Monday, July 1, 2013

Shanghai Style Stir Fried Pork and Cabbage

Stir Fried Pork and Cabbage is a classic Shanghai dish, which is where my mother is from.  This was served often when I was growing up and it is clearly comfort food for me.  It can be made with either regular cabbage or Napa Cabbage, but I prefer the regular because I like the crunch.  I also like to add red and/or yellow peppers along with some spinach to bring in more color and I serve this dish with lots of steamed rice and Chili Garlic Sauce.  It's an all in one meal then and satisfies my craving for Chinese food with less effort than making many courses.  I think this dish may become one of your favorites too!

Shanghai Style Stir Fried Pork and Cabbage

1 pound boneless pork loin, trimmed of fat, cut into strips
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 1/2 Tablespoons Rice Wine
2 teaspoons Hoisin Sauce
1 teaspoon Tamari or Soy Sauce
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup Safflower oil
Kosher salt
½ Cabbage, cored, sliced in half again and thinly sliced crosswise
1 small yellow and red pepper, deseeded and cut into small strips
Handful of washed spinach leaves
1 red onion sliced
2 cloves garlic sliced
1 Tablespoon Tamari or Soy Sauce
½ cup diluted chicken broth
1 heaping teaspoon cornstarch
¼ teaspoon Sesame Oil

 Serve with Cooked rice and Chili Garlic Sauce

Slice the pork into about 2 inch x 1/4 inch-wide strips (easier if partially frozen). Transfer the pork to a medium bowl and mix with the cornstarch, Rice Wine, Hoisin Sauce, 1 teaspoon of Tamari or Soy Sauce and pepper.

in a separate bowl, mix together the remaining Tamari, chicken broth, cornstarch and sesame oil.  Put aside until needed. 

Heat a large skillet until almost smoking. Add 2 Tablespoons of the oil and heat.  Add the pork and stir-fry over high heat until nearly cooked and just starting to brown, then transfer to a plate.

Add the remaining 2 Tablespoons of oil to the skillet, put in garlic and red onion and cabbage and stir-fry over high heat until just wilted. Add the peppers and the spinach leaves and cook a few minutes longer. Return the pork to the skillet, add chicken broth mixture and cook until just heated through and bubbling. Serve right away, with steamed rice and Chili Garlic Sauce.

Five Element Analysis

Pork belongs to the Water Element and is full of B vitamins and is considered good for people with low energy as it tonifies qi. The Tamari, Hoisin Sauce and Sesame Oil add even more Water. The spinach adds the Wood Element and the Peppers contribute the Fire Element - so does the Chili Garlic Sauce. The cabbage brings in a good amount of the Earth Element and is a wonderful vegetable for health as it is full of phytonutrients.  And, the Metal Element is represented by the red onion and rice.  As you can see, this is a balanced Five Element one dish meal all by itself!

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