1, Mar 2009
Mu Shu Pork

If you asked either E or me our favorite Chinese dishes, I don’t think Mu Shu would come up on the list — until recently anyway. We had it on a whim somewhere not too long ago and since then have been loving it. Not only is it fun and reasonably healthy (by Chinese food standards, anyway), it seems a possible addition to our kid-friendly repertoire. E decided to try making it at home and synthesized this recipe from various sources. The final result is fairly healthy, with lots of vegetables and not too much that’s bad, and it came out delicious and just like we’re used to getting in takeout.

8 oz pork loin, cut into thin matchsticks
6 dried black mushrooms, reconstituted and sliced into matchsticks
1/4 c dried lily buds, reconstituted, hard stems removed, and sliced thin
2 c finely-shredded napa cabbage
1 carrot, julienned
3 scallions, white and light–green parts sliced horizontally, green parts cut into thirds then thinly sliced vertically
1/2 c bamboo shoots, rinsed under warm water to get rid of the tinny taste and cut into matchsticks
4 slices ginger, cut into matchsticks
2 garlic cloves, minced fine
2 eggs, beaten with a pinch of salt
1 tsp sesame oil
3 tsp peanut oil
additional chicken broth for cooking
mandarin pancakes and hoisin sauce
2 tsp dark soy sauce
2 tsp Shao-Hsing rice wine or dry sherry
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
6 tbsp water
6 tbsp low-sodium chicken broth
2 tbsp soy sauce (we used ½ black soy and ½ low sodium)
4 tsp Shao-Hsing wine or dry sherry
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp cornstarch

Mix together marinade ingredients, putting the cornstarch in last, and pour over pork; let sit 30 min. Mix together the sauce ingredients, corn starch last, and set aside. Heat sesame oil in a skillet, and swirl to coat. Add beaten eggs and swirl to create a flat pancake. Cook until eggs are set and remove from pan. Cut into 1 inch matchsticks and set aside. Put lily buds in one bowl and dried black mushroom in another. Pour boiling water on both and let sit 20 minutes before draining, squeezing out any additional water and cutting to thin strips.
Add 3 tsp peanut oil to skillet and fry ginger and garlic and green onion white parts until fragrant about 30 seconds. Add pork and cook until meat is lightly browned about 2 minutes. Remove and add the cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, green onions (green parts), and bamboo shoots. If needed, add additional oil. Heat until wilted adding small amounts of chicken broth to help steam the cabbage. When vegetables are almost cooked, about 2 minutes, add in pork and eggs, stir the sauce then pour over and cook until sauce has just thickened and coats the ingredients. Add a grind or two of black pepper and mix. Taste for seasoning and if necessary add additional salt and pepper.
Remove from heat and put into a large bowl to serve with mandarin pancakes (we found frozen ones at the asian market, though there are recipes out there to make your own) and hoisin sauce.