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When my mother came up with the name of her first cookbook the term "All-American" only seemed fit. After all, she was 1st generation Chinese married to an American, Irish, Norwegian man living in Nebraska where traditional Chinese ingredients were not made readily available. It isn't until now that I truly understand the meaning of the All-American... (read more)

Archive for October 28th, 2008

28

Oct

2008

Mu Shu Pork (and hold the “Mu Shu” please)


Because we are the “All-American” Chinese cookbook we have developed a yummy recipe that takes the “mu shu” out of the Mu Shu Pork. In case you are wondering what makes mu shu, it’s dried wood ears, cloud ears and lilly buds. While it’s all very tasty, your local grocery store may not carry these items (and from my experience, your kids may pick them off of their plate anyway). So give our variation of this popular Mandarin dish a taste which may also be substituted with chicken or beef. And while you can buy a package of flour tortillas to substitute the homemade pancakes – we strongly suggest that you check out our homemade Mu Shu Pancake recipe to complete the dish!

1 pound lean pork
½ pound head cabbage (8 oz.)
4 scallions, including the green top
½ red bell pepper
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil (for cooking in a non-stick wok or a fry pan)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure sesame oil
½ cup hoisin sauce*
Homemade flour pancakes

Marinade:
2 tablespoons soy sauce (Kikkoman brand)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon sugar

Preparation:
Slice pork against the grain into ¼ inch thin pieces and then cut into 1-½ inch long strips. In a bowl, combine the pork strips with the marinade ingredients. Mix together thoroughly and set aside. Shred cabbage into thin, 1 inch long strips. Wash and trim the green onions, slice diagonally into 1/2 inch wide pieces. Cut red bell pepper into thin, 1 inch long strips. Lightly beat eggs in a small bowl.

To Cook:
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a non-stick wok or a large frying pan over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, pour in the beaten eggs and lightly scramble until firm. Transfer the cooked eggs into a bowl. Add another tablespoon of oil into the wok. Add the pork strips and stir-fry for approximately 2 minutes until the pork is nearly cooked through. Add shredded cabbage, onions, red bell pepper strips and scrambled eggs into wok. Stir-fry for 1 more minute. Add salt and sesame oil. Continue to cook for 30 seconds longer.

For best results, serve immediately, before the dish becomes too juicy.

To Serve:
Place a warm pancake on a plate. Spread 2 teaspoons of Hoisin sauce on the center of the pancake. Add a  ½ cup of the mu shu mixture in the center of the pancake. Fold each side into the center of the pancake. Roll the pancake from the bottom up creating a pouch around the mixture allowing for it to be picked up and eaten with your fingers. Enjoy!

Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 6 to 8 minutes

*Hoisin sauce is a sweet brown sauce made from soybeans.  Sold in jars and bottles at the Asian section of most supermarkets.  After opening, it can be stored for several months in the refrigerator.


28

Oct

2008

Homemade Mu Shu Pancakes

Making homemade pancakes seems like a bit of a chore. But it’s really not that bad. In fact, they are quite simple and nothing tastes better than something fresh and homemade. These light and thin pancakes can be used for all traditional “mu shu” fillings. And here’s a tip: Make them well in advance. Refrigerate or freeze and just steam when you are ready to serve.

2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup boiling water
1 tablespoon of canola or vegetable oil placed in a small dish

Preparation:
– Place the flour in a large mixing bowl and add boiling water (the boiling water is key). Mix with a fork until combined.
-When the dough is cool to the touch, knead the dough in the bowl by hand for 1 to 2 minutes. The dough should be soft and smooth.
-Form the dough into a rope and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a uniform ball and then flatten with the palm of your hand.
– Take two pieces (one in each hand ) and dip one side of each in the oil. Press oiled sides together and again with the palm of your hand, flatten into a 3 inch circle.
– Use a rolling pin, roll each circle into a thin, larger circle approximately 8 inches in diameter. Repeat, making three more pairs of two pancakes each.

To Cook:
-Heat a 10 inch, non-stick frying pan over low heat until the pan is hot. Place one of the four (paired) pancakes in the pan. Cook for 1 minute on each side.
-Place in a covered casserole dish and set aside on the counter.
-Repeat above steps with the three remaining pairs of pancakes.
-Allow to cool approximately 5 minutes at which point they should be soft, moist and easy to peel apart. Keep them covered (to retain moisture) in warm oven until ready to serve.

Tip: If your rolling skills need help, trim each pancake with kitchen scissors to smooth the edges for a pretty presentation.

To Serve:
Place a warm pancake on a plate. Spread 2 teaspoons of hoisin sauce on the center of the pancake. Add a  ½ cup of the mu shu mixture in the center of the pancake. Fold each side into the center of the pancake. Roll the pancake from the bottom up creating a pouch around the mixture allowing for it to be picked up and eaten with your fingers.

Makes 8 pancakes
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes


28

Oct

2008

A Note From Lucy…

Hi everyone and thank you for visiting our new recipe blog! I have never done something like this before and I am delighted that my daughter surprised me with such a special and unique gift. I wanted to take a moment to share some cooking tips and notes with you….

1. My recipes use half of the oil found in my original cookbook. In order to make this happen, I ask that you only use non-stick pans and woks. It makes for easy clean up as well.

2. While most of my stir-fry recipes use medium-high heat, I suggest that you make certain the oil is hot so the food cooks quickly.

3. Preparation is key. Many of the recipes can be made ahead of time i.e., vegetables chopped, meat marinated, eggs beaten and then refrigerated. When it’s time to cook, it is best to stir-fry and steam just before you are ready to serve.

4. All of my ingredients are purchased from American, chain supermarkets such as Safeway, Vons, etc. for your shopping convenience.

– Lucy

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