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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Chinese-Style Vegetables with Pork

In the Time Zone and at the Latitude Where I Live, numerous Chinese restaurants and supermarkets liven up our food choices. Many people of Chinese extraction live in the region, so that’s one reason. Chinese food is easy to prepare and its ingredients are easily available, so that’s another. Chinese food uses a relatively small amount of meat, making it quite economical - another plus. All of that aside, I suspect the # 1 reason people clamor for Chinese food is because its so delicious! 

With Chinese New Year just two weeks away, this blogs readers are already searching for recipe ideas. I love throwing Chinese New Year dinner parties, but am away from home for the next three weeks, with no access to a properly equipped kitchen. The task of photographing anything I cook is daunting and may prove impossible. 

I dug through my recipe files before we departed, and have brought along quite a few Chinese recipes that will appear over the next several days.  

Please remember to use the search engine at the top left of this page: Many past recipes will pop up if you search the word Chinese,” or search for an Asian-inspired sauce or spice. Your other search choices are to check the Index under Main Dish and Side Dish and Soup (a great recipe for Hot n Sour Soup).

By omitting the pork, this excellent dish can also serve as a vegetarian entrée or as a side dish. As with all Chinese cooking, this recipe proceeds very quickly. Be sure to pre-measure your ingredients and have everything at your fingertips. You should have turned on your rice cooker 10 minutes ago!

Chinese-Style Vegetables with Pork:

2 tbsp. canola or peanut oil

1 clove garlic, unsliced
1 c. slivered pork, uncooked
1 c. Chinese mushrooms such as dried shitaki or black mushrooms
3 c. angle-sliced celery
1 large onion, sliced lengthwise
1-¾ c. frozen peas
¾ tsp. garlic salt
½ c. slivered almonds, toasted 

Heat oil in wok or deep skillet over high heat, almost to smoking point. Brown garlic in oil until dark brown; discard garlic. Stir-fry pork; set aside. Reconstitute mushrooms (see Note) and slice. Sauté mushrooms; set aside. Stir-fry celery and onion, tossing just until hot. Add frozen peas, tossing just until peas are lightly coated with oil. Season with garlic salt. Cover and cook 3-to-5 min., until vegetables are barely tender. Return pork and mushrooms to wok, stir-frying to combine just until heated through. Add almonds, tossing 30 sec. Serve immediately, over or with rice.

Note: To rehydrate mushrooms, cover them with boiling water, allowing them to sit 25-to-30 min. Remove stems before slicingLabel and freeze mushroom stems for future use in making soup stock. 

Further Note: If you’re unsure, consult the Index for How to Cook Rice and How to Toast Nuts.

Tomorrow:fantastic Oriental Beef and Broccoli

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