Saturday, October 29, 2011

Yunnanese Spicy Ground Pork Sauce

This dish was surprisingly rich and flavourful. Don't let the word spicy fool you as there's just a touch of heat (I would increase the chiles a bit next time!). I had planned to serve this recipe with a bok choy salad when we received bok choy with our CSA box, but I failed to note until it was too late that they only gave us one tiny 3 ounce bok choy, not nearly enough to make a side out of. I'm glad I still tried this recipe though as it was quite satisfying. I did have one bit of confusion with the recipe though. It calls for dried black mushrooms. Searching online, dried black mushrooms appear to be dried shiitakes, but at the store (Folie en Vrac), cloud ear mushrooms were labeled as champignon noir. I wasn't sure quite what to do, so I bought both (I know I need cloud ear mushrooms for some other recipes!) and ended up using the shiitakes in this dish. The flavour was excellent. The original below (unscaled) serves 6 - 8 with plenty of rice.

Two years ago: Lemon Bars

Yunnanese Spicy Ground Pork Sauce (from Seductions of Rice)

8 dried black mushrooms, rinsed
3 1/2 cups hot water, divided
1 tbsp peanut oil
1 cup finely chopped shallots
450g lean ground pork
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1 star anise
1 or 2 dried red chiles
optional garnish: 1/2 cup fresh cilantro

1. Place mushrooms in a medium bowl with 1 cup hot water to soak for 30 minutes.
2. Remove mushrooms from water, reserving it. Finely chop mushrooms, discarding any tough skins.
3. Place a medium heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and when hot add shallots. Stir-fry 3 - 4 minutes until softened.
4. Add meat and mushrooms and stir-fry another 3 minutes.
5. Add mushroom soaking water and remaining 2 1/2 cups hot water and stir well.
6. Add remaining ingredients (except cilantro) and bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
7. Serve as a sauce over large bowls of rice. Garnish with cilantro.

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