In Chinese cooking, when Shiitake mushrooms are called for in recipe, it would mean using dried Shiitake and not fresh Shiitake. Dried Shiitake has a much stronger flavour than fresh Shiitake mushrooms. I think if you use fresh Shiitake mushrooms in most Chinese recipes, then the flavour would just be lost amongst the other ingredients. When using dried Shiitake, rinse the mushrooms through some cold water to remove any grit or dirt on the mushrooms, then reconstitute them in some warm water for at least 1 hour. Depending on the number of mushrooms you are soaking, you would probably need to use about 1 cup of water. At least enough to cover all the mushrooms. Always reserve the water used to soak the mushrooms and use it instead of water (if required) for some extra flavour.
This is another one of my grandma's recipes. Like most of her other recipes, this is a dish to have accompanied with a bowl of hot steamed rice. My grandma would use her double choppers to mince up the Pork Neck, but my arms don't have the stamina to wield double choppers to that effect, so I use Petals instead - My red Magimix food processor. Cut the meat into small cubed pieces, then place into the food processor and pulse until it has a consistency of a coarse mince. Try not to over do it, we don't want pork puree here. :)
In most Chinese restaurants, you can get steamed minced pork with salted fish or with salted duck eggs. Think of this dish as a variation of one of those. If I can get my hands on some quality salted fish, I might try that version next time.
Steamed Minced Pork with Shiitake Mushrooms
Original recipe from my Grandma
- 300g of Pork Neck (coarsely minced)
- 6 Dried Shiitake Mushrooms (reconstituted in warm water for 1hr - water reserved)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable cooking oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce.
- 1 teaspoon cornflour
- Remove and discard the stalks of the reconstituted mushrooms. Slice and dice the mushroom into small pieces (just slightly less than 1cm in width).
- Take the mince pork and marinate with the oil, soy sauce, salt, sugar, oyster sauce and cornflour.
- Add in the diced mushrooms and mix well.
- Slowly add in about 1/4 cup of the reserved mushroom water and continue mixing.
- You should have a wet mince mixture that is easy to stir, add a bit more water if the mixture seems a bit too dry.
- Bring some water to boil in a wok and place a steamer rack inside.
- Scoop the pork mixture into a plate that could could be used to hold some liquid. Spread the pork mixture around evenly. And place the plate into the wok.
- Steam on medium-high heat for about 20 mins.
- Serve with some steam rice