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Thursday, June 24, 2010 01:41 am

Mu Shu pork


Record’s tortillas are customer favorites. Tortillas are made in virtually the same way as bao bing – a.k.a Beijing pancakes, northern  Chinese flatbreads traditionally served with Mu Shu pork. In fact, the  PBS cooking show, “Simply Ming,” featured a flour tortilla/Beijing  pancake factory, just because they are so similar. Though fun to make – especially with kids – they’re undeniably time consuming. Good quality, purchased flour tortillas make serving  home-made Mu Shu simple and quick enough for a midweek meal.

Both tortillas and bao bing are traditionally made with white flour but whole wheat versions such as Record’s have more flavor and  texture, though they may not be as pliable.

  • 3/4 lb pork, cut into thin bite-sized strips (this is easier to do if the meat is partially frozen)*
  • 2 T. soy sauce, divided
  • 1 T. cornstarch
  • 2 T. sugar, divided
  • 1/2 c. dried lily buds (hemerocallis), or substitute 3/4 c. fresh, unsprayed daylily buds
  • 3 - 4 tree ear mushrooms (black fungus)
  • 1/3 c. thinly sliced scallions
  • 2 c. finely shredded cabbage (remove thick stems before shredding)
  • 1 T. sesame oil
  • 2 T. hoisin sauce OR 1 T. hoisin sauce and 1 T. fermented bean paste
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 T. peanut or vegetable oil
  • 6 eggs, lightly beaten with ½ tsp. salt
  • 1/3 c. chicken or vegetable stock

To serve:

  • 12-16 small to medium Bao Bing or flour tortillas
  • scallions, shredded into very thin strips
  • hoisin sauce

In a bowl, combine the pork, 1 T. soy sauce, cornstarch, and 1 T. sugar and marinate for about 30 minutes. In another bowl, cover the lily buds with boiling water and let stand for about 10 minutes, then drain. Place the tree ear mushrooms in a saucepan, cover with water, bring to a boil, and simmer for 3 minutes. Let cool, drain, cut off any tough stem areas, and cut into the thinnest possible matchsticks. You should have ½ c. of shredded mushrooms. Combine the hoisin sauce, remaining 1 T. each of soy sauce and sugar, garlic, and white pepper and set aside.

Have all ingredients ready and at hand. In a wok or skillet, heat the sesame oil over high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the pork and stir-fry for about 1 minute or until the pork loses its pink color. Add the hoisin sauce mixture, lily buds, shredded mushrooms, scallions, and cabbage. Cook for about 2 minutes or until the cabbage is just wilted. Add the chicken stock and deglaze the pan (scrape up any browned bits clinging to the bottom. Transfer to a large bowl and keep warm. Return the wok to the heat and add the 2 T. peanut oil. Add the beaten eggs and scramble to a soft scramble stage, stirring with a flat bottom spoon. Add the pork mixture and continue to stir until the eggs are just hard scrambled and have broken into small pieces, about a minute.

To serve, heat the tortillas in a microwave. Each diner takes a tortilla, spreads a little hoisin sauce down the middle, spoons about ½ c. of the filling down the center, and adds a few shreds of scallion, if desired. Roll up like a crêpe or soft taco and eat out of hand.  Serves 6- 8.

*Pork is the most common and traditional protein found in mu shu, but chicken, beef, shrimp or turkey can also be used. Make vegetarian versions by eliminating the protein altogether, or substituting fried tofu, button or portabella mushrooms, zucchini or even eggplant for the pork. 
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