Thursday 22 November 2007

Chinese Wraps

One of my favourite Chinese dishes from back home is a Peking duck meat lettuce leaf wrap. This is often served when you order a Peking duck in a restaurant and after having consumed the skin, they will use the meat from the duck to make this dish. There are many variations on this dish, some using chicken, others using squab or another kind of meat.

Since pork mince is more readily available in the supermarkets here, I decided to make a version with pork instead. As some of you may recall, this is actually a dish that I served when M's parents were here to visit. At that time, I forgot to take a picture of the dish but since it was such a hit, I have been looking for another opportunity to make it. The opportunity finally arose two nights ago after a particularly easy day at work. It was definitely as good the second time around. Maybe even better!

Minced Pork in Lettuce Wraps
Adapted from Shun Lee Cookbook

8 oz minced pork
1 1/2 tsp egg white
1 tsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
vegetable oil, for passing through

2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp rice wine or dry sherry
1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp ground white pepper
1 tsp cornstarch

4 celery ribs, string removed, finely diced (1 cup)
4 scallions, white and green parts, trimmed and minced (3/4 cup)
3 carrots, finely diced (1/2 cup)
1 tsp dark sesame oil
2 tsp hoisin sauce
8 whole Bibb or iceberg lettuce leaves
2 tbsp lightly toasted pine nuts

To prepare the pork, place the diced pork in a medium bowl. Add the egg white, cornstarch, and salt; toss to coat.

To prepare the sauce, whisk the soy sauce, vinegar, rice wine, sugar and white pepper in a small bowl. Dissolve the cornstarch in 1 tbsp water in another small bowl. Set the bowls aside.

Heat a large wok over high heat. Add enough oil to come 1 inch up the sides of the wok and heat it to 300F. Add the pork and stir gently, keeping the pieces from sticking together, until they turn white, about 45 seconds. Using a wide wire mesh skimmer, transfer the pork to a colander to drain. Discard all the oil except for 2 tablespoons.

Heat the wok with the oil over high heat. Add the celery, scallions, and carrots, and stir-fry until crisp-tender, about 45 seconds. Return the pork to the wok. Stir the sauce, add it to the wok, and stir-fry for 20 seconds. Add the cornstarch mixture and stir-fry until the pork is cooked through and the sauce has thickened, about 30 seconds. Stir in the sesame oil. Transfer the pork mixture to a serving bowl.

To serve, spread about 1/4 tsp hoisin sauce in the center of each lettuce leaf. Add 3 tbsp of the pork mixture, and sprinkle with a few pine nuts. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings

1 comment:

Phoenix Ascending said...

Looks great. I've got to try this out for my next intimate friends gather.