Better-Than-My-Mom’s Chungking Pork

Thoughts on cooking Better-Than-My-Mom’s Chungking Pork from J. Kenji Lopez-Alt’s _The Wok_ cookbook.

This week’s The Wok recipe was “Better-Than-My-Mom’s Chungking Pork”. The recipe was straightforward: marinate thinly slice pork, mix together a sauce, and stir-fry with cabbage.

This is the first recipe that I have needed to get an ingredient I don’t normally stock (I have a pretty well stocked southeast and east Asian pantry): fermented black beans, or douchi. I have purchased these once before, I think for a mapo dofu recipe, but didn’t keep them around. With two tablespoons in this recipe, they are not an insignificant part of the sauce.

Using previously learned techniques helped the recipe come together easily: using large pieces of garlic and ginger kept them from burning and having a bowl on hand to move cooked ingredients out of the wok allowed for hotter cooking of smaller batches. I added a touch of salt at the end of the stir-fry to help bring out the flavors a bit more. Perhaps if I had used the optional MSG with the pork it wouldn’t have needed it? Or maybe it was the brand of my soy sauce?

The kids both said that the meat was good, with my son helping himself to more. My wife said, “it has good flavor,” and I thought it was delicious. It was predominantly sweet with just a hint of spiciness from the chili flakes, not enough for the kids to even notice.

I am cooking my way through J. Kenji Lopez-Alt’s The Wok cookbook. Read more about it.