I have loved fish-fragrant eggplant since we arrived in Chengdu, but had never tasted this dish until we cooked it in class. It has the wonderful sweet, spicy flavor of all fish-fragrant dishes plus a crisp bite in the lettuce stalk. My husband swore off fish fragrant dishes, but was converted the day I brought this home. For the first time, he actually poured sauce off the dish into his rice bowl, an indication of true success!

  • Pork tenderloin (150 g)
  • Chinese lettuce stalk (broccoli stalk or cucumber are good substitutes) (30 g)
  • Wood ear mushrooms (30 g)
  • Ginger (6 g)
  • Garlic (12 g)
  • Scallion (20 g)
  • Pickled red peppers, seeded & minced (25 g)
  • Soy sauce (5 g)*
  • Salt (2 g)*
  • Vinegar (10 g)*
  • Sugar (8 g)*
  • Gourmet powder (1 g)*- optional
  • Wet starch (20 g)
  • Cooking wine (1 g)*
  • Oil


Preparation:

  1. Slice pork horizontally into very thin slices. Layer and slice vertically into thin shreds.
  2. Marinate pork in salt, cooking wine and wet starch.
  3. Peel lettuce stalk.
  4. Slice lettuce stalk horizontally into thin slices, then vertically into thin shreds.
  5. Marinate lettuce stalk in a small amount of salt to draw out excess water.
  6. Carefully wash wood ear mushrooms to remove dirt and sand. (If using dried mushrooms, allow to soak for 20-30 minutes.)
  7. Slice mushrooms into strips.
  8. Peel ginger and cut into small grains.
  9. Mince garlic.
  10. Chop scallion into small pieces. (The ratio of ginger to garlic to scallion should be 1:2:3).
  11. In a small bowl, combine salt, sugar, gourmet powder, wine, vinegar, soy sauce and wet starch. Mix for sauce and set aside.

Cooking:

  1. Season wok.
  2. Add cold oil, and add a little oil to marinate pork. (This will prevent the shreds from sticking to each other).
  3. When oil is heated, add pork and stir quickly.
  4. When pieces of pork are separated, remove from heat.
  5. Add pickled pepper. Stir fry until red and fragrant.
  6. Add garlic and ginger. Sitr fry until fragrant.
  7. Add drained lettuce and mushrooms. Stir fry briefly. (The lettuce should still be crisp when the dish is plated.)
  8. Remove from heat and slowly add sauce. Return to heat. Wait 5-10 seconds, then stir fry briefly.
  9. When sauce is thickened, add scallion.
  10. Remove from heat and serve.

Dish checklist:

  • Are the sweet, sour and spicy flavors well blended?
  • Is the oil red, shiny and separate from the sauce?
  • Is the pork tender?
  • Is the lettuce tender and crisp?

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