Pork with Tree Ears and Cucumber

Pork with Tree Ears and Cucumber

Pork with Tree Ears and Cucumber

This easy to prepare stir-fried dish uses an ingredient unfamiliar to most Westerners. It is a type of dried Black Chinese Fungus known, somewhat poetically, as 木耳. This directly translates a ‘Wood Ears’ but is more commonly known in English as ‘Tree Ears’. It has very little flavor of its own, but is prized for its interesting texture. Cucumbers are, of course, widely used in the West, but for most it is a salad vegetable. It actually works very nicely when used as vegetable in stir-fried dishes as well.

Ingredient Notes

The Recipe Card below calls for one Cup of rehydrated Tree Ear fungus. This generally requires about ¼ to 1/3 of a Cup of the still dry product, depending on whether it is the larger pieces or ones that have been pre-shredded.

You can use a canned Chicken Stock in this recipe, or else use a homemade Basic Chinese Chicken Stock.

The Method

The sauce Mix for Pork with Tree Ears and Cucumber
The sauce Mix for Pork with Tree Ears and Cucumber

First, mix the chicken stock with the cornstarch/water mixture, the dark soy, sugar, and 2 tablespoons of the rice wine. Set this aside for now.

Marinating Pork Slices
Marinating Pork Slices

Now mix the meat with the remaining rice wine, salt, pepper, sesame oil, light soy sauce and the 2 tbsp. of cornstarch. Stir well and leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Frying Pork Slices
Frying Pork Slices

When you are ready to cook, heat your wok or pan over moderate heat and add three tablespoons or so of oil. Once the oil is good and hot, sauté the pork slices in two batches, turning so that they lightly brown on both sides. When all are done, remove them to a bowl for the time being.

Stir-frying Cucumber and Tree Ears
Stir-frying Cucumber and Tree Ears

Turn the heat to high and then add the garlic. As soon as it releases its aroma add in the fungus and the cucumber slices and toss continuously until they are heated through and the cucumber is just beginning to soften ever so slightly.

Finishing Pork with Tree Ears and Cucumber
Finishing Pork with Tree Ears and Cucumber

Now add the meat back to the pan and toss for a few seconds. Add the chicken stock mixture and continue stirring and tossing until the sauce has cleared and thickened. Serve immediately.

Your Recipe Card:

Pork with Tree Ears and Cucumber

Pork with Tree Ears and Cucumber pairs lean Pork with Cucumber in an easy stir-fried dish with an interesting dried Chinese Black Fungus.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Chicken Stock, Cucumber, Oyster Sauce, Pork, Tree Ears
Servings: 4 as part of a Chinese Meal
Author: John Thompson

Ingredients

  • ½ lb. Pork tenderloin cut into slices
  • 1 ½ Cups of Cucumber Slices cut on the bias
  • 1 cup rehydrated Chinese Black Fungus sliced into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup Chicken Stock;
  • 1 tbsp. Cornstarch mixed with 3 tbsp. Water;
  • 3 tbsp. Rice Wine;
  • 2 tbsp. Dark Soy Sauce;
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. Sugar;
  • 2 additional tbsp. Cornstarch;
  • 1 tbsp. Light Soy Sauce;
  • ¼ tsp. of Salt;
  • 1 pinch White Pepper;
  • 1 tsp. Sesame Oil;
  • 1 tbsp. minced Garlic.

Instructions

  • Prepare the sauce mixture by chicken stock with the cornstarch/water mixture, the dark soy, sugar, and 2 tablespoons of the rice wine. Set this aside for now.
  • Marinate the Pork slices in the remaining rice wine, salt, pepper, sesame oil, light soy sauce and the 2 tbsp. of cornstarch for at least 20 minutes.
  • Brown the Pork slices in 3 Tablespoons of Oil over moderate heat. Remove to a bowl.
  • Add the Garlic to the pan at moderately high heat and a few seconds later add in the Cucumber and Tree Ears, stirring until the Cucumber is beginning to soften.
  • Add back the meat, followed by the sauce mix and cook until the sauce is clear and thickened. Serve immediately.

Comments, questions or suggestions most welcome!