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.
100g (4oz) Tianjin or Sichuan preserved vegetables
1 1/2 tablespoons groundnut or vegetable oil
450g (1lb) minced pork
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons sugar
lettuce leaves or Chinese pancakes
For the garnish:
3 tablespoons finely chopped spring onions
fresh chili (optional)
Rinse the preserved vegetables well in cold water. Drain them in a colander and blot them dry with kitchen paper. Chop them fi nely and set them aside.
Heat a wok or a large frying pan until it is hot. Add the oil, and when it is very hot and slightly smoking, add the pork and stir-fry it for 2 minutes, stirring constantly to break up any lumps. Add the preserved vegetables and the rest of the ingredients and continue to stir-fry for another 5 minutes, or until the pork is cooked.
If you are serving the pork with Chinese pancakes or lettuce leaves, have each person pile a little of the meat mixture into a pancake or leaf, wrap it up well and eat it with his or her fingers.
Reprinted from Complete Chinese Cookbook by Ken Hom. Copyright © Firefly Books 2011. Food photography by Jean Cazals copyright © Woodlands Books 2011. Reprinted with permission.
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