The China Rose Collection
How you doin’? 你好嗎 (Nǐ hǎo ma). One of the most popular dishes of my Chinese restaurant, China Rose, was Moo Shu Pork. Sometimes called Chinese tacos or Burritos, it is a typical stir-fried dish in northern China. It's made with strips of pork, green onions, mushrooms, and scrambled eggs, all rolled into small, thin pancakes that have been brushed with hoisin sauce.
Moo shu has all the attributes that bring people back to dishes like this—called, “Come Back Flavor.” It is customized at the table with sauces and it requires some participation in assembling it. In China most waiters will use two spoons to dish up the stir fry into the Mandarin pancakes, but it is more fun when you do it yourself.
In its traditional northern Chinese version, moo shu pork (木须肉 / mùxūròu) consists of sliced pork tenderloin, cucumber and scrambled eggs, stir fried in sesame or peanut oil together with bite-sized cuttings of wood ear fungus (black mushrooms) and enokitake mushrooms. The dish is seasoned with minced ginger and garlic, scallions, soy sauce, and rice cooking wine (usually huangjiu).
In the United States, moo shu seems to have appeared in Chinese restaurants in New York City and Washington, D.C., around 1966, receiving mention in a New York Times guide to Washington, D.C., restaurants published in that year. One of the first restaurants in Manhattan to serve the dish was Pearl's, one of the best known New York City Chinese restaurants to serve non-Cantonese food in the 1960s. A 1967 article in The New York Times called out another of the first restaurateurs to serve the moo shu in Manhattan, Emily Kwoh, the owner of the Mandarin House, Mandarin East, and Great Shanghai restaurants. The dish was also early on the menu at Joyce Chen's, a pioneering Mandarin-style restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Now try the China Rose version moo shu… it is pretty spectacular.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Marinade time: 1 hour
Cook time: 15 minutes
Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 2 filled pancakes)
For the marinade
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or sake
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1-1/2-pounds boneless pork loin, trimmed and cut into 1 x 1/4-inch strips
For the filling
10 dried shiitake mushrooms
1/2 cup (1-inch) sliced green onions
3 tablespoons minced garlic (about 12 cloves)
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1/4 cup dried wood ear mushrooms (about 1/4 ounce)
3 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or sake
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups thinly sliced Napa (Chinese) cabbage stalks
4 cups thinly sliced Napa (Chinese) cabbage leaves
2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or sake
For the sauce
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
16 Mandarin Pancakes (see recipe below or substitute small, thin flour tortillas)
To make the pork marinade
To make the sauce
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Yield: 16 pancakes (serving size: 2 pancakes)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup boiling water
1 1/2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
ChefSecret: I really like the taste of straight hoisin sauce and usually just smear that on the pancake. You only need a little. I also like to drizzle the hoisin in the cut end of the moo shu pancake.
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