by Tiana Matson
Thanksgiving Day is a particularly big holiday in North America, especially for Canadians and Americans. It’s a special and festive time that brings families together, reminding them to be thankful, giving perspective and encouraging thoughtfulness in life. It’s so important that folks in foreign lands will rush back to be with their families for this holiday season.
Thanksgiving Day in the United States falls on the fourth Thursday in November every year. Thanksgiving remembers with thanks for the Native Americans who helped the first European immigrants survive and teaching them how to grow food in a strange land. It’s a great reason to celebrate with a festive dinner gathered with friends and family.
Traditional Thanksgiving fare is turkey, pumpkin pie, sweet potato pie, mashed potatoes and so on; comforting food in a cool climate.
Today I am going to introduce you to my Dry Pot Oyster Mushrooms and Pork that I always make on Thanksgiving Day in China. It’s cold here, too, at that time of year, and it’s great comfort food. This cooking method is ideal for family gatherings. Set the pan on the table along with a nice wine, and let everyone help themselves. You’ve spent only a short time cooking and have plenty of time for socializing with friends and family!
Dry Pot Oyster Mushrooms and Pork Ingredients List
300 g oyster mushrooms
150 g pork, cut into 0.5 cm thick slices
3 small fresh green chilis, sliced
8 dried red chilis, wiped clean
10 g scallions (green onions), sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
70 g peeled green beans(quick-frozen beans are easy to peel)
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon Pixian bean paste, chopped
25 ml light soy sauce
10 g ginger, sliced
40 ml vegetable oil
How to Make Dry Pot Oyster Mushrooms and Pork
Step 1: Prepare the Oyster Mushrooms
Washed and dry the mushrooms, and slice off the root at the end.
Slice the mushrooms lengthwise to a thickness of 0.8-1 cm. These large mushrooms may roll and imbalance, so steady them carefully when cutting.
The flavor of oyster mushrooms is robust and very similar to meat, and they are cooked in the same way. Frying in butter is best for mushrooms to get a lovely golden color. Sprinkled with salt and pepper, they are a pure pleasure on their own.
But today we want to cook them up in a dry pot dish. Take a thick bottomed pan, preheat for 2 minutes, and add the 15 ml of vegetable oil. Due to the size of the mushrooms, it is necessary to fry them. Turn them soon so that that each side is coated in oil – mushrooms are quite porous and will soak up the oil. You may need to add a little more to make them brown on the other side.
Some of you may ask why I do not stir fry the mushrooms as it is quicker and easier. Most home gas stoves do not get hot enough for cooking these large mushrooms quickly enough, and they will exude too much liquid. We want fried mushrooms, not boiled mushrooms. Shallow frying ensures the mushrooms brown evenly and keep their shape.
Take another deeper thick bottom pan, preheat for 2 minutes, and add 5ml of vegetable oil.
Place the sliced pork in a single layer in the pan and fry until golden on both sides. Remove them from the pan and keep warm.
Pork does not need much oil for frying due to it having its own fat, and if you add too much oil, it will spatter.
Pork fat is lovely and fragrant, so we want to fry our spices in it. Add just a little more vegetable oil (15 ml), so the spices won’t burn.
Toss in the dried red chilis, and stir fry for two minutes.
Add the chopped green onions, ginger and garlic, and continue to stir fry until the spices exude their heavenly aroma. Mix in the chopped Pixian bean paste, stir fry for another minute, so that the moisture in the bean paste evaporates.
Toss in the sliced green chilis, and stir fry to combine.
Lastly, add the peeled beans, and stir fry about one minute.
Now that the spices have matured, it’s time to put the pork slices back in the pan.
Stir them in gently to coat with the spices.
The finishing touch: stir in the robust oyster mushrooms.
Transfer the Dry Pot Oyster Mushrooms and Pork to a large serving dish and place it in the center of your dinner table. Accompany with some fluffy rice and a glass of good wine.
Now you’re set to while away the afternoon or evening with your favorite people around you, and that’s something to be thankful for.