Monday, 10 March 2014

Pork with Straw Mushrooms, Bamboo, and Fermented Black Beans

A little variation on a theme...

This would also be great with sliced chicken breast. It's just a quick variation on beef with green peppers in black bean sauce, but with a few different ingredients. It's very tasty, and once you've chopped all your ingredients, very quick to make!

I highly recommend sourcing some salted, fermented black beans to make this (oriental shops sell them, they're cheap, and they last for ages) to make your own sauce, they're delicious and very versatile and you can pick up some tinned straw mushrooms (and bamboo and water chestnuts) cheaply while you're in the oriental store/section! Although I'd urge you to use the fermented black beans in their original state to make your own sauce, I’ve included the option for you to use a pre-made black bean sauce, if you’d rather.

Serves two, generously - 287 calories per portion (if using Amoy stir fry black bean sauce, this increases to 323 calories per portion). Easily doubled, and everyone else will love it too on a non-fast day.

If you want nice thin slices of pork, then you need it pretty much half-frozen in order to be able to slice it into really thin, uniform slices (so either half-defrosted from the freezer, or stick the pork loin in the freezer for an hour, hour and a half until it's really firm), use a really sharp knife, and cut against the grain for tender meat (oh, and don’t over-cook it!), and then a really good non-stick wok (or pan) to be able to fry it quickly and evenly in a small amount of oil without it sticking. If you're not counting calories, then you can use more oil to fry in.

Serve with your choice of rice or cauliflower rice, noodles, rice/beanthread noodles or shirataki/zero noodles depending on what kind of calorie consumption you're after.

225g pork fillet (loin), finely sliced [344]
1 teaspoon OR 12 sprays neutral oil (e.g. rice bran, sunflower, groundnut) [45]
1 small/½ large green (bell) pepper, cut into bite-sized squares (80g) [21]
1 cloves garlic, finely chopped, slivered or grated (your preference) [6]
1 ½ inches ginger root, cut into fine matchsticks (or finely chopped if you prefer) [5]
1 large red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped [6]
70g water chestnuts, sliced (1/2 a small tin) [13]
60g bamboo shoots, sliced into strips (1/2 a small tin) [8]

1 ½ tbsp fermented, salted black beans, roughly chopped (or black bean sauce, see ‘For the sauce’ - check labels if cooking gluten free) [29]
1 425g tin straw mushrooms (in water/brine, drained weight 210g) [31]
2 spring onions (scallions), sliced finely on the diagonal, including green parts (washed of grit) [7]

For the marinade
1 tsp light soy sauce (or tamari if cooking gluten free) [3]
1 tsp Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry if cooking gluten free) [7]
1 tsp cornflour (cornstarch) [12]

For the sauce
1 tsp cornflour (cornstarch) [12]
1 tsp Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry if cooking gluten free) [7]
1 tbsp light soy sauce (or tamari if cooking gluten free)  [8]
1 tbsp oyster sauce (usually contains wheat/gluten, you can get vegetarian versions, e.g. ASDA's own brand oyster sauce) [21]
½ tsp sugar [8]
50ml chicken stock (or vegetable if cooking vegetarian) [3]


Instead of using fermented, salted black beans, and the sauce ingredients, you can use a pre-made/bought black bean sauce (not as tasty, and nearly double the calories, but more convenient for some, e.g. Amoy ‘Stir Fry Sauce, Black Bean’, 120g, serves two – check the packaging if using a different brand - check ingredients if cooking gluten free) [160]

Combine the ingredients for the marinade together, mix it thoroughly with the sliced pork and set aside while you prepare the other ingredients (N.B. If using cooked prawns, tofu or vegetables, don’t marinade, but add the marinade ingredients to the sauce ingredients, once both are combined).

Combine the sauce ingredients together also, in order (mixing the cornflour into a smooth paste with the wine and soy, before adding the other ingredients) and set aside.

Make sure you have some recently boiled / hot water set aside, in case you need to thin the sauce at the end of cooking (likely, with a hot wok).

Heat a decent-sized wok (or deep frying pan), with a good non-stick coating/seasoning (necessary due to the small amount of oil used) over a high heat, and then add ½ tsp of the oil, to it, or 6 sprays (not the sesame oil).

Add the sliced meat to the hot wok, stir-frying it vigorously for 2-3 minutes, until the outsides are lightly browned and it’s almost cooked through, then remove with a slotted spoon to a separate dish (don’t worry if you can still see a little pink here and there – it’s going in again, and you don’t want to over-cook it).

Add the peppers and stir fry for a couple of minutes, then add the garlic, ginger and chilli, bamboo and water chestnuts (and any other vegetables bar spring onions and straw mushrooms) and stir fry for a further 2 to 3 minutes until fragrant.

Add the black beans (if using) and continue stir frying for another 1 to 2 minutes, then turn down the heat and add the sauce ingredients (or black bean sauce, if using) and cook for another 1 or 2 minutes until the sauce starts to bubble and thicken (if your wok retains heat well, you may find that your sauce bubbles and thickens pretty instantly, and you’ll need to add some hot water from the kettle to thin it out a little).

Add your pork back into the wok with the straw mushrooms, bamboo and water chestnuts and toss in the sauce until cooked through, (add extra hot water if your sauce starts getting too thick as necessary. Heat prawns or tofu through gently, tossing gently if firm tofu so you don’t break it up), adding the majority of the sliced spring onions just before it's finished cooking.

Taste for seasoning (you could add extra light soy sauce if you feel it needs it, or thin/dilute with a little hot water if it’s on the salty side for you – these things will depend on the brands of soy sauce, stock etc. you use) serve immediately, scattered with the remaining spring onions and enjoy!


You could use up the remained of your bamboo and water chestnuts in my Spicy Sichaun Duck with Ginger and Pineapple, and use up more black beans in my Beef in Green Pepper and Black Bean sauce.

*Like many dishes, you can choose which protein you’d rather use with this sauce, substitute chicken,beef , tofu, king prawns, mushrooms, vegetables if you’d rather, or even make the ‘sauce’ and serve with a grilled fish if you like – the choice is yours! Some ideas could be:

·        Chicken breast, cut into strips – 110 calories per 100g

·        Pork fillet, cut into very thin slices – 150 calories per 100g

·        Cooked peeled (jumbo?) king prawns (or you could use raw and cook first) – (e.g. Sainsbury’s TTD frozen) 80 calories per 100g

·        Marinated tofu pieces (e.g. Cauldron) – 227 calories per 100g

·        Firm tofu, cubed – 76 calories per 100g

·        Bamboo shoots, cut into matchsticks (tinned, drained) – 13 calories per 100g

·        Shredded Chinese leaf/napa cabbage – 12 calories per 100g

·        Finely julienned, or very thinly sliced (e.g. on a mandolin) carrot – 26 calories per 100g

·        Sliced/quartered or button mushrooms – 16 calories per 100g

·        Babycorn/Baby sweetcorn, sliced/quartered lengthways – 24 calories per 100g

·        Aubergine, cubed – 20 calories per 100g

·        Asparagus, cut into 1 inch lengths – 28 calories per 100g

·        Finely julienned or sliced courgette – 18 calories per 100g

·        Peas/petit pois (defrosted) – 68 calories per 100g

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Recipes

If you liked this recipe, you may also like these...