Have you ever tried Yu Xiang Rou Si, also known as Chinese Shredded Pork Stir-Fry? This dish is a flavor-packed delight that’s commonly found in China, but luckily it’s also available as a takeout option in the United States. You’ve got to try it if you haven’t already – trust me, it’s worth it!
Both the Chinese and English names are deceptive. The restaurant staff assured me that the dish I had sampled was representative of what you would find in Chengdu, the capital of China’s Sichuan province, where the dish was first created. There was no discernible fish sauce or garlic flavor, at least not to my palate. The flavor was mildly spicy, tangy, and slightly sweet.
Although some might not consider this pork stir-fry recipe to be “Yu Xiang,” it is a simple and speedy recreation of a dish I enjoyed in Chengdu. The stem of a giant Romaine lettuce, also known as “wo sun,” is one of the main ingredients in this dish.
These stalks are no joke; their average diameter is about two inches, and I have only ever seen them in China. It wouldn’t surprise me to find them in Asian supermarkets in the United States.
A great way to use the long stems that are often discarded when purchasing broccoli, which I used here in Beijing. Taste-wise and texturally, there is little difference between the two, and this is a great way to put that part of the broccoli to good use. And it’s good for you!
- 8 oz. of pork loin (sliced in small strips)
- 2 tsp. of cornstarch (divided)
- 1 tsp. of oil
- 5 pcs. of broccoli stems (peeled and julienned)
- 1 pc. of large carrot (julienned)
- 1 pc. of small yellow or red bell pepper (julienned)
- 4 pcs. of long hot green peppers (julienned)
- 3 tbsp. of water
- 2 tbsp. of oil
- 6 pcs. of dried red chili peppers
- 2 tbsp. of shaoxing wine
- 1 tbsp. of rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. of sugar
- 1/2 tsp. of salt
- ¼ tsp. of white pepper
- 1 tbsp. of red chili oil
- Prepare the pork by mixing 1 teaspoon cornstarch with 1 teaspoon of oil in a small bowl. Prepare your plate of chopped vegetables so you can quickly grab what you need while you cook. Prepare a slurry by combining the second teaspoon of cornstarch with three tablespoons of water.
- Stir fry the pork for about a minute in a hot wok with a tablespoon of oil. After taking it out of the wok, put the pork in a separate bowl.
- Don’t turn down the heat on the wok; add another teaspoon of oil if necessary and toss in the dried chilis. Add the vegetables to the wok after cooking them for about 10 seconds. Cook the mixture for 2 minutes at high heat, tossing it occasionally with a metal spatula.
- Deglaze the wok with the shaoxing wine and get things sizzling by pouring it around the rim. Toss everything in the wok once more after adding the pork back in. Then season with salt, pepper, sugar, and vinegar.
- Toss in your cornstarch, water slurry, and a tablespoon of chili oil, and stir to combine.
- Finally, stir in the rice, and you’re ready to serve!