Having worked on this tofu book for about a year and a half, I’ve found myself eating a mostly low-meat diet. For that reason, there are often bits of meat sitting in the fridge that I have to use up. This week, there was about 12 ounces of pork shoulder steak lingering. Looking for an easy, Chinese-y way to use it up, I made this stir-fry, based on a Hunan recipe from Fuschia Dunlop’s Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook. She described “Farmhouse Stir-Fried Pork with Green Peppers” (Nong Jia Chao Rou) as a popular peasant dish but I found that the flavors were fit for a king.
I had no sweet Italian peppers, as called for in the recipe, so I substituted tender Romano beans from the farmers’ market. A Fresno chile lent color and a tiny bit of heat. Balancing texture, color, and flavor is key to stir-frying just like it is with any cooking.
The most remarkable aspect of this stir-fry was the seasoning of the pork. With just a bit of light and dark soy sauce and Shaoxing rice wine, the pork took on a wonderful velvety, deeply savory quality. Rory remarked that it was bordering being lamblike. The key was using a fat (well marbled) piece of pork shoulder. You know I love grilled pork shoulder steaks. Next time you’re at a market buy an extra one for this stir-fry. We gobbled it up with rice.
I suppose that if you don’t want to eat pork, chicken thigh would be work as a substitute. Instead of the green beans, try Anaheim or Pasilla chiles, if you like. Lovely sweet Italian peppers should be coming into season in a few weeks. I typically get mine from Hmong farmers.