Walter Kei of Hong Kong taught me this simple peppery Shanghainese-style stir-fry. Many traditional cooks prefer the "head and tail" of the bean sprout to be removed. This is very labor-intensive, but in Hong Kong, produce vendors sell trimmed sprouts, called "silver sprouts," for a slightly higher price.
- 8 ounces lean pork butt
- 2 teaspoons grated garlic
- 4 teaspoons Shao Hsing rice wine or dry sherry
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 2 tablespoons golden olive oil
- 1 pound mung bean sprouts
Slice the pork into 1/4-inch-thick slices, then stack the slices and cut into 2-inch-long matchsticks. Put the matchsticks in a shallow bowl and add the garlic, 2 teaspoons of the rice wine, the cornstarch, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Stir to combine.
Heat 14-inch flat-bottomed wok over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in the olive oil and add the pork, spread it around it in the wok. Cook undisturbed 20 seconds, letting the pork begin to brown. Then, using a metal spatula, stir-fry the pork until it is no longer pink, about 1 minute. Add the bean sprouts, then remaining 2 teaspoons rice wine, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes or until the pork and bean sprouts are just cooked through.