Huang Gua Chao Roupian

Cucumbers Stir-Fried with Pork

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    4

    as Part of a Chinese Meal, or 2 as a Single Dish.

Appears in

Yellow cucumbers, really large, heavy and firm melons, have a crisp, cool flesh and mild taste. They are often stir-fried or used in soup, where they give a distinctive flavour to the broth. If pickled, the cucumber is often eaten unpeeled. Being a “cooling” food, it is considered beneficial to the body during hot weather. Thus, I was not surprised to see it on the Huang family table one summer evening even though I personally consider it an equally excellent winter food. Served with pork and the family’s own homemade chilli paste, yellow cucumbers made a good light stir-fried dish. They can be found at Asian markets; if unavailable, use the more familiar green cucumbers which come a close approximation in taste.

Ingredients

  • 225 g/8 oz lean boneless pork
  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon cornflour
  • 450 g/1 lb cucumbers
  • tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon chilli bean sauce
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon roasted ground Sichuan peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon chilli flakes or chilli powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine or dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons white rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Method

Cut the pork into thin slices, about 3 mm/ in thick by 7.5 cm/3 in long. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the pork with soy sauces, rice wine or sherry, sesame oil, and cornflour and set aside.

Peel the cucumbers, split them in half lengthways and with a spoon, scoop out the seeds, then finely slice the flesh crossways.

Heat a wok or large frying pan until hot. Add the oil, then the chilli bean sauce, garlic, Sichuan peppercorns, chilli flakes, and salt and stir-fry for 10 seconds. Then add the pork, and continue to stir-fry for 1 minute. Put in the cucumbers and stir-fry for 1 minute. Pour in the soy sauce, rice wine or sherry, vinegar, and sugar. Continue to stir-fry for 2 minutes or until all the liquid has evaporated. Serve at once.