The cuisine of Shanghai, also called Hu Cuisine, is closely related to two of it’s neighboring provinces, Jiangsu and Zhejiang. Together the cuisine is known as Benbang Cuisine. I wonder if that is where we get “Bang Bang Chicken?” (it’s not – I was trying to be funny). Two ingredients that can contribute to making a dish characteristic of the cuisine of Shanghai is the combo of soy sauce and sugar. Cooking with alcohol is also popular, giving us drunken fish, drunken crabs, and drunken chicken. In Shanghai “red cooking” is also popular. That is a style of stewing which produces a red color to the food through the use of soy sauce and fermented bean paste or caramelized sugar. Popular dishes include: Lions’ Head (meatballs in a cabbage wrap), Shanghai Fried Noodles (like Chow Mein, but with wider noodles), Lime and Ginger Century Egg (fermented), and Stinky Tofu (don’t ask). I will spare you some of these.
Shanghai Stir-Fried Pork with Cabbage
- 3/4 pound boneless pork loin, trimmed and cut, against the grain, into 1/4-inch strips
- 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced thin
- 3 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
- Kosher salt
- 1 pound napa cabbage, halved lengthwise, cored and thinly sliced crosswise (green cabbage is less expensive and just as good)
- 1/2 cup chicken broth, optional (if you like it more saucy like us)
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 1/2 tablespoons dry sherry
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
Cooked rice and Chinese chile sauce, for serving
Whisk together the marinade ingredients . Place the pork in a baking dish or ziploc baggie and pour the marinade over. Let sit while you chop the vegetables and get the wok nice and hot.
Once the wok is hot, add about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil and stir fry the pork until it is nearly cooked through, about a minute. Transfer the pork to a shallow bowl.
Add another 1 1/2 tablespoon oil to the wok and stir fry the mushrooms and half the cabbage just until the cabbage is wilted. Add the remaining cabbage and stir fry another 2 minutes or so.
Return the pork and heat through, about a minute. Stir in chicken broth, if using.
Serve with the rice and chile sauce. I used a Korean BBQ sauce, yum!