Moo Shu Pork

Growing up, you could never entice me with a pork chop.  Or any pork product of any kind, except maybe a hot dog.  Nowadays things seem to have reversed themselves.  I haven’t touched a hot dog in years, and other cuts of pork have never looked so good.

The one exception being bacon.  I despise bacon.  Boo all you want, but it won’t change my mind.  To me, bacon is gross, and that’s just the way it is.  But put a nice pork shoulder or tenderloin in front of me and I am ready to go.

We all know I love pulled pork.  Well, I also am really starting to like pork tenderloin.  I bought a 2-pound one when they were on sale one day, and threw it in the freezer until I could figure out what to do with it.

Not having a grill, and an unwillingness to repeat the cleaning disaster that is my grill pan, I knew there must be other ways to utilize this meat.

And oh lordy I found it.  Now, I have never had moo shu pork from an American Chinese restaurant.  I never had it in China as it is a northern dish and I was in Taiwan (which falls more into the Southern school of cooking).  So I have no idea if this is close in taste to “authentic” moo shu pork, but my goodness was it good.

The recipe also calls for making your own mandarin pancakes, so it’s intensive, but the final result is quite impressive and sure to delight.  Plus, it’s MSG free!!

Moo Shu Pork

Adapted from 2002 Cooking Light Annual Recipes

Makes 6-8 servings

For the pancakes:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup boiling water

1 ½ Tbsp sesame oil

For the pork filling:

2 Tbsp soy sauce

2 Tbsp rice wine or sake

1 tsp sesame oil

2 tsp cornstarch

1 ½ lbs boneless pork loin, trimmed and cut into 1x ¼ inch pieces

½ cup dried shiitake mushrooms

8 oz button mushrooms, sliced

½ cup scallions, sliced

6 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp peeled fresh ginger, grated

3 Tbsp rice wine or sake

3 Tbsp soy sauce

½ tsp cornstarch

½ tsp sugar

¼ tsp black pepper

1 Tbsp peanut oil (or any other veggie oil), divided

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 Tbsp rice wine or sake

½ cup hoisin sauce

1 Tbsp soy sauce

First, marinate the pork.  Combine the first 4 ingredients in a large Ziploc bag.  Add the pork, seal, shake to coat pieces and let marinate in the refrigerator for one hour, turning occasionally.  Remove pork from bag and discard the marinade.

While the pork is marinating, make the pancakes.  Combine the flour and water in a large bowl.  Stir until a soft dough forms, then turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead until smooth and elastic, about 3 minutes.  Shape the dough into a 1 ½ inch thick log.  Divide the dough into 14 or 16 equal portions.  Roll each dough portion into a 6 inch circle.  Brush one half of the pancakes evenly with the oil, then top them with another pancake, gently pressing them together.

Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium high heat.  Place 1 pancake stack in the pan and cook for one minute on each side or until slightly puffed.  Remove from pan, and cool.  Peel pancakes apart and repeat with the rest of the pancake pairs.  Set them aside to cool.

Continue to make the filling.  Combine 2 cups boiling water with the dried shiitakes mushrooms in a bowl, cover, and let stand for 20 minutes.  Drain, discard the stems, and thinly slice the caps.  Combine sliced shiitakes, sliced button mushrooms, scallions and ginger in a medium bowl, set aside.

Combine 3 Tbsp rice wine and next 4 ingredients in a small bowl; stir well with a whisk.  Set aside.

Heat ½ Tbsp oil in a wok or large nonstick skillet over medium high heat.  Add pork, and stir fry 3-5 minutes, or until no longer pink.  Remove pork from pan.  Add the remaining oil and add the vegetable mixture.  Stir fry for 5-8 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft and have released their juices.  Add the eggs, and stir fry 30 seconds more or until softly scrambled.  Add the pork back in, and then add in the cornstarch mixture.  Stir fry for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens.  Place pork mixture on a platter.

Combine hoisin sauce and soy sauce in a small bowl.  Spread a little of the mixture on each pancake, then top each with about ½ cup of the pork mixture.  Roll up and enjoy!

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