The October Daring Cooks' Challenge was hosted by Shelley of C Mom Cook and her sister Ruth of The Crafts of Mommyhood. They challenged us to bring a taste of the East into our home kitchens by making our own Moo Shu, including thin pancakes, stir fry and sauce.
The great thing about the Daring Cooks group, is that it challenges the members (namely, me) to cook things out of our comfort zone. Now, Asian food is not at all out of my comfort zone, but I've never had, or even seen, Moo Shu before. Much less the thin pancakes to roll it in. So yes, I was a little nervous and intimidated by it all, and the pancakes were definitely a bit of a challenge to perfect, but in the end it was a delicious meal that I have already been instructed by Mr. T that I will have to come back over and make for him again.
Because of my fight with the pancakes, it took me about 2+ hours overall from start to finish to complete the meal and considering I had been sick with a stomach bug the day before and wasn't 100% in the energy department, it was a bit daunting. However, the end result was well worth the time it took me to get it right. Keep in mind, it was not a flaw or fault of the recipe, but rather the cook (uh, that would be me). I blame it on the sickness. Yeah, let's go with that. Anywho...I highly suggest you Asian food-lovers give this a try!! You'll be so proud of yourselves and get a fantastic meal to boot!
Moo Shu Pork (with thin pancakes & hoisin sauce)
Source: The Chinese Kitchen by Deh-Ta Hsiung
Thin Pancakes:Makes 24-30 pancakes
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- About 1½ cup boiling water
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- Dry flour for dusting
- Sift the flour into a mixing bowl. Gently pour in the water, stirring as you pour, then stir in the oil. Knead the mixture into a soft but firm dough. If your dough is dry, add more water, one tablespoon at a time, to reach the right consistency. Cover with a damp towel and let stand for about 30 minutes.
- Lightly dust the surface of a worktop with dry flour. Knead the dough for 6-8 minutes or until smooth, then divide into 3 equal portions. Roll out each portion into a long sausage and cut each sausage into 8-10 pieces. Keep the dough that you are not actively working with covered with a lightly damp dish cloth to keep it from drying out.
- Roll each piece into a ball, then, using the palm of your hand, press each piece into a flat pancake. Dust the worktop with more dry flour. Flatten each pancake into a 6 to 8 inch (15 cm to 20 cm) circle with a rolling pin, rolling gently on both sides.
- Place an un-greased frying pan over high heat. Once the pan is hot, lower the heat to low and place the pancakes, one at a time, in the pan. Remove when little light-brown spots appear on the underside. Cover with a damp cloth until ready to serve.
- 2/3 cup Dried black fungus ('wood ears')
- ½ lb pork loin or butt
- ¾ cup bamboo shoots, thinly cut
- 3 cups Chinese cabbage (Napa cabbage), thinly cut
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 scallions
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons rice wine
- A few drops sesame oil
- 12 thin pancakes to serve
- Soak the fungus in warm water for 10-15 minutes, rinse and drain. Discard any hard stalks, then thinly shred.
- Thinly cut the pork, bamboo shoots and Chinese cabbage into matchstick-sized shreds.
- Lightly beat the eggs with a pinch of salt.
- Heat about 1 tablespoon oil in a preheated wok and scramble the eggs until set, but not too hard. Remove and keep to one side.
- Heat the remaining oil. Stir-fry the shredded pork for about 1 minute or until the color changes. Add the fungus, bamboo shoots, Chinese cabbage and scallions. Stir-fry for about 2-3 minutes, then add the remaining salt, soy sauce and wine. Blend well and continue stirring for another 2 minutes. Add the scrambled eggs, stirring to break them into small bits. Add the sesame oil and blend well.
- To serve: place about 1 tablespoon of hoisin sauce on the warm pancake, top with 2 tablespoons of hot Moo Shu in the center, rolling it into a parcel with the bottom end turned up to prevent the contents from falling out. Eat with your fingers.
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter OR black bean paste
- 1 tablespoon honey OR molasses
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 20 drops Chinese style hot sauce (optional, depending on how hot you want your hoisin sauce)
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Simply mix all of the ingredients together by hand using a sturdy spoon.
At first it does not appear like it will mix, but keep at it just a bit longer and your sauce will come together.