There seems to be a definite oriental bias to my blog. Then again it is my blog and my diet has a definite oriental bias so I suppose it’s how it should be. This post is going to exacerbate that bias too. The first Chinese cookbook I remember reading was Chinese Cookery by Ken Hom. I must’ve only been about 12 when my mum got a copy but I used to read it loads and was fascinated by the recipes inside. Anglicised they may be but they were still quite out the ordinary compared to anything I ate at home at the time.
As I’ve probably mentioned before I was lucky as a child in that my parents bought a wide variety of foreign food, either abroad (no Spanish fish and chips for us), for the dining table or during a trip to the Chinese or Indian restaurant or the local kebab shop. One favourite dish of the time was crispy aromatic duck and I used to love reading the recipe in the Ken Hom book. Two things that stick in my mind are the blowing up of the duck with a bicycle pump to separate the skin from the flesh, Heston’s 20 years too late, and the oiling and pressing together of two lumps of dough before rolling out the pancakes so you could then separate them and have something half the thickness. Genius.
Well last night I finally got around to trying one of them when I made Muu Shu Pork. Yep, sorry folks, I’m talking about rolling out pancakes and not making Peking Duck.
I got some pork out the freezer on Sunday but then changed my mind and cooked that tofu dish of the previous post. I thought about what I had at home that could do with using up and the nearly full bag of lily buds sprang to mind. I’d bought these weird yellow things for hot and sour soup but using them maybe 10 at a time meant the bag went down rather slowly. Googling around I came across a recipe for Muu Shu pork that, rather helpfully, called for a whole ¼ cup of them along with some cloud ear mushrooms that I also had lying around. Muu Shu pork is something that folk on American TV shows seem to order all the time but I’ve never actually seen it in the UK, the perfect reason to give it a go.
For the pancakes I used Dove's Organic white bread flour and took note of the tortilla press tip and gave the Christmas present from my mum its first use. It worked OK but I did give each a final roll with a rolling pin just to get them a little thinner. I won’t say they were the roundest pancakes I’ve ever eaten but they did the job and tasted great. Like light and soft tortillas. After frying I wasn’t sure they were properly cooked so I gave them a steaming to finish off whilst I was cooking the pork. Taking a tip from the duck and pancakes you see over here I added a little hoisin to each and to get some of my 5 a day I had some Chinese greens (not sure which ones they were) with oyster sauce.
This was another definite keeper too - so two in two days.