Have you ever had some pork shoulder, a few random shrimp, and a whole lot of bok choy sitting around the old fridge with no dinner idea in sight? Common problem, right!?!? I, as always, am here to help.
Let me just crack open the old recipe book from my Cuisine of China class. This is my first stop when I have pork and bok choy. Stereotypical, I know. I should learn more recipes that have bok choy. Because, my veg box has been bok heavy these past weeks. (Or would it be choy heavy?) As with most Chinese recipes, this one takes a bit of prep work, but goes ridiculously fast once you get started cooking.
Pork Patties with Baby Bok Choy
- 1¾ lb baby bok choy (stem and leaves), rinsed, cut into bite-sized chunks about 3” long
- 12 oz pork shoulder (you can use pork chops as well)
- 6 oz shrimp
- 2 oz water chestnuts, crushed and finely chopped (this recipe tastes so much better with fresh water chestnuts, but if you can’t find any the canned will work… I’d suggest rinsing and patting dry before chopping.)
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- 1 T soy sauce
- 2 t sesame oil
- ½ t sugar
- ½ t white pepper
- 2 T cornstarch
- 3 T water
- 2 t sesame oil
- 5 T cooking oil (peanut is recommended, but vegetable oil will work just as well)
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- ¼ C water or broth (or ¼ t MSG with ¼ C water… I used a bit of Maggi Seasoning Sauce… oh, so beautiful)
- ¾ C carrots, shredded (this is for garnishing… so I omitted because I’m lazy like that)
Chop the pork and shrimp into a ground sausage texture. (In traditional Chinese cooking, this would mean taking meat cleavers to continually chop. I cut everything into smaller chunks and then used the pulse function on my food processor. Yes, it gets a bit stuck and is slightly gross looking, but it’s fast and it works.)
Mix the soy sauce, 2 t sesame oil, sugar, and pepper in a small bowl. In a large bowl, combine pork and shrimp mixture with water chestnuts and green onions. Using a rubber spatula, work the seasoning mix in as well. Set aside.
In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch, water, and remaining sesame oil. Set aside. (This is your thickening solution.)
Heat 2 T cooking oil in a large flat skillet to very hot. Add one-half of the pork mixture and with the back of a large spatula, press flat to form a ⅜” thick pancake. (This is really very thin. It’s imperative that you make it thin so it will cook through. I did three batches instead of two because I couldn’t make them thin enough.) Fry until firm then turn over and do the same on the other side. They should be slightly charred on top. Remove and place the patty on a paper towel lined plate. Repeat.
Cut each patty into pieces about 1½” by 2½”. Set aside.
Heat 1 T cooking oil in clean, dry wok until it’s smoky hot. Add garlic and baby bok choy. Mix to cook for 30 seconds, then add the water or broth. Lower the heat, cover and cook for 2-3 minutes, turning over two to three times. Add pork patties and mix slowly so that the patties do not break into small pieces. (Mine did.)
Add the thickening solution and mix well. Pour everything over the grated carrots.
Well, not so pretty… probably because I lacked those carrots. But seriously tasty. You really need to use sesame oil as the patties pick up the flavor nicely. Next time, I might up the green onions and get rid of the water chestnuts (just because I hate the canned versions.)
I served mine over rice which soaked up the “sauce” nicely. (And, by sauce, I mean that drippy liquid on the plate. More thickener next time!)