Here is yet another delightful variation on the egg theme: congenial eggs and Chinese barbecued pork.
This recipe brings back memories of my Chicago childhood. My mother’s cousin, whom I knew as Third Uncle, was the Chinatown roaster. He had the commercial ovens and he would prepare all of the roast duck, whole roast pig and barbecued pork for the entire Chinese community, as well as for festivals and banquets. Whenever he visited our home, he would bring with him some samples of the delights he had prepared that day.
I remember his place of business. It always smelled so good to me. He had special ovens in which marinated pork strips were suspended and slowly roasted until they were suffused with the aromas and flavours of different spices. I particularly remember the slightly charred, caramelized crust of the pork and my enjoyment of all the crispy bits. You can buy barbecued pork from Chinese grocers.
Any leftover barbecued pork was sliced the next day and stir-fried with eggs and Chinese chives, usually from the neighbour’s garden. Chinese chives are mild, small versions of the onion. They have no bulb; only the green shoots are eaten. In China, which has relatively few food herbs (medicinal herbs are abundant), garlic chives are very popular as a flavouring herb. Chinese green chives have a distinctive pungency that adds richness to stir-fried dishes. You can buy them fresh at Chinese supermarkets or grocers. Garlic and Chinese green chives should be deep green and fresh-looking, not wilted and tired. Substitute ordinary chives from your local supermarket if you can’t find the Chinese ones.
This recipe represents memories of home cooking at its simple best.
In a medium-sized bowl, mix the eggs with the sesame oil and salt and leave to one side.
Heat a wok or large frying pan over a high heat until it is hot. Swirl in the groundnut oil and, when it is very hot and slightly smoking, throw in the pork slices and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Now pour in the beaten eggs and fry, stirring constantly, until the eggs begin to set, in about 2 minutes.
Toss in the chives and spring onions and continue to stir-fry for 3 minutes. Quickly place on a platter and serve at once.
© 1998 Ken Hom. All rights reserved.