I’ve been making a point to cook more Chinese-style foods to stay relevant to my roots and the cuisine that I have been brought up with. I must admit that stir frying comes relatively easily to me as I grew up watching my parents cook and a lot of dishes were either stir-fried or steamed. The use of an oven was a very rare occurrence in my parent’s place as they found it time-consuming to cook foods in an oven compared to cooking stir-fried or steamed dishes on the stove.
This dish incorporates salted radish, which is an ingredient easily found in Asian supermarkets in the dried provisions section. As it is very salty, it is recommended to give it a quick rinse or soak if you wish to have a milder taste. It has a crunchy texture similar to pickles but does not have any sour taste to it. If a sufficient amount is added, one can reduce or omit salt in the overall dish.
Zucchini is a vegetable that is not commonly featured in Chinese cuisine. I remember my mother would buy zucchini from the vegetable stall in the market and she had to request for it from the vegetable seller, who would head into the storage area to fetch it. We used to joke that it was probably contraband and could not be displayed like the rest of the vegetables on sale and hence the ‘under the counter’ request! The vegetable seller would ask my mother how to cook the zucchini, as she had no idea how to cook it. The one dish my mother knew was zucchini with canned sardines in tomato sauce, which unfortunately is a no-no for me at this moment.
I served the dish together with cauliflower ‘rice’ and the flavours really complemented one another. Have you got a favourite method of cooking zucchini?
Ingredients (serves 4)
For marinating pork
- 1 lb/ 500 g pork, minced
- 1 tsp tapioca starch
- 1 tbsp coconut aminos
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
For stir frying
- Oil/ fat of choice
- 3 medium zucchini, cut into diagonal wedges
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp salted radish, rinsed and chopped (optional)
- 1 8 oz/227 g can bamboo shoots (strip form) in water, drained
- 1/4 cup bone broth or water
- Sea salt, to taste
- 1/2 tbsp tapioca starch
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp coconut aminos
- Mix pork with tapioca starch, coconut aminos and ginger. Set aside to marinate while prepping the other ingredients
- Prepare slurry by mixing tapioca starch, water and coconut aminos together in a small bowl
- Heat pan over medium-high heat and brown pork. Set aside
- Add oil/fat if necessary, add zucchini and garlic
- Sprinkle chopped salted radish, toss until zucchini starts to brown
- Add bamboo shoots, stir-fry for a minute
- Add browned pork and bone broth or water
- Sprinkle sea salt followed by prepared slurry
- Toss to coat, wait for mixture to thicken slightly, remove from heat and serve immediately