Wild Hog Moo Shu Pork
Just how and where moo shu pork got its name is debated, but most food historians believe it originated in northern China in the early 1900s. It’s likely, however, that similar dishes had been served much earlier under other names.
Don’t let anyone tell you that wild pigs don’t make excellent table fare.
The blend of tender marinated pork, crunchy bamboo shoots, meaty mushrooms, and crunchy cabbage makes for a dish that is as appealing to the senses as it is tasty.
The blend of flavors and textures in this recipe make it a favorite at the dinner table.
The dish was often sold by street vendors. Since the stir-fried pork and vegetable medley was hard to eat without utensils, vendors needed a way to serve it easily without dishes. Enter the Chinese or Mandarin pancake. Similar to crepes or flour tortillas, the pancakes were a simple flour-and-water mixture cooked on a hot grill or pan. To bump up the flavor, diced chives or scallions were sometimes added to the dough.
While the traditional pancake required quite a bit of work to knead, rest, fold, and roll the dough, this simplified version turns out a pretty good pancake in a fraction of the time. You can make it with cold water instead of boiling, but the finished product will lack a bit of the classic chewy texture. Make the pancake dough first, then let it rest while you prepare the pork. You’ll sear the pancakes on a lightly oiled skillet or griddle just as the pork is finishing up.
Serve the dish taco style on these easy-to-make Chinese pancakes.
It’s the perfect recipe for any wild hog loin or tenderloin you might have in the freezer.
Slice the pork into bite-sized pieces. Mix the marinade ingredients in a 1-gallon zip-style bag, reserving about ½ cup. Add the pork and sliced mushrooms to the remaining marinade in the bag, massage to cover all surfaces of the meat, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Marinate the pork in the refrigerator for an hour while you make the pancakes.
Combine the flour with boiling water in a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon to blend.
Boiling water will provide the best texture in your finished pancakes, but cold water can suffice.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. The dough should be shaggy and a bit sticky at this point. Knead it until smooth, about 3-5 minutes. If the dough is too sticky, keep adding flour as needed, about a tablespoon at a time. Once your dough is smooth, add it to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a clean towel and let it rest for ½ hour.
After mixing the dough, let it rest for 30 minutes before making the pancakes.
Once the dough has rested, turn it onto a floured surface and use a rolling pin to press it out to about a ¼-inch-thick round. Sprinkle the surface evenly with the diced chives and drizzle lightly with sesame oil.
Roll the dough flat, then sprinkle with chives and sesame oil.
Roll the dough up into a log, tucking in the ends evenly. Use a sharp knife to cut the log into 14-16 even rounds. Lay the rounds onto a floured surface and roll out to 1/8-inch-thick pancakes 4-6 inches across. Cover the pancakes with a damp towel while you prepare the pork.
Slice the dough roll into even pinwheels, then roll each out flat.
Heat 2-3 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet. Once the oil starts to emit slight wisps of smoke, drain the marinade from the pork and add the meat and mushroom mixture to the skillet. Stir-fry for 3-4 minutes, then add the mushrooms, bamboo shoots, cabbage, and sliced radish. Cook for another 8-10 minutes or until the pork is cooked through and the cabbage and mushrooms have softened. Add the reserved sauce and stir to blend. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low to keep the mixture warm.
Stir-fry the pork mixture over high heat in a large skillet or wok.
While the pork cooks, heat a large skillet with a teaspoon or so of oil. Swirl the oil to evenly coat the pan. Sear the pancakes for 1-2 minutes per side, adding more oil between pancakes if needed. Stack the cooked pancakes on a warm platter and cover with a clean kitchen towel between batches.
Brown the pancakes for a few minutes per side in hot oil.
To serve, simply fill a pancake with the pork mixture, taco style. Garnish with diced green onions and toasted sesame seeds, if desired.
1-2 pounds pork tenderloin or loin, sliced into bite-sized strips
8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced
8-ounce can bamboo shoots, rinsed and drained
1 cup shredded cabbage, green or red
3-4 radishes, thinly sliced
Peanut or canola oil for frying
½ cup orange juice
½ cup hoisin sauce
¼ cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons diced fresh chives
2 tablespoons sesame oil