Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Fish-Flavored Shredded Pork (Yu Xiang Rou Si)

Ok. There's absolutely not a whit of fish, fish sauce, or anything fishy in this Szechuan dish, so why is it fish flavored? According to legend, a local Szechuan woman had some leftover sauce comprised of garlic, ginger, scallions, wine, chili sauce and vinegar that  she had always used for cooking fish and one day decided to use it in a different preparation. It was so delicious that the rest is history. Nowadays, "Fish'flavored" sauce is used to cook a variety of different ingredients, including pork and eggplant. This is my version, which is on the wet side, because I really like to mix the extra sauce in with white rice.


Ingredients:
1 lbs. pork tenderloin, cut into thin strips/shreds


Marinade:
1 tbsp. rice wine or Shaohsing wine
2 tbsp. water
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch


2 tbsp. oil
2-3 tsp. hot bean paste (according to your taste)
4-5 green onions, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp. chopped fresh ginger
3 red jalapenos, seeded & sliced
2 green jalapenos, seeded & sliced
1/2 c. chopped fresh cilantro
1 small 8-oz. can water chestnuts, coarsely chopped
1 c (1 1/4 oz.) dried shredded wood ear fungus, soaked in hot water to soften


Sauce:
3 tbsp. rice wine
1 tbsp. rice vinegar
4 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. sesame oil
12 tbsp. water


1. Mix shredded meat with marinade ingredients, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 20-30 minutes, until ready to cook.


2. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in wok or large skillet over medium high heat. Add pork and cook until just done. Remove to a bowl & set aside. 


3. In the same wok, add 1-2 tbsp. oil over medium heat, and add garlic, green onion, ginger, red & green jalapeno peppers for 20-30 seconds until fragrant. Add hot bean paste and stir well. Stir in water chestnuts and wood ear.


4. Add cooked pork shreds to the vegetable mixture and pour in sauce ingredients. Turn heat to high, stir quickly, and add cilantro. Serve with steamed white rice.


Dried shredded wood ear fungus. Available at most Chinese markets. You can buy these whole and then shred them yourself, but I like the convenience of pre-shredded.

Soak the wood ear in hot or very warm water about 20 minutes to rehydrate.

Cut the pork loin into thin strips.

Mix marinade ingredients with pork, cover & refrigerate 20-30 minutes before cooking.

Water chestnuts.

Chopped garlic, ginger, scallions, red & green jalapenos, water chestnuts & cilantro.

Mix sauce ingredients together in a bowl.

Hot bean paste (aka chili bean sauce).

Saute pork in 1-2 tbsp. vegetable oil over medium high heat until just cooked through.

Remove cooked pork to a bowl & set aside.

Add 1 tbsp. oil to the same pan and saute garlic, ginger, and jalapeno peppers for 20-30 seconds until fragrant.

Add 2-3 tsp. of hot bean paste & stir well.

Add chopped water chestnuts & shredded wood ear fungus.

Add cooked pork.

Add sauce & bring to a boil.

Stir in cilantro & turn off heat.


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