Pork with Garlic Sauce: A Delightful Sichuan Classic

Prepare your taste buds for a journey to Chengdu, China, the birthplace of the authentic and delicious dish known as Pork with Garlic Sauce or “Yu Xiang Rou Si” (鱼香肉丝). Imagine the delightful aroma of fish, even though there’s no fish involved! This classic Sichuan recipe will transport you with its flavors and textures.

The Origin of Pork with Garlic Sauce

Who would have thought that a dish as generic-sounding as “pork with garlic sauce” had authentic Chinese origins? The name may not do it justice, but this beloved dish is deeply rooted in the culinary traditions of China.

During our culinary escapades in Chengdu, we had the pleasure of savoring many traditional Sichuan dishes, including an unforgettable version of Pork with Garlic Sauce. The authentic recipe calls for three main ingredients: pork, wood ear mushrooms, and a unique vegetable called celtuce, also known as stem lettuce. Don’t worry if you can’t find celtuce; julienned bamboo shoots or carrots make excellent substitutes.

Pork with Garlic Sauce - Yu Xiang Rou Si

The Versatile Celtuce

Celtuce, or stem lettuce, is a summer produce commonly cultivated for its stem. Similar to lettuce, it can be consumed raw or cooked. When stir-fried, celtuce adds a delightful crunch and subtle flavor to the dish. Fortunately, it’s now more widely available in Asian grocery stores, allowing you to effortlessly recreate this authentic recipe.

Stem Lettuce

Tips for Marinating the Pork

Before we dive into the main event, let’s talk about marinating the pork. Here’s a tip that will take your dish to the next level: add water to the pork marinade. Although it may sound unconventional, it has a similar effect to adding liquid to dumpling fillings, ensuring the pork remains juicy and tender. This technique is perfect not only for Pork with Garlic Sauce but also for other stir-fry dishes.

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Recipe Instructions

Now, let’s get cooking! Start by combining the pork with the marinade ingredients, allowing it to marinate for 20 minutes. As the flavors meld, prepare the celtuce, wood ears, ginger, garlic, and other essential ingredients.

Pork with Garlic Sauce - Yu Xiang Rou Si

Once everything is prepped, it’s time to cook! Preheat a clean wok until it lightly smokes, ensuring your ingredients won’t stick. Cook the marinated pork until it turns opaque, then set it aside.

Pork with Garlic Sauce - Yu Xiang Rou Si

If necessary, clean the wok before proceeding. Then add oil and spicy bean sauce to the wok, stirring for about a minute until the oil turns red. Incorporate ginger, garlic, and dried chili peppers, stirring for an additional 15 seconds.

Pork with Garlic Sauce - Yu Xiang Rou Si

Add the wood ears, turn up the heat, and stir fry for 30 seconds. If needed, add a few drops of water to prevent the mixture from drying out.

Once the liquid in the wok begins to bubble, stir in the sauce mixture, celtuce, scallion, and cooked pork.

Pork with Garlic Sauce - Yu Xiang Rou Si
Pork with Garlic Sauce - Yu Xiang Rou Si

Quickly stir fry the ingredients, ensuring they are well combined. Now, serve your mouthwatering Pork with Garlic Sauce!

Pork with Garlic Sauce - Yu Xiang Rou Si

This authentic Pork with Garlic Sauce recipe captures the essence of Sichuan cuisine, satisfying all your cravings for bold flavors and tender meat. Pair it with a steaming bowl of rice and enjoy a truly unforgettable meal.

Pork with Garlic Sauce - Yu Xiang Rou Si

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