The October Daring Cooks' Challenge was hosted by Shelley of C Mom Cook and her sister Ruth of The Crafts of Mommyhood. They challenged us to bring a taste of the East into our home kitchens by making our own Moo Shu, including thin pancakes, stir fry and sauce.
My second post this friday: Moo Shu. And honostly it wasn't a succes in my family. It looked great, the ingredients looked great on paper (although I never tasted bamboo shoots before) and while eating the taste.... As I wrote before I haven't cooked or eaten bamboo shoots before. The shoots I bought had a particular smell, which we (all of my family) didn't like. And it ruined the recipe, because we couldn't taste it with the right mindset. Maybe it was my can of bamboo shoots, I don't know if this was normal. On the forum of the daring kitchen I've explained what happened and some of my daring colleagues suggested to use carrot or another vegetable. Honoustly I haven't daring to try that one yet, but maybe it's a daring challenge for you????
For the recipe:
- 4 cups (960 ml) (560 gm) (193⁄4 oz) all-purpose flour;
- About 11⁄2 cup (300ml) (10 fl oz) boiling water;
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vegetable oil;
- Dry flour for dusting.
Moo Shu Pork:
- 1⁄2 lb (450 gm) pork loin or butt;
- 3⁄4 cup (31⁄2 oz) (100 gm) bamboo shoots, thinly cut;
- 3 cups (6 oz) (170 gm) Chinese cabbage (Napa cabbage), thinly cut;
- 3 large eggs;
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 gm) salt;
- 4 tablespoons (60 ml) vegetable oil;
- 2 scallions;
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) light soy sauce;
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) rice wine;
- A few drops sesame oil.
- 4 tablespoons (60 ml) soy sauce;
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) peanut butter OR black bean paste (I used (because of my allergy) cashewnut butter);
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) honey OR molasses;
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) white vinegar;
- 1/8 teaspoon (2⁄3 ml) garlic powder;
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) sesame seed oil;
- 20 drops (1⁄4 teaspoon) Chinese style hot sauce (optional, depending on how hot you want your hoisin sauce);
- 1/8 teaspoon (2⁄3 ml) black pepper.
Lightly dust the surface of a worktop with dry flour. Knead the dough for 6-8 minutes or until smooth, then divide into 3 equal portions. Roll out each portion into a long sausage and cut each sausage into 8-10 pieces. Keep the dough that you are not actively working with covered with a lightly damp dish cloth to keep it from drying out.
Roll each piece into a ball, then, using the palm of your hand, press each piece into a flat pancake. Dust the worktop with more dry flour. Flatten each pancake into a 6 to 8 inch (15 cm to 20 cm) circle with a rolling pin, rolling gently on both sides.
Sift the flour into a mixing bowl. Gently pour in the water, stirring as you pour, then stir in the oil. Knead the mixture into a soft but firm dough. If your dough is dry, add more water, one tablespoon at a time, to reach the right consistency. Cover with a damp towel and let stand for about 30 minutes.
Place an un-greased frying pan over high heat. Once the pan is hot, lower the heat to low and place the pancakes, one at a time, in the pan. Remove when little light-brown spots appear on the underside. Cover with a damp cloth until ready to serve.
Moo Shu pork:
Thinly cut the pork, bamboo shoots and Chinese cabbage into matchstick-sized shreds. Lightly beat the eggs with a pinch of salt. Heat about 1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil in a preheated wok and scramble the eggs until set, but not too hard. Remove and keep to one side. Heat the remaining oil. Stir-fry the shredded pork for about 1 minute or until the color changes. Add the bamboo shoots, Chinese cabbage and scallions. Stir-fry for about 2-3 minutes, then add the remaining salt, soy sauce and wine. Blend well and continue stirring for another 2 minutes. Add the scrambled eggs, stirring to break them into small bits. Add the sesame oil and blend well.
Simply mix all of the ingredients together by hand using a sturdy spoon.
At first it does not appear like it will mix, but keep at it just a bit longer and your sauce will come together.
Final preparation and serving:
Each of the three components that comprise the complete Moo Shu dish are served separately, and the diner prepares each serving on his or her own plate. Most restaurants provide four pancakes, a serving of Moo-Shu and a small dish of hoisin sauce as a single serving. To prepare each pancake for eating, the following is the most common process: a small amount of hoisin sauce is spread onto the pancake, on top of which a spoonful of the stir-fry is placed. In order to prevent (or, realistically, minimize) the filling from spilling out while eating, the bottom of the pancake is folded up, then the pancake is rolled, similarly to a soft taco. Once rolled, the prepared pancake is eaten immediately.