Mu Shu Pork
Why This Recipe Works
Making Mandarin pancakes—the traditional wrapper for mu shu pork filling—may sound daunting and time-consuming, but we discovered that they’re remarkably easy, thanks to the hot water that’s used to make the dough. Using hot water is important for two reasons: It makes the dough less sticky because the starches absorb hot water more quickly than cold water, and it makes the dough easier to roll out because the gluten proteins don’t coil as tightly, and thus don’t snap as much when rolled out. As for the pork and vegetable filling, the prep can be done while the dough rests. We brine sliced pork tenderloin in soy sauce, which keeps it tender and moist, while sherry, sugar, ginger, and white pepper punch up the flavor. Rehydrated shiitake mushrooms provide a pleasantly chewy texture, and their soaking liquid adds depth to our stir-fry sauce. We also add cabbage and sliced bamboo shoots to bulk up the vegetable portion of the meal.