Wednesday, February 5, 2014

WW: Sichuan Pork with Peppers and Peanuts

Wok Wednesdays wokking through Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge
by Grace Young

I know I sound like a broken record when it comes to my Wok Wednesdays' posts.. but what can I say? Grace's recipes are fabulous! Even when errors and substitutions are made.

Get the book already, and a wok!

This recipe was delicious, even with my substitution and error - as for the substitution, the recipe calls for chili bean sauce - I have too many open jars of "hot" sauces in my refrigerator, so I refused to buy yet another, as tempting as it was; I subbed hunan red chili sauce (a favorite of mine) and added some fermented black beans (about one tablespoon) - some I mashed, and some I left whole.

As for the error.. the recipe calls for one tablespoon egg white (to tenderize the meat); I inadvertently used one whole egg white, so I had a bit of scrambled egg added to my dish. Being I have not had this dish before, I have nothing to compare it to - and I have to say, it still turned out perfect in by book.

This recipe (so far), I think is Andy's favorite - he really liked it a lot. He even said, "We can have this again - oh wait, I am going to have this again - leftovers tomorrow for lunch!" :)

I served this delicious stir-fry along with brown rice made with vegetable broth, and roasted Brussels sprouts - drizzled with a little balsamic vinegar just before serving.

The recipe calls for lean pork shoulder or butt. As you can see, I had a whole lotta fat to cut off - not so lean. Good thing I just sharpened my knife - made for an easy task.

I asked my butcher for pork butt or shoulder - I was given boneless ribs - he assured me they were the same.

I got to thinking, well, my ribs are in between my butt and shoulder, so I did get either? Hmmm.. Time for a Google search! I found this information on Chow:

Q: "Are Country style ribs the same as pork shoulder, or what are they?"

A: "The North American Meat Processors Association says that country style ribs "shall be prepared from the blade end of a bone-in pork loin, and shall include not less the three ribs, and no more than some additional technical cutting jargon....These are "true" CS ribs.....
Also, you will see another "Country Style Rib" in your grocer’s meat case. These are cut from the shoulder...specifically the butt portion....Obviously they are not "ribs" at all...they are just pork butt sliced/cut into strips...Once long ago in my area these "ribs" were labeled as "Western Style Ribs" to differentiate from true "Country Style"...Some/a few small independent retailers (in my area) still use the Western Style Rib labeling on those "ribs" from the shoulder/butt
Truth in Labeling suggest that somewhere on the package the exact location of where the meat comes from should be stated...In this case....Pork Shoulder, Butt or Loin....Often times this appears in small print, or in bold print as part of the labeling...PORK LOIN COUNTRY STYLE RIBS, Or COUNTRY STYLE small print somewhere else on the label...Pork shoulder....Then again not all retailers comply...."

I am not hip on the different cuts of meat - all I can do is trust my butcher.

Mise en place.

Bowl 1: Red onion, garlic

Bowl 2: Pork in marinade

Bowl 3: Hunan Red Chili Sauce with added fermented beans (Recipe calls for chili bean sauce.)

Bowl 4: Red bell pepper

Bowl 5: Salt & pepper (Recipe calls for white pepper.)

Bowl 6: Soy sauce, vinegar, dry sherry

Bowl 7: Roasted, unsalted peanuts

We are asked not to post the recipes here on our blog. If you would like the recipe, you will find it on page 95 of  Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge, which you can purchase at your local bookstore or find it at your local library. I highly recommend purchasing the book - you won't be disappointed. 

Wok Wednesdays is an online cooking group. If you would like information about joining us, click here, or visit us on Facebook. Would love for you to wok along with us!



  1. I used pork loin in mine too but on purpose because my market sells small ones. I'm pretty sure there isn't a big difference. Your mis en place looks fab as usual. How many different ways can we say that we love this book? lol.

  2. You may not have had pork butt but your results look terrific. What a yummy dinner!


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