Sunday, November 14, 2010

"Make Shift" Mu Shu Pork with Broccoli Slaw

When I was growing up, we almost never ate out at restaurants (having five kids in the family makes dining out a bit of a challenge financially and logistically).  What we did do for special occasions, however, was get Asian takeout.  Although we usually got Vietnamese or Thai food, occasionally we would get Chinese and when we did, my mom especially loved to order mu shu pork.  It's a little unique, because it's one of the few dishes not served over rice.  Instead, you get to enjoy a tortilla-like pancake brushed with smoky-sweet plum or hoisin sauce and topped with a mixture of stir fried pork and vegetables.  Delicious!

A few nights back, I was trying to come up with something to use up a bag of broccoli slaw.  When Googling "Broccoli slaw," all that came up was recipes to make it into a salad (go figure).  Then, I remembered the mu shu pork of my childhood and felt inspired.  Although the recipe is far from authentic, it turned out so delicious that my four year old (who sat at the table crying for an hour the other night because he didn't want to try his broccoli cheese soup) even wanted the leftovers for lunch the next day!  To make things even easier, you can try substituting flour tortillas for the Mandarin pancakes (really, they don't take too much effort, give them a try!).

Make Shift Mu Shu Pork
serves 4
2 thick cut pork loin chops (about 3/4 pound), trimmed of fat at sliced into thin, bite-sized strips
3/4 cup your favorite bottled stir fry sauce (SoyVay or Trader Joe's Soy Yaki suggested)
2 eggs, well-beaten
salt and pepper
cooking spray
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
4 green onions, white and green parts, sliced
1 bag broccoli slaw (or substitute coleslaw mix)
 cup your favorite bottled stir fry sauce (SoyVay or Trader Joe's Soy Yaki suggested)
1/4 cup hoisin or plum sauce

Directions: If making your own pancakes (see recipe below), make ahead of time and warm just before serving.
Stir together strips of pork and 1/4 cup of stir fry sauce.  Set aside and allow to marinate for about 30 minutes.  In a large skillet over medium-high heat sprayed with cooking spray, scramble eggs seasoned with salt and pepperl.  Once cooked through, remove from the skillet and set aside.  Add 1/2 tablespoon oil and over medium-high heat, stir fry pork until no longer pink.  Remove pork and add to scrambled eggs.  Wipe out pan with a paper towel and add remaining oil.  Over medium high heat, stir fry garlic, ginger and green onions stirring frequently until fragrant and onions are softened (about 1 minute).  Add slaw mix and stir fry for an additional few minutes or until vegetables are beginning to soften but are still crisp-tender.  Add remaining stir fry sauce, scrambled eggs and pork back to the pan and cook just until heated through.

To serve, spread a small amount of hoisin sauce on pancake or tortilla, top with a couple spoonfuls of pork mixture and fold to eat like a soft taco.  It is helpful to fold the bottom part of the pancake up so the filling doesn't escape!   Also, it truly isn't "mu shu" without mushrooms, I didn't have any that night (and honestly, we didn't miss them).  If you're wanting to be more authentic, though, go ahead and add some sliced mushrooms (preferably a shitake or wood ear type) while stir frying the veggies.

Mandarin Mu Shu Pancakes (or can use flour tortillas)
makes 16 small pancakes
(from Cooking Light)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup boiling water
1 1/2 tablespoons dark sesame oil

Lightly spoon the flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and water in a large bowl. Stir until a soft dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 3 minutes). Shape the dough into a 1 1/2-inch-thick log. Divide the dough into 16 equal portions. Roll each dough portion into a 6-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Brush 8 pancakes evenly with oil. Top each with one of the remaining pancakes, gently pressing together.
Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place 1 pancake stack in pan, and cook 1 minute on each side or until slightly puffed. Remove from pan, and cool. Peel pancakes apart.

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