Thursday, January 28, 2010

Day 318 - Stir-Fried Sliced Pork with Black Bean Sauce

Ryan's back for Chinese food! This recipe is my final variation on the original shrimp version, already having completed the sea scallops and cubed pork variations as well. Ryan has been here for three of the four - what are the chances?

Stir-Fried Sliced Pork with Black Bean Sauce (p. 266)

Again, it amazes me that I am able to achieve what seems like authentic Chinese flavor just by following this relatively easy recipe.

I couldn't find a Thai chile today, so I bought a Habañero pepper. Hot! Being a spicy wimp, I removed the seeds and ribs, and I only used half of it. I always manage to forget that I've been working with a hot pepper, and then one minute later, I lick something off my finger and BAM! My mouth is on fire. Note to self: Wash hands for five minutes after chopping hot peppers.

As I was about to start slicing the pork tenderloin, I thought "These are going to be some weirdly shaped slices." The tenderloin was smushing down when I went to slice it, and while I was hoping for beautiful thin disks of pork, I was getting something closer to shreds and batons. In the end though, it really didn't matter. Cooked, the pieces just seemed like they came from a random coarse slice, each piece different but none problematic.

I do hate frying, what with the spattering and mess. And this is a full out spattery mess. I question the amount of oil used. I think it might not need that much. Luckily, the sauce sort of binds to the meat, and the oil stays apart, so you can leave a lot of the extra oil in the pan. Still, I wonder if two tablespoons vs. three would suffice.

As Martha mentions in the book, there's no extra sauce here for vegetables or rice. If you want extra, you should definitely double or even triple the sauce recipe.

If you are doubling or tripling this whole recipe to serve more than two people, let me just remind you of a mistake I made the first time I made this (with cubed pork). Don't overcrowd the pan with meat (or seafood) when you're stir-frying. If there's too much in the pan, the meat won't brown. It'll end up wet and gummy, and what you want, instead, is some browning action. So definitely fry in batches, giving each piece some breathing room, if you're making more than this two-person serving.

This does taste super-great. And it is ready really quickly. The most time here is spent chopping and mincing for the sauce. But once the cooking begins, it's four minutes tops until table time. The Habañero fit right in, and using half was just the right amount of spice for us spicy-babies.

I still think that the shrimp version is the most stellar of the four, but I'd happily eat any of these any day.

Jeff: A
Martha: A

Until we eat again....


  1. I've heard that the only sure-fire (no pun intended) antidote to hot pepper is milk. Of course, you'll never make this goof again. But if you do, let me know if it works!

  2. Hey Annie-
    Thanks for reminding me. I've heard that, but I'm always too hustle bustle to actually take a minute to drink some milk. I'm sure this will happen again, though, so I'll try it next time-

  3. I loved the pork version as much or more than the shrimp and scallops.
    But - I'd have any for breakfast, lunch, or dinner - any day of the week ! Such a treat as always Jeff ! Thanks again for having me. AND - everybody reading this - I had the extra fun pleasure of watching the master at work. To watch brings more admiration for the chef and his craft. It blows my mind how he manages meals like the one with both Poached Salmon and Roast Prime Rib of Beef - I was lucky to attend that feast too... Amazing! Okay - last comment - after eating salt, ( Black Bean Pork), I was treated to both the Orange Sorbet and the Chocolate Ice Cream - the latter of which is the most amazing ice cream I've ever encountered. Bravo all around !