The term ‘strange-taste’ is one I have often wondered about. It is of Szechuan origin and is regularly applied to fragrant Szechuan fish recipes. Given the rather warm climate and lack of refrigeration in the area, I wonder if something other than the cook’s imaginative use of seasonings may have generated the strange taste!
Be that as it may, the food is delicious and I am willing to accept the traditional explanation that it is popularly known as ‘strange-taste’ because it incorporates so many flavours, being hot, spicy, sour, sweet and salty all at the same time. Here the ingredients are used to enliven pork and combined with eggs to make a simple but delicious dish that goes superbly with rice.
Combine the pork with the light soy sauce, Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry,
Heat a wok until it is very hot and then add
Wipe the wok clean and re-heat it and, when it is hot, add the remaining oil. Immediately, add the eggs and stir-fry until they are barely set. Then return the pork and sauce to the eggs and mix well. Continue to stir-fry for 2 minutes. Transfer to a warm platter and serve at once, sprinkling the spring onion tops over to garnish.
© 1996 Ken Hom. All rights reserved.