Chinese Chive, Pork, and Bean Sprout Stirfry (Filling for Spring Pancakes)
March 4, 2023  Print
I just shared how to make wrappers for Peking duck in the form of paper thin pancakes. The pancakes, however, are great for wrapping other things, like stirfry. This recipe for a Chinese Chive, Pork, and Bean Sprout Stirfry makes a great filling for those paper-thin pancakes to make spring pancakes. But if you don’t want to make the pancakes, don’t worry. This stirfry tastes great on its own as well and can serve as part of a typical Chinese dinner.
In Chinese culture, eating spring pancakes is supposed to evoke the feeling of spring. Chinese people call it “bite the spring” (咬春). That’s why the veggies wrapped inside a spring pancake usually include in-seasoned tender vegetables. The idea is that all vegetation starts to wake up and prosper in the spring. By eating these tender vegetables, people not only celebrate the beginning of spring, but they also wish for a year of good harvest.
Some of the common vegetables used in spring pancakes are Chinese chives, bean sprouts, and green onions. All of these veggies are tender and refreshing in nature, especially if picked young. Pork julienne adds more umami. If you are vegetarian or vegan, you can skip the pork julienne and use only vegetables.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes (not including time to make Peking duck wrappers)
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 2 to 4
- 1/3 pound Chinese chives (韭菜)
- 1/3 pound mung bean sprouts (绿豆芽)
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/8 teaspoon table salt)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 lb (~225) pork tenderloin
- 1/3 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/4 teaspoon table salt)
- ~3 tablespoons water
- 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon corn starch or tapioca starch
For spring pancakes (optional)
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon sweet bean sauce (甜面酱)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- Several Peking duck wrappers
- First make the pork julienne by following steps 1-4 from my previous Shredded Pork/Pork Julienne recipe. Make sure the pork julienne is only cooked to 60% doneness (the color just starts changing from pink to white with some pieces still pinkish). Set aside.
- While marinating the pork julienne, prepare the Chinese chives and mung bean sprouts. Wash and drain 1/3 pound of Chinese chives thoroughly. Cut the Chinese chives into 1 inch (~2.5 cm) long pieces.
- Wash and drain 1/3 pound of mung bean sprouts. Pick out any part that has turned brownish or stale.
- Heat a large wok or skillet under medium-high heat. When the wok is getting hot, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and swirl the oil around. Add the chopped Chinese chives, the mung bean sprouts, and 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt, stirring and tossing until the mung bean sprouts start to turn transparent, at most 1 minute. Then add the 60% cooked pork julienne, stirring and tossing continuously until the mung bean sprouts turn semi transparent and all the pork julienne change color to white, about another 1 minute. Turn off the heat and transfer everything to a plate. Enjoy right away.
- Spring pancakes (optional):
- Beat a large egg. Heat a well-seasoned skillet or nonstick pan under medium heat. When the pan is warm, add the egg and spread it around to form a thin layer. Transfer the egg out when all the egg has solidified: about 1 minute. Cut the egg into thin slices and set aside.
- Heat a small sauce pan under medium heat. When the pan is getting hot, add 1 tablespoon of sweet bean sauce, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and 1 tablespoon of water, mixing well. When the mixture is getting slightly thicker and warm, pour over to a small container.
- Reheat some Peking duck wrappers (either microwave for 20 seconds or steam for 5 minutes).
- On one half of an open Peking duck wrapper, arrange some Chinese chives, pork, bean sprout stirfry, and cooked egg strips. Spread some cooked sweet bean sauce onto the wrapper. Fold the bottom half inward to form a half moon shape. Then fold the two sides together (see pictures). Repeat the same procedure until all the ingredients have been used. Enjoy the spring pancakes either warm or cool.
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