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back to chinese cooking

Recipe: stir-fried pork and pickled mustard green

Recipe: chinese steamed fish

My parents are like children on Christmas morning whenever they send me something in the mail. They have called for the past three days to check and see if I received their package – a ceramic knife. It’s a very nice knife and I’m familiar with how wonderful these things are. So when it arrived today, I had to – per my mother’s specific instructions – cut a tomato with it. I felt like a Ginzu advertisement, but I went ahead and took photos as evidence for them. It cuts beautifully – as nice as my Henckels.

feels like a lightweight, but it performs like a heavyweight

it slices, it dices!

I go for long stints without cooking any Chinese food. Part of that is because I get on these experimental kicks where I see someone post about a great bbq recipe and I think to myself, “I need to learn how to bbq…” or just that I don’t feel like making the extra trip to the Asian grocer in town. The owner who is always shouting at me actually noticed that I hadn’t been in for a while when I went by on Wednesday. “Wheyhafyoubin?! Lontimenoseeyouokay?” I was so touched.

In an effort to use up random ingredients I had lying about the refrigerator, I found two packets of pickled mustard greens that my mom told me to buy when we were last in San Jose together.

i like being able to see what is in the packaging

They keep forever because they’re pickled and vacuum sealed, but… what to do with it? My mom and grandma do this all the time, “Here – buy these, they’re good for cooking with.” When I ask what exactly I’m supposed to do with said ingredient I get the answer in quickly rattled Chinese in a tone like, “Don’t you know anything?!?”

they are larger than i had thought

I think there are many ways to use this vegetable, but what sounded good in my head was to stir fry chopped mustard green with strips of bamboo shoots and pork in soy sauce, sesame oil, and a little corn starch. I boiled up some Chinese noodles in chicken broth and served the mustard green on top.

the stuff of a good stir-fry

a nice noodle soup for a cool mountain evening

Stir-fried Pork and Pickled Mustard Green
[print recipe]

2 packages of pickled mustard green, squeezed and julienned
1/2 lb pork (dark meat), julienned
1-2 cups bamboo shoots, julienned
2 stalks green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, rough chopped
2 tbsp sesame oil
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp corn starch
1-2 tbsp vegetable oil

Mix the pork, sesame oil, soy sauce, and cornstarch in a bowl. Heat oil in a large frying pan on high heat. Add garlic and green onions when oil is hot. Stir around until garlic is fragrant, then add pork and sauté until meat is cooked. Add bamboo shoots and mustard green and sauté for another couple of minutes on high heat. Serve with rice or over noodles.

Tonight, I made some basic Chinese-style steamed fish. But I cheated. In fact, I never steam the fish, but nuke it in the microwave because it’s so much easier, faster, and cleaner.

place filets on a microwave safe plate and top with ginger and green onions

That said, I know if I bought fresh whole fish, I would be compelled to steam it because the flake is rendered far more tender that way. It’s a quick meal if you happen to have some defrosted filets available like cod, orange roughy, and other things that I think are probably on the Monterey Aquariuim Don’t Eat list. I’m trying to be better about that and carry the card around with me when I shop.

pouring hot oil

When I was little I used to scrape all of the green onions and ginger off the fish before eating it. Then in college I picked out the ginger and ate the rest. Now, I eat every scrap of ginger and green onion and I probably put too much on top – but I love that stuff.

light and refreshing anytime of year

a very pleasant combination of flavors

(Cheater) Chinese Steamed Fish
[print recipe]

1 lb fish filets (white fish like flounder, cod, halibut, orange roughy)
2-3 stalks green onions, julienned
2 tbsp ginger, peeled and julienned
3 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp vegetable oil (something without flavor)

Place filets in single layer on a microwave safe dish. Spread ginger and green onions over the fish. Nuke on high for 2-3 minutes until fish is cooked. Sprinkle soy sauce evenly over the fish. Heat the oil in a small saucepan until it is HOT (i.e. if you dropped a piece of onion in, it would sizzle). Pour the oil over the fish (I think the idea is to sizzle all of the onions and ginger). Serve.

23 nibbles at “back to chinese cooking”

  1. Rasa Malaysia says:

    You should cook more Chinese…more recipes are beautifully-prepared. Yum. :)

    I love your food photography and your photoblog. Your site is a gem. :)

  2. amanda says:

    your recipes and pictures are brilliant! i think i’m hungry now. :)

  3. jenyu says:

    RM – Hey thanks! I visit your blog all the time and love the food and photos too – really delicious.

  4. jenyu says:

    Hi Amanda, somehow you got stuffed into the spam folder by akismet, but I unstuffed you. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Joyce says:

    Made me think of my favorite dish at my favorite Chinese restaurant in Connecticut – pork and green soy beans with pickled mustard greens. *tasty* Now that I know that I can purchase pickled mustard greens (had no idea what they looked like!), I can recreate the dish at home. So excited.

  6. jenyu says:

    Hello Joyce! I find that I am equally unfamiliar with certain Japanese ingredients. We’ll have to do some brain exchange on our food backgrounds :) Hope your trip to NC was a good and fruitful one.

  7. may says:

    Hi Jenyu,

    I was wondering if useing fresh mustard green would be okay?

  8. jenyu says:

    may – I’ve never tried it. I think you could use it, except it would be lacking that pickled flavor which lends so nicely to the dish. But Chinese cooking is flexible, so who knows?

  9. derek says:

    Very nice… that’s one more for my notebook! I love pickles and mustard… this is heaven. Check out my site for “pickle-info” (hope it’s ok to say that Jeynu – you can delete that plug if you like)


  10. derek says:

    oh, sorry the site is at


  11. jenyu says:

    Derek – no need to delete. I’ll try to check it out when I find some time. So glad that you will try the recipe. I’m a huge fan of pickled vegetables too… love vinegary stuff!

  12. Thomas says:

    on occasion, we would add fresh cilantro to the mix of ginger and onions. We can’t get enough of the fresh toppings in my family too.

  13. jenyu says:

    Thomas – we don’t do the cilantro here b/c my husband is not a fan. I like it, but I’m not crazy for it.

  14. neysa says:

    heeeyy, i’m planning on making the fish for an anniversary dinner and i don’t have a microwave in my current house D: so is it okay if i wrap in in foil and put it in the oven? what do you recommend?

  15. jenyu says:

    Neysa – I’d steam it, if you can. That’s actually the authentic way of doing it (pre-nuker days).

  16. daraster says:

    Hi, I just wanted to say that I tried out your way of steaming fish in the microwave tonight and I was amazed at how delicious it turned out! And it’s sooo much easier than taking out my wok & steamer. Thanks for the recipe.

  17. jenyu says:

    Daraster – that’s great to hear. I’m so happy that you liked it.

  18. Phoebe says:

    I’ve been creeping around your Chinese recipes (obviously, since this is from ’07, but I just discovered your site today), and I really love seeing them! As a 1st generation Taiwanese kid, I grew up eating a lot of the recipes you have on here…and I legitimately cracked up when you talked about scraping all of the ginger/green onions off of the fish when you were little. I totally did that too, but now I love and eat it all. I’ve just started cooking more seriously in the past 6 months, so your recipes are definitely an inspiration!

  19. (Cheater) Chinese Steamed Fish « The Little Spork says:

    […] so I began searching for recipes, and when I saw this one, it pretty much sang out too me. It was a great […]

  20. Janet says:

    I’ve got to know your background because I think we must have the same family. I’m amazed by how similar your Chinese food is to exactly what my mom makes. So thankful for your site so I can put some measurements on my mom’s recipes.

  21. Sue says:

    Can you show us how to julienne green onions? Yours look so pretty.

  22. jenyu says:

    Sue- I think I have pictures of slicing green onions in other Chinese recipe posts :)

  23. pat says:

    Thx for both recipes. I’ll try the fish tonight & the pickled mustard greens recipe later this week. Both sound delicious & I happen to have all the ingredients in my kitchen right now. ! I bought pickled mustard for the first time yesterday at an Asian store & was wondering what to do with it. They’re delicious right out of the package, but I’m also looking forward to cooking with them.

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