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Chinese Home Cookin’

September 26, 2011

Here at the MHK we have been making Chinese food for many years. It started with basic stir-frying of meats or tofu and veggies, and then we moved on to more complex dishes like ma po do fu and other authentic dishes. But for the most part, we were never able to replicate what you would be served in a Chinese restaurant – there was always something slightly different about the taste and/or texture. Some might argue that’s not a bad thing – true, the recipes we’ve made, for the most part, have been great. But I always wondered what they did differently in restaurants. Turns out we still don’t know the answer – but what we do know is that today’s recipe, from the Bowl Food cookbook, really does taste like it came out of a Chinese kitchen. The sauce is magnificently flavorful, and the tender pork slices are a great match with the slightly firm bok choy (called choy sum in this recipe). The plum sauce, which can be found in Asian markets, can be omitted in place of Hoisin sauce, which is easier to pick up at your usual supermarket. It should go without saying that this should be served over rice. You could also switch out the pork for chicken, beef, shrimp, or tofu. It’s easy to make and will keep you from ordering Chinese takeout for at least one night. Enjoy!

Pork with Plum Sauce and Choy Sum

(serves 4)

1 bunch choy sum (bok choy), cut into 2-inch pieces

½ cup peanut oil

1 onion, sliced

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 tsp. finely chopped fresh ginger

1 lb. pork loin, sliced thin

2 tbsp. cornstarch, seasoned with salt and pepper

¼ cup plum sauce

1 ½ tbsp. soy sauce

1 tsp. sesame oil

2 tbsp. dry sherry or Chinese rice wine

Bring a large saucepan of water to boil, add a pinch of salt and choy sum. Cook 2-3 minutes until stems are crisp but tender. Plunge choy sum into ice water until chilled, then drain. Heat a wok over high heat. Add 1 tbsp. oil and swirl to coat. Reduce heat to medium; add onion, garlic and ginger, cook for 3 minutes until tender. Remove from the wok and set aside. Toss the pork in the seasoned cornstarch to coat, shaking off excess. Reheat the wok over high heat, add the remaining oil and swirl to coat. Cook the pork in batches for 3 minutes or until golden on both sides. Remove from the wok and set aside. Drain the oil from the wok. In a small bowl, combine the plum sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil and sherry. Add the pork and any juices to the wok along with the plum sauce mixture. Cook over high heat 2-3 minutes, then add the choy sum and onion mixture to the wok. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Serve with rice. Eat!

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