One of the most delicious Chinese starters of all time, guaranteed! Lean minced pork flavoured with traditional Chinese herbs and spices served on a bed of crispy lettuce. Simple to cook but looks very impressive! Often spelt as Yuk Shung.
250g / 9oz of lean minced pork
3cm or a thumbs length / thickness of fresh ginger
2 cloves of garlic
50g / 2oz of canned bamboo shoots (drained of liquid) see section "Advice For Yuk Sung" below
4 spring onions
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
1 tablespoon of dark soy sauce
1½ tablespoons of oyster sauce
1 teaspoon of sugar
1½ teaspoons of corn flour
1 tablespoon of sherry or dry white wine
2 sticks of celery
4 or more large leaves of fresh iceberg lettuce
It's difficult to know how to describe this superbly delicious Chinese starter. Looking at the ingredients it's impossible to guess just how deliciously tasty this recipe really is. We first tasted this dish in the Emperor's restaurant in Leamington Spa and have subsequently tasted slightly different versions in other restaurants.
The Emperor's restaurant in Leamington has many good features and a few not so good. Most annoying is their frequent attempts to let you know your departure time at the time you enter their restaurant. OK, they are popular but no one wants to be told they must vacate their table within a set time the minute they sit down.
But their failings are dwarfed by the quality of the food. One of their starters is the subject of this recipe, Yuk Sung. This is a starter (once tasted you may well wish it was the main meal!) based on fried pork seasoned with Chinese spices served on a bed of crispy iceberg lettuce - absolutely and totally sublime!
One variation is allowed in this recipe, principally because we cannot decide which ingredient is best. The recipe specifies that 50g of bamboo shoots (canned) are used. As a substitute feel free to use the same weight of water chestnuts. The contribution this ingredient makes to Yuk Sung is to give it some crunch and both ingredients fit the bill equally well.
All the ingredients in this recipe are readily available from any large supermarket, we sourced ours from Tesco but they are also available at the average large Sainsbury's or Waitrose.
The key elements are minced pork, a mix of herbs and spices for the sauce and crisp iceberg lettuce. This is Ying and Yang at its finest - the sweet pork counterbalanced by a salty sauce. The iceberg lettuce introduces a third element which Ying and Yang does not even begin to define. This recipe truly is far, far more than the sum of its parts.
Pour the sesame oil into the pan and put on a high heat. When the sesame oil is hot add the ginger and onions and stir for two minutes. Turn the heat down to medium for the remainder of the cooking.
Add minced pork and garlic to the pan and cook for about five minutes until the pork is browned. Break up the pork mince as it is frying so that it doesn't form into lumps.STEP 2
Add the bamboo shoots and celery to the pan, stir in well and fry for two minutes. Add the soy sauce, oyster sauce, wine and sugar, and stir well. Sprinkle the corn flour into the pan and stir it in well.
Fry the mixture for another ten minutes until the sauce has almost dried up. Stir continuously. Serve in the centre of the table as shown on the right or parcel up individual portions wrapped in the iceberg lettuce.