Ying's ideas of easy Chinese home-cooking

Fried Bamboo Shoot with Pork Belly in Dou-ban Sauce

春筍炒五花肉

There is a fallacy that Chinese food is unhealthy, which I totally disagree! For me, western style Chinese food or American Chinese food isn’t real Chinese food at all. When I studied in central Scotland, I was kindly served authentic Chinese food in the local Chinese restaurants there. Those were the food not in the menu, sometimes steamed fish or chicken, or Char-sui with fat, or fried vegetable with garlic or ginger, never sweet-and-sour, never kung-po.

I believe Chinese cuisine is one of the healthiest among all, Cantonese especially. Chinese consider balanced diet important. For instance, seasonal produces are more preferable; if there is meat in a meal, then there must be vegetable; if the meat is too fat, then some vegetable should be cooked with. Say for example the one in this recipe, bamboo shoot is in season in spring and tastes tender and sweet; pork belly is a bit fat then adding some vegetable to fry with is suggestive.

This is a quick and easy dish. Dou-ban sauce, also known as Chili Bean Sauce, is the mildest among all chili sauces, because the chili in making the sauce is not spicy. It smells so good and is one of the very common Chinese seasoning sauce like soy sauce and oyster sauce.

Fresh bamboo shoot may not be able to be obtained easily but boiled bamboo shoot can be found in most of the Asian grocery stores and is even easier to cook with. Dou-ban sauce can be seen in almost all supermarkets, Asian section.

Ingredients –
Boiled bamboo shoot, 1, about 250g;
Pork belly, 200g;
Garlic sprout, 60g. Use spring onion if you don’t have garlic sprout. Garlic sprout tastes garlicky;
Garlic, 2 cloves;
Dou-ban sauce, 2tbsp. Do have a try before using, it’s not spicy so don’t hesitate;
Soy sauce, 1tbsp;
Sugar, 2tsp;
Thai chili, 2, optional. Thai chili is spicy. If you don’t eat spicy food, don’t use it.

How to do –
1. Let’s prepare the ingredients. Pork belly sliced into 1 or 2 millimeter’s thick in bite size; bamboo shoot also sliced into similar size; garlic sprout cleaned, root and tough leave removed, then cut into short sticks; garlic and chili sliced;

2. Fill some water in a pot, bring to boil, and poach the bamboo in it for about 1 minute, then drain. Well this step is optional since in this recipe, boiled bamboo shoot is used. Usually fresh bamboo shoot taste a little bitter and needs to be boiled in water for about 10 minutes to remove the bitterness. But those packed boiled bamboo shoot is ready to be used directly;

3. Heat a little oil in hot frying pan in high heat, put in the pork belly and fry double sides till golden and fat released;

4. Put in the bamboo shoot and garlic, flip and mix well with the pork, then lid on, cook for 2 minutes in medium heat;

5. Put in all seasoning ingredients and the chili, flip and fry for 1 minute; then add in the garlic sprout, flip and fry for about half minute in high heat;

7. Serve right away with steamed rice.

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