Chinese Stir Fry Techniques Using Pork and Chili – Stir Frying 101

Today, we wanted to take a break from our usual recipe driven videos and really zero in on stir-fry technique. We’ll show you four different ways that you can stir-fry first, a basic ingredient by ingredient stir-fry second, how you’d do the same thing only without a wok third, how you’d stir fry with all the ingredients together and finally, the common restaurant technique of pre-cooking the meat with a brief deep fry.

To minimize confusion, we’ll be showing all this with one dish a simple, classic home cooking stir fry of pork and chilis called Qingjiao Rousi. But before we get into it, a quick word on heat source. See, if you talk to a lot of people in the West, they’ll insist that it is impossible to stir fry without a high-powered restaurant stove, which, to be frank, is nonsense. This is the little burner we use for these videos, and this is the flame it makes. No jet engine here, if I’ve done my math right its a shade under 10 thousand BTUs by comparison, a Western home stove usually clocks in at around 7 thousand, a Chinese home stove, 14 thousand, a Western professional range 30 thousand, and those Chinese restaurant jet engines, 100 thousand or even higher.

Those stoves are cool, but much more important is your technique. So don’t fret if you’ve got a wimpy range, you’re still well in the margin of error. So to get started, were using 150 grams of pork loin. Pork is.. vastly easier to work with than beef or chicken, so if you’re new to stir frying, start with pork. Now we’ll be placing this into slivers against the grain. The grain is the direction of the muscle fibers what you want to do is slice down perpendicular to those fibers. So first cut into the pork to get roughly 2 millimeter wide sheets, and for some stir fries you’d stop there, but for this one we’ll stack all those up and cut into them about 3 millimeters apart to get some slivers. A transfer that over to a bowl, and we can marinate. This sort of marination sometimes called deleting in English and it is critical to a good stir fry.

For this amount of meat we’ll add in a quarter teaspoon salt and a half teaspoon sugar, this makes the meat juicer just like a dry brine would. We’ll also toss in a half teaspoon liaojiu a.k.a. Shaoxing wine if you can’t find this sort of wine, most people suggest dry sherry but Id personally reach for some sort of rice wine instead. Next up is a half teaspoon cornstarch thiss crucially important as it’ll coat the pork and prevent moisture loss and I personally mix the starch with the wine before tossing them in to prevent clumps. Then to season, we’ll add in a quarter teaspoon soy sauce here were using dark soy sauce for color but regular soy sauce would work just fine. Once that’s all combined, squirt in about a teaspoon of oil and coat all that well and set it aside for at least 15 minutes to marinate. For this particular stir fry, we’ll be frying that pork together with 100 grams of chili.

We live in China, so these are Sichuan erjingtiao chilis but feel free to use whatever convenient and tasty where you live. Julienne some poblanos, anaheims, jalapenos, green bell peppers really whatever. For aromatics, we’ve got an inch of ginger smash it, julienne, then get into a fine mince and two cloves of garlic smashed, julienned, and gotten into a fine mince. And now, to stir fry. So a nice first step to a stir fry is a technique called “Longyau”, or “Huaguo” in Mandarin its a restaurant technique that’ll get you a nice slippery frying surface. In restaurants before frying, they’ll eat their wok til it’s super hot, add in some oil, swirl it around, and drain it into a dedicated side oil bowl. We know most people don’t keep an extra oil bowl lying around their kitchen, so instead we like to get our wok piping hot, about steak searching temperature, shut off the heat, add in the oil we need to fry with, so here about two tablespoons, and give it a swirl to get a nice non-stick surface.

So, with your flame on high now, toss in the marinated pork slivers. Break them apart with some chopsticks cuz slivers tend to clump, and fry for about one minute until 90% done. This step by step stir-fry helps ensure each ingredient is perfectly cooked, so once the colors visibly turned, set that aside. Now do another longyau with about one or two tablespoons of oil, and immediately after finishing toss in the garlic and the ginger over the same high heat. You want to add your aromatic’s basically seconds after adding the oil or else they can burn on you. After about 15 seconds, pour a tablespoon of liaojiu or your wine of choice over your spatula and around the sides of the wok.

This’ll cool everything down, so quick mix, and go in with the child. Fry those for about 30 seconds, then add back the pork. The quick 15 second fry, then season with a teaspoon of soy sauce and a quarter teaspoon of salt. Give it a brief toss if you can, shut off the heat, and drizzle in a teaspoon of toasted sesame oil. Quick mix, and out. Pork and chilis, did. Now suppose you don’t own a wok. I like woks and so should you, but you can still stir-fry without one. This is a 28 centimeter non-stick wok, which basically a glorified non-stick skillet. Thiss all more or less the same, only no need to really do that whole longyau routine.

Just heat stuff up like you’re used to, high heat, and add in the oil. Pork in, same one minute fry, and reserve. Then, with the flame back on high, swirl in a touch of cool oil, and toss in the aromatics. 15 second fry, then swirl in that liaojiu wine this’ll annoyingly be kinda messy whichs why woks are better. Toss in your sliced chilis, fry that for about 45 seconds tossing help the pan to cook it more evenly but it takes a touch longer. Then go in with the pork and fry for about 30 seconds, and season with your teaspoon of soy sauce and quarter teaspoon of salt. Quick toss, heat off, teaspoon toasted sesame oil, brief mix, and out. No wok, same exact thing, just a touch more kitchen to scrub down after. Now if you’ve ever eaten on the street in China, usually you find that vendors don’t cook in stages but instead do everything in one pot.

Still dead simple to execute. Same exact method of stir-frying that pork, but once it is about 80% finished, scooch it up the side of the wok. Add a touch of cool oil, aromatics in fry for 15 seconds then mix everything together. Add your wine over the spatula and around the sides of the wok child in, 30 second fry, seasoning in, quick toss, heat off. Sprinkle in your sesame oil, give it a mix, and out. Finally, lets talk about the deep frying method. This technique is also called passing through oil, is a go-to method for restaurants, and makes for super juicy, tender meat. For this one, we’ll also crack a half an egg white into the marinade, which further tenderizes our pork. Egg white marinades tend to stick to the wok if you’re using one of the previous methods, but work brilliantly while deep frying.

So in a round bottomed wok, get about a cup or so of oil up until 180 centigrade and toss in the marinated pork. Fry that for about twenty seconds round-bottomed woks are awesome for deep frying, but you could also use a little more oil and shallow fry in a pan instead. Pour out the oil, and reserve the pork. Now I figure some of you might want to know how to add a sauce to your stir-fry, so lets make one real quick. To three tablespoons of water add in a half teaspoon of stock concentrate, or alternatively just use stock if you got some on hand. Add in your seasoning so here, that was our quarter teaspoon salt and our teaspoon of soy sauce. Then in a separate bowl make a slurry of a half tablespoon cornstarch and just enough water to let it come together, about one teaspoon. If you want a saucier stir-fry, add more stock and cornstarch if you just want a touch of sheen, add less.

So go through the motions just like we did before, but when you’d add the seasoning lower the flame to medium and add the sauce instead. Quick mix, then go in with the slurry. And once that’s thickened up, about 15 seconds, take it out. Qingjiao rousi, done..

As found on Youtube

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