Pork 25: Stir-fried Pork Strips (炒肉絲)

“Cut the pork into fine strips, remove any sinew, skin, and bones, then marinate the strips in light soy-sauce and wine. Heat a small quantity of vegetable oil in a wok until the white wisps of oil smoke become bluish wisps. Immediately add the strips of pork and stir continuously without pausing. Add steamed rice noodles, a drop of vinegar, and a pinch of sugar. Finish with garlic chives, garlic, the white portions of green onion, or similar ingredients. Stir-fry only half a jin of the dish at a time at high heat without using any water.”

Another method is to fry the pork in oil first then quickly braise it with soy-sauce and wine. Plate the pork when it is red in colour. The dish is particularly good when finished with garlic chives.

持牲單::炒肉絲
切細絲,去筋袢皮骨,用清醬、酒郁片時,用菜油熬起,白煙變青煙後,下肉炒勻,不停手,加蒸粉,醋一滴,糖一撮,蔥白、韭蒜之類;只炒半斤,大火,不用水。又一法︰用油泡後,用醬水加酒略煨,起鍋紅色,加韭菜尤香。

When I read the first recipe, I said to mayself: “Isn’t this Ganchao Niuhe?” (乾炒牛河) (Credit:stu_spivack )

In this section are two rather different recipes for pork strips, one stir-fried and one braised. The first recipe is more or less Ganchao Niuhe (乾炒牛河), but done with pork instead of beef. The details given here about the temperature of the oil, the continuous stirring, and the relatively small portions of ingredients illustrates the key to this type of stir-frying, known as “bao” (爆). Cooking more pork and using oil that is not burning hot would create a wet stewed dish devoid of the wok-hei needed to make this recipe a success.

The second recipe actually sounds a lot like a simple dish my mother used to make for dinners. I can attest that it’s quite good.

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