It’s been great having my mother here with me in Dallas — every morning when I wake up I am greeted with a warm “Good Morning Xin xin!” opposed to my usual routine of Collin tickling the bottoms of my feet and me grumpily falling out of bed. Don’t get me wrong, the feet tickling hasn’t stopped., but now I wake up with a sense of excitement because I have my mother there for company. I no longer clumsily search for my pot of coffee and skip breakfast because nothing sounds good because… okay before I go any further, please refrain all judgment of me being a spoiled child… my mom will be there with a cup of ginseng tea because “Too much coffee is no good Xin xin! Ginseng give you energy.” After my tea routine my mother continues to check all aspects of my health — “OKAY lemme see your tongue! Oooooh tsk tsk tsk, today tongue is no good I will fix you medicine. Hmm lemme check your heels! OOoooh dry heel, sign of bad health, I go get you ointment I massage for you.”
Wow. A girl could honestly get use to this treatment. After not living with my mother for almost 10 years, one forgets how well she had it, and trust me I am soaking up the glory right now…every single drop. When she arrived we made a cooking schedule “Okay you make American Monday Wednesday Friday, I make Chinese Tuesday Thursday Saturday, Collin order pizza Sunday!” Except I haven’t cooked at all because my mother has taken over the kitchen with her wonderful glorious food, and frankly it’s been absolutely frikkin’ AWESOME.
And as I promised, I am going to share the wonderful food with you guys. Results are best achieved by cooking with a wok on a propane fueled fire station — the temperatures are hotter and as a result gives the dishes a nice smokey flavor.
Ingredients for Pork with Garlic Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 2 teaspoons minced ginger
- 2 small dried chiles
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless pork, preferably from the shoulder (Boston butt or picnic), cut into thin shreds and thoroughly dried
- 2 teaspoon corn starch + 1 tablespoon water
- 1/4 cup dried tree ears, soaked in hot tap water until softened, drained, patted dry, and torn by hand into 1-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup carrots, finely shredded
- 1/4 cup green bell pepper, finely shredded
- 1/4 cup white onion, finely shredded
- 1 bunch of scallions, trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths, white and green parts separated
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons rice wine
- 1 1/2 tablespoons hot chile paste
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
Combine the pork, cornstarch, and 1 tablespoon of water in a medium bowl. Cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Heat a large wok over high heat. Add enough vegetable oil to come about 1 inch up the sides of the wok, and heat it to 325° F. Add the pork and stir gently until it turns light brown, about 40 seconds. Using a wide wire-mesh strainer, transfer the pork to a colander to drain. Discard all but 4 tablespoons of oil from the wok.
To start the sauce, mix the vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and rice wine in a small bowl and set it aside. Dissolve the cornstarch in 3 tablespoons cold water, and set it aside. Return the wok to high heat. Add the ginger, garlic, and scallions, and stir-fry until they are fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add onion, carrots, tree ears, and bell pepper and stir-fry until the bell pepper starts to soften, about 30 seconds. Transfer the vegetables to the colander. Add the vinegar mixture to the wok and stir for 10 seconds. Then add the hot chili paste and stir for 10 seconds more. Return the pork and vegetables to the wok, and stir-fry until the sauce comes to a boil and thickens, about 20 seconds. Add the hot chili oil, if using, and stir-fry for 10 seconds. Add the sesame oil and serve immediately.
Wow, it’s a tough life I live here in the Wells household…:)
I would also like to share a couple photography shoots I’ve done recently — one was an engagement shoot for my bestfriend and the other was of my adorable nephew.