This is a quick and easy Mu Shu pork stir fry dish that can be made with common ingredients, or you can ramp it up with authentic ingredients like mu shu pancakes (or sometimes called mandarin pancakes), wood ears, and lily buds. All three ingredients can be found in Asian markets. The pancakes are found in the freezer section. Dried wood ears (black wood ears) as well as lily buds (golden needles) are found in the staples sections or can be ordered online. They add flavor and texture to Chinese dishes that really can’t be replicated from any substitutions.
Both the wood ears and lily buds need to be rinsed and then reconstituted in very hot water before using them. The lily buds have a stem base that stays hard and should be broken off and thrown away before steeping in the water. Squeeze all the liquid out and discard before using the reconstituted wood ears and lily buds.
But good news, you can make wonderful mu shu pork without the wood ears and lily buds. Try it both ways and decide which way you prefer.
The mandarin pancakes can be made from scratch (there are many good recipes on the internet), or you can substitute unbaked flour tortillas that you quickly heat until just warm and starting to turn white on both sides.
Mu Shu can be made with chicken or tofu, but pork is traditional. It includes cooked egg and vegetables cut into long thin strips that cook evenly. The dish is finished with a savory brown sauce. Hoisin sauce is spread on the pancake and generous spoonful of the stir-fry is placed in the center of the pancake. Fold up the bottom edge and bring in both sides to create an open-ended bundle. Eat from the top-down carefully since there will be drips. But eating the messy mu shu pork bundles is part of the fun.Print
A classic stir-fry dish served with mandarin pancakes and hoisin sauce.
- 8 ounces boneless pork loin
- 1 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon mirrin
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons black vinegar
- 1 teaspoon hoisin sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 carrot, peeled and julienned into matchstick-thickness and 3” length
- 8 napa cabbage leaves, cut into thin strips
- 3 green onions, cut into 3” lengths and julienned into matchstick-thickness
- 1/2 cup bamboo shoots, cut into matchstick-thickness
- 1/2 onion, cut into thin slices
- 8 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and cut into thin strips
- 1/4 cup dried cloud ears, reconstituted (optional) but adds great texture and flavor
- 1/4 cup dried lily buds, rinsed, stem end discarded and reconstituted (optional) adds a wonderful floral essence and great texture
- 12 mandarin pancakes (mu shu wrappers) or unbaked flour tortillas
- Hoisin sauce for serving
- Thinly slice the pork into 1/8” slices and then cut the slices into matchstick thick pieces.
- In a small bowl, stir together 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon mirin and 1 teaspoon cornstarch until well combined. Add the pork strips and toss to coat all the meat. Let marinate for 20 minutes.
- Prepare the sauce—In another small bowl stir together the dark soy sauce, black vinegar, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, fish sauce, sugar, black pepper and 2 teaspoons cornstarch until the cornstarch is dissolved, and set aside.
- Prepare the carrots, napa leaves, green onion, bamboo shoots, onion, shiitake mushroom, wood ears if using, lily buds if using.
- Heat a wok over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil and swirl to coat the sides. When the oil is hot, add beaten eggs and scramble until they just cooked. Remove the eggs from the wok in to a clean dish and clean out the wok.
- Drain the marinade from the pork and discard the liquid.
- Swirl the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil into the wok. Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry until just aromatic, about 20 seconds.
- Add the pork and stir-fry until the outsides are no longer pink, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the pork to a plate and set aside.
- Add the carrot, napa leaves, green onion, bamboo shoots, onion, shiitake mushroom, wood ears if using, lily buds if using and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes, until the vegetables start to wilt.
- Add the pork back to the wok, pour the sauce into the wok and cook for another minute, stirring so that everything is well incorporated. Add the eggs and transfer into a serving dish.
- Serve with mandarin pancakes and a dish of hoisin sauce on the side.
Purchase mandarin pancakes (mu shu wrappers) in the freezer section of the Asian market. Or substitute unbaked flour tortillas which are found in the cold section of most grocery stores. Follow the directions on the packages for heating.
Wood ears are a form of dried fungi that can be found in Asian markets or ordered online. Rinse and rehydrate in very hot water. They provide a texture and deep umami taste that are unique. You can make mu shu pork without them and still have a wonderful dish.
Lily buds, or dried lily flowers are also found in Asian markets or can be ordered online. Remove the brittle stem end and rinse well. Rehydrate in very hot water and rinse well before using to remove any bitter aftertaste. Squeeze well to remove the rehydrating liquid. They provide a floral taste and unique texture to the dish. You can make mu shu pork without them and still have a wonderful dish.
To eat, place a mandarin pancake on your plate and spread hoisin sauce on the center of the pancake. Dish a large spoonful of pork and vegetables in the middle of the pancake. Add some extra hoisin sauce over the filling. Fold the bottom of the pancake up, fold in both sides. Remember to hold the bundle and enjoy the mu shu pork quickly.
- Serving Size: 2 pancakes with stir-fry