Ben Pao's Pork and Plum Soong

July 5, 2010 12:48:57 PM PDT
This summer Ben Pao is offering a special menu full of luck and juicy sweetness that revolves around the plum.

Serves 6-8 People

Ingredients

8 c Vegetable Oil (for deep frying)
2 oz Dried Shiitake Mushrooms
12 oz Sliced Water Chestnuts
1 lb Ground Pork
½ c Minced Green Onion (green part only)
1 c Diced Plums
1 oz Sesame Oil
3 T Vegetable Oil

Sauce Ingredients

1 ½ T Oyster Sauce
1 ½ T Hoisin Sauce
1 T Mushroom Soy
1 ½ T Soy Sauce
½ c Chicken Stock (unseasoned) 1 ½ T Sugar

Accompaniments

4 oz Rice Stick Noodles
2 heads Bibb Lettuce
2-4 oz Orange-plum Sauce (see recipe to follow) Preparation

To make the rice stick noodles heat the vegetable oil in a wok or a deep skillet to 350º on medium heat. Take the rice stick bundle and pull apart slightly. Test one strand of the noodle in the oil first. It should puff up as soon as it hits the oil. Once the oil is heated take the entire bundle of noodles and put it gently into the oil. Stand back as it will immediately puff up, tripling in size. As soon as the noodles have puffed up evenly take the bundle out of the oil and drain onto paper towels. Reserve the oil for another use.

For the sauce mixture combine all of the sauce ingredients together in a small saucepan. Stir the sauce over medium-low heat. Once the sugar has melted the sauce is done. Take it off of the heat and pour into a container and let it cool.

The shiitake mushrooms need to be rehydrated before they can be used. Soak the mushrooms in cold water for about 30 minutes or until they are soft and completely rehydrated. Drain the water and rinse well. Cut off all woody stems and discard. Drain well and put aside.

Bring four cups of water to a boil and blanch water chestnuts for about two minutes. Drain and cool under running water to stop the cooking process. Drain fully and set aside. Place soaked mushrooms in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Follow the same procedure for the water chestnuts.

Once both ingredients are cool combine the mushrooms and water chestnuts and set aside until you are ready to make the dish.

Stir-frying the Dish

Heat a wok or sauté pan with three tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium heat. Put the ground pork into the pan stirring constantly to keep it from sticking to the pan. Add chopped mushrooms and water chestnuts and continue stirring for thirty seconds. Add the soy mixture and cook until heated through (about one minute). Toss in the minced green onions and plums and cook for another ten seconds. Drizzle with the sesame oil and take the pan off of the heat. Serve in a deep plate or a shallow bowl.

Assembling and Serving the Dish

Serve the hot soong mixture accompanied by the lettuce cups, the puffed rice sticks, and the orange- plum sauce. Each item should be served in a separate bowl so that guests can help themselves to the ingredients. To assemble the dish take one cold lettuce cup and hold it in the palm of your hand. Place ¼ cup of the hot soong mixture into the lettuce cup. Put a generous pinch of rice noodles on top of the mixture. Drizzle the orange-plum sauce over the ingredients and roll the lettuce cup like a taco. Songs are finger foods so don't be shy about rolling up your sleeves and digging in.

Orange-plum Sauce

1 c Canned or Jar Plum Sauce (Koon Chun brand)
3 oz Fresh Orange Juice
¼ c Simple Syrup (1 oz sugar, 1 oz water)
¼ c White Vinegar

Mix all ingredients together.


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