Wok Wednesdays – August


                                                                Helen Chen’s Pork and Cucumber

August’s Wok Wednesdays picks are perfect for this time of year. Fresh produce in the store and farmer’s markets are at their peak.  The recipes are from the Breath of the Wok:  Helen Chen’s Pork and Cucumber, p. 83 and  Liang Nian Xiu’s Moon Hill Corn and Beans, p. 132.  Both with fresh vegetables and flavor.  

For the Pork and Cucumber recipe on p. 83 use 12 oz. of pork butt or shoulder. Cut into 1/4 inch bite size pieces. If you cannot find a small piece of pork, slice off 12 ounces and use the rest to make Memphis style pulled pork.





Combine the pork in a shallow bowl with sherry, cornstarch, soy sauce sesame oil and salt.



Rinse the fermented  black beans and mash in a small bowl.  

Slice the red pepper and cucumber.





Prepare all ingredients ahead of time for stir frying.  Additional ingredients include chicken broth, salt, and sliced garlic.

Serve with rice, though it makes a filling meal without it. Pair with Ling Niam Xiu’s Moon Hill Corn and Beans, p. 132.


Wok Wednesdays – August

              Liang Nin Xiu’s Moon Hill Corn and Beans, p. 132 – The Breath of the Wok

Liang Mian Xiu’s Corn and Beans is a very simple summer meal. Ingredients include corn on the cob, green beans, chopped coarsely, garlic ginger, fresh chilies tomato, sugar and salt. I didn’t have any chilies so I used red pepper flakes.  Stir fry ingredients and enjoy.  Pairs well with Pork and Cucumbers.


Napa Cabbage with Dried Shrimp -All Under Heaven cookbook

A recent acquisition from a drawing with Wok Wednesdays – All Under Heaven: Recipes from the 35 Cuisines of China    by Carolyn Phillips. This cookbook contains recipes from the 35 cuisines of China. My goal is to try several of the recipes from each of the regions.

My first attempt was Napa Cabbage with Dried Shrimp from the North and Manchurian Northeast region. Ingredients included:  Dried Shrimp, Napa Cabbage, Green onions, Soy sauce, Rice Vinegar, Minced ginger.  I could not find dried shrimp so I used fresh.  I also added white pepper.  While the dried shrimp may give it a different flavor, I thought the fresh shrimp was good too.

A quick and easy, weeknight meal.









Pork Kabobs with eggplant, zucchini and red peppers

Dinner included a combination of Mediterranean spices and Asian stir-fry.

Using a recipe from The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook: 500 Vibrant, Kitchen-Tested Recipes for Living and Eating Well Every Day I combined one pound pork loin, cut into chunks, 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, mint leaves, rosemary, 1 garlic clove, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper. Marinade for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.  (I marinated the pork for a hour and the flavor was ok.  Longer would have allowed the flavors to come through more).  Heat the grill to medium high heat and thread pork chunks onto skewers.  Place on grill and cook until done and browned on all sides.

The stir fry is from The Thankful Heart blog. The combination of water, soy sauce,brown sugar, cornstarch, grated ginger, garlic clove is a very delicious stir fry sauce. It is a sauce that can be used for many different vegetables.

Prepare your ingredients ahead for easy cooking.  I used zucchini, yellow squash, red onion, eggplant, red pepper, minced garlic. You can stir-fry in a skillet but I find it much easier to stir fry using a wok. There are many things you can make in a wok (more on that later) making it a worthwhile investment. Heat the wok and sprinkle a couple of water drops in the heated pan.  When the water sizzles within one to two seconds upon hitting the wok you are ready to cook.  Add the oil and garlic and stir fry for a few seconds.  Add the harder veggies first (zucchini, squash, red onion) and stir fry for one minute,  add each of the other veggies and stir fry for 30 seconds.  Add the sauce by pouring it along the sides of the pan.  Mix together and cook for a few seconds until the sauce thickens,  about 30 seconds.