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

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

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.

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