The secret of this delicious, easy to prepare and inexpensive dish lies in the use of preserved vegetables, which are typical of northern Chinese cuisine. In the north, people must preserve vegetables by salting or pickling, since the winters are long and cold. If you like your dish a bit spicier, like me, use Sichuan preserved vegetables.
For the garnish:
Reprinted from Complete Chinese Cookbook by Ken Hom. Copyright © Firefly Books 2011. Food photography by Jean Cazals copyright © Woodlands Books 2011. Reprinted with permission.
While doing research for his book Pig Tales, author Barry Estabrook visited a farmer in Iowa who raised 150,000 pigs a year. What he saw at this factory farm -- which is the way 97 percent of pigs in the U.S. are raised -- is a far cry from Old MacDonald's.