A Yen for Chinese….




One of the things I truly miss is Chinese food.  There is nothing like a steaming bowl of wonton soup, the slurp of lo mein, or the crunch of chinese noodles.  Sadly, I have not set foot in a Chinese restaurant in over two years.

Growing up on Long Island, we had a favorite Chinese restaurant-Kwong Ming.  Whether it was for a birthday, holiday or just because, we were ordering one from column A and two from column B at least every other month.  I have very fond memories.  I am sure all of you have a favorite Chinese restaurant as well.  And I am sure you miss it like I do.

This cuisine is very hard to replicate.  There are some things you just can’t reproduce.  Most of the recipes I have tried have failed miserably.  In fact, just last week I tried to make Lo Mein.  It had the consistency of soggy noodles in dishwater.  Hardly appetizing.

But as anyone who reads my blog knows, I do not give up easily.  Luckily I found a recipe that is pretty close to the Chinese food I know and love.  The recipe is for Crispy Pork Stir Fry.  Short of having a wok and a very hot gas burner, it is hard to produce anything that even resembles takeout.  But this comes close.

Here are the ingredients:

1 lb. pork, thinly sliced and cut into 1/4″ strips
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/3 c. cornstarch
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 anchovy fillet, chopped
1 tsp. ginger, peeled and chopped
3 tbsp. brown sugar
3 tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. Freshly ground black pepper
canola oil
1/2 lb. snow peas, chopped
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4″ strips
3 scallions, chopped


  pat pork with a paper towel to remove moisture. In a medium bowl, add pork, season with salt, and mix with cornstarch until coated.
In the bowl of a mini prep food processor, add garlic, anchovy, ginger, brown sugar, soy sauce, and black pepper. Pulse until well blended and set aside.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 teaspoon oil and cook snow peas and red pepper until tender, about 2 minutes. Remove and set aside on a plate.
Return skillet to high heat and add 1 tablespoon oil. When oil is almost smoking, add the pork. Sauté until cooked through and pork is crispy, about 5 minutes. Reduce to medium heat, return vegetables and half the sauce. Stir quickly to coat the pork and vegetables in the glaze. (Watch carefully, as the sauce can burn due to the sugar.) If you want more sauce, add the balance. Garnish with chopped scallions and serve with steamed rice.

I bought a pork 2 1/2 pound pork roast, and cut about 1 pound of it off.  I refroze the remaining meat for later this week.  I cut it into strips while it was still a bit frozen.  This makes it easier to cut. 

I tossed it with the cornstarch then let it sit while I made the sauce.

2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 anchovy fillet, chopped
1 tsp. ginger, peeled and chopped
3 tbsp. brown sugar
3 tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. Freshly ground black pepper

You do not need a food processor. I did not use the anchovy filet or fresh garlic or ginger.  For the garlic you can substitute:

garlic powder (Substitute 1/8 teaspoon powder for every clove of garlic called for in recipe.) OR.garlic salt (Substitute 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt for every clove of fresh garlic called for in recipe. Reduce salt in recipe.)  I used garlic salt.  Be advised this will be very salty on top of using soy sauce!!!

For the ginger:

1/4 tsp. Ground Ginger = 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger

I used a 1/4 tsp of Worcestershire for the anchovy filet.  It has fish sauce in it, so I figured this would work. I used gluten free soy sauce as well.

Then I cut up the red pepper.  I bought scallions already chopped, and left the snow peas whole.

Once the prep was done, the rest was easy.  Letting the pork sit with the cornstarch is a technique called velveting.  It is used widely in Chinese cooking.  This is why the meat in chinese dishes is so tender.

I only used half the sauce-I should have used all of it.  But it turned out great.  It really satisfied my craving.

If you try this out, let me know how it turns out.

3 thoughts on “A Yen for Chinese….

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