, spread a small amount of hoisin sauce on a warm Mandarin Pancake. Spoon about 1/2 cup mu shu mixture in center of pancake, wrap like a burrito, folding the ends to close, and serve.

• 2 cups sifted flour
• 3/4 cup boiling water
• 1 to 2 tablespoons sesame oil

Place flour in a medium bowl, making a well in the center. Pour in the boiling water, and use a wooden spoon or chopsticks to mix until a soft dough is formed. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough gently until it is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Cover with a damp towel and let rest for 20 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a log, 16 inches long. Cut the log crosswise into 1 inch pieces, shape each piece into a ball, then use your hands to flatten each ball into a pancake. Brush the tops of the pancakes lightly with the sesame oil. Then, place one pancake on top of a second pancake, oiled sides together, so that there are 8 pairs. With a rolling pin, flatten each pair into a 6 inch circle. (A tortilla press also works well for this.) Cover the pancakes with a damp towel to rest.

Heat an ungreased, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook the pancakes, one at a time, turning them once as they puff and little bubbles appear on the surface, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes on each side. As each pancake is finished, remove from pan and gently separate the halves into 2 pancakes while still hot. Stack cooked pancakes on a plate while cooking the remaining pancakes.
Serve pancakes while still warm with Mu Shu Pork. Or, pancakes may be prepared up to 1 day in advance, wrapped in plastic, and refrigerated. Pancakes may also be frozen. Reheat them by steaming for 5 minutes, or warming them in a 350 degree F oven, wrapped in foil, for 10 minutes.

Yield: 16 pancakes

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