This is the kind of plain meat and vegetable dish that takes no more than 15 or 20 minutes to prepare. It is easy to make and mild enough for small children. Besides zucchini, Mrs.
Cut the zucchinis into thin shreds about 3 inches long and ⅛ inch wide, the width of a wooden matchstick.
Put the zucchini shreds in a bowl, and add the salt. Mix thoroughly and let stand for at least 5 minutes.
Cut the bones and fat away from the pork chops, then slice the lean meat into very fine shreds. (It is always easier to slice meat into thin slivers if you first put it into the freezer for about 10 minutes, until it becomes slightly stiff but not frozen.)
Clean the scallions, then cut them, both the white part and about two-thirds of the green, into 2-inch lengths. Slice these into shreds.
Add the scallion shreds to the meat, along with the soy sauce, sesame oil, egg white, and cornstarch. Mix everything together well and set aside.
Just before you are ready to begin cooking, drain the zucchini very well, using your hands to squeeze out all the excess liquid.
Heat your wok or pan over a high flame, then add the oil. It will be ready to cook with when the first tiny bubbles form and a few small wisps of smoke appear.
When the oil is ready, toss in the zucchini and stir-fry for about 1 minute, using your cooking shovel or spoon to scoop the zucchini off the sides of the pan and stir them around in the middle. Remove the zucchini from the pan onto a serving platter.
Wipe out the pan with paper towels, then reheat over a high flame and pour in the fresh oil.
While you are waiting for it to get hot, combine the water and the meat mixture and mix thoroughly. When the oil is ready, toss the meat mixture into the pan and stir-fry for 1 minute. (The meat will be only partially cooked at this point.)
Return the zucchini shreds to the pan and add the soy sauce. Stir-fry the meat and zucchini together for about 1-½ minutes, or until the meat is completely cooked through (slightly grayish in color and stiff).
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
Just before you serve this dish you can, if you want, sprinkle some regular black pepper on the top of it. Black pepper is a rarely used spice in Chinese cooking, but it adds a pleasant touch of piquancy to a mild dish like this.
© 1976 Ellen Schrecker. All rights reserved.