Recipe: fish-flavored pork
Fish-flavored pork is the translation for yu-shian ro-tse, a tangy and spicy Chinese stir fry of pork, water chestnuts, tree ears, and other fragrant ingredients. My mom makes this dish to perfection with her hands tied behind her back. Whenever we would go home to visit my parents, or if they came to visit us, they would invariably end up cooking a feast of our favorite Chinese dishes (and for Dad, he would do his western specialties like Bouillabaisse or roast rack of lamb). This happens to be one of Jeremy’s favorites. My mom is the type who, once she learns what your favorite foods are, will do everything in her power to make those for you. Got a little strange when she got me and Kris mixed up and kept buying gallons of cranberry juice for me when I’d come home from college!
One day, I thought to ask my mom for the recipe. Nothing is ever measured out in my family and documenting a recipe is an even more ludicrous concept. It’s all intuition with them because they’ve been cooking for decades. So I’ll sit on one end of the phone while mom says things like “a little sherry” – “well, how much sherry?” or “and some green onions” – “how many green onions?” I know I don’t cook this as well as my mom does. It will take a few decades to dial it in the way she has, but every time I make the dish I think of her and I feel a small tug from inside pulling me in the direction of my culture and my mom.
tree ears, a.k.a wood ears, a.k.a cloud ears
**Jump for more butter**