Steamed Pork with Dried Squid, or 鱿鱼蒸肉餅, is a classic of Chinese home-style cooking.. For many Chinese, this dish with rice, is comfort food.
Back in the day, I had a Chinese room-mate who was newly arrived from Hong Kong. He wasn’t a terribly accomplished cook, but he had one dish in his repertoire that was truly delicious. This dish, featuring a Steamed Pork Patty with Dried Squid, produced copious amounts of umami-rich cooking juices during steaming that were terrific spooned over rice. The version here builds upon my room-mate’s simple recipe by including dried mushrooms for an extra flavor punch
Pork patties, with or without dried squid or other flavorings, are sometimes placed over rice while still uncooked, and then steamed so that the juice soak into the rice during cooking.
Here, I steamed my patty and then made up individual rice bowls, as seen above. Some of the juices were then spooned onto the rice, squares of the patty were added, and then some home-made daikon pickle was placed along side to make a for a pretty filling one dish meal.
Preparing Dried Squid for 鱿鱼蒸肉餅
The Dried Black Mushrooms and the Dried Squid both need to be reconstituted by soaking before use. If you are not familiar with the process for preparing squid, you may wish to take a look at my introduction in How to Use Dried Squid and Octopus.
You really only need to coarsely chop the reconstituted squid flesh and then stir it in to the ground pork, but my ex-room-mate always used to garnish his steamed pork patties with tiny strips of squid. I have used just a little of my dried squid to do that here too.
How to Make Steamed Pork Patty with Dried Squid
The main step in making the patty is no more complicated than mixing together all the ingredients except those used for garnishing. It is a good idea to give the meat mixture a good stirring until it starts to become a sticky, almost paste like blend. You don’t need to be fanatic about this but, this process, used for making dumpling fillings, makes for a much nicer texture in the finished dish.
The Chinese Shrimp Sauce listed as an optional ingredient in this recipe is a fermented paste product with a very strong flavor. The Chinese style shrimp pastes have an extremely pungent odor while still raw and many people find it a little off-putting. It adds a little extra punch to the dried squid flavor but you can easily omit it if you like.
For steaming, just press the meat mixture down into a suitable dish. Make sure that the sides are high enough so that you don’t get any spillage from the juices that get thrown off during steaming.
Steaming will take twenty minutes or so. As you can see, the amount of juice that gets thrown off the typical 鱿鱼蒸肉餅 is quite considerable. It is rich with flavor and will enliven any bland staples like rice or noodles.
Your Recipe Card:
Steamed Pork with Dried Squid – 鱿鱼蒸肉餅
- 1/2 lb. ground Pork
- 1 small piece of reconstituted Dried Squid
- 1 medium Scallion
- 1 Chinese Black Mushroom reconstituted and finely chopped
- ½ tsp. ground White Pepper
- 1 pinch Salt
- 1 tbsp. Soy Sauce
- ½ tsp. Chinese Shrimp Sauce optional
- Chop the reconstituted dried squid coarsely. You will need approximately one quarter to one third of a cup in all. If desired, reserve a little of the squid flesh and slice it into thin strips to serve as a garnish for the patty.
- Finely chop the scallion and reserve some of the green sections for garnish.
- Mix together all the ingredients except for the squid strips, if using, and the green part of the scallion. Stir well until sticky.
- Press the mixture flat in a dish whose sides are high enough to contain the juices that will be thrown off during steaming.
- If using, press the squid strips into the top of the patty in an attractive pattern.
- Steam the dish over a high flame for twenty or twenty-five minutes.
- Cut the patty into squares for service while still in the dish, scatter over the scallion green and, if desired, sprinkle with a little additional soy sauce.