• Spicy Pork and Mushroom Bowl

    By Jeri Mobley-Arias

    I made this on a whim for dinner one weeknight and instantly fell in love. It's quick + easy to whip up, robust in flavor, and a great balance of salty and spicy.

    • The sauce used to add intense flavor to this dish is Doubanjiang or Chili Black Bean Sauce. It’s composed of fermented black beans, chilis, soybeans, sesame oil, and salt, and typically used in Chinese cuisine; rice, noodles, and a variety of dishes.

      While referred to as a “sauce” it is not typically consumed as a condiment, rather, added to foods–stir fried in oil–during preparation for fantastic umami flavor. Keep in mind, this is a spicy dish.

      What is doubanjiang?

      Doubanjiang is salty and savory in flavor and reddish brown in color. The variety used for this recipe is a Taiwanese version of doubanjiang which is spicy and a flavor bomb of goodness.Adding doubanjiang to foods adds complex umami flavor and a depth of savoriness that is undeniable delicious.

      You can find a bottle of doubanjiang at most Asian markets. Looks for labels that read "Chili Black Bean" "Spicy Bean Paste" "Broad Bean Chili Sauce" or "Spicy Broad Bean Paste". If you want the same brand I used, look for Master Sauce brand Chili Black Bean sauce.

      What makes this dish most enjoyable is the addition of wood ear mushrooms, which adds a crunchy and chewy texture and balancing the saltiness of the pork.

      What are wood ear mushrooms?

      They are chewy and slightly crunchy in texture, light tasting in flavor, black in color, and popular in Asian stir-fry dishes, soups, stews, and salads. Aside from the deliciousness aspect of this fungus, they have exceptional health benefits as well.

      Wood ear mushrooms aid in digestive health, acting as a probiotic. They're rich in antioxidants, promoting blood circulation, and immune boosting by blocking the growth of E. Coli and S. Aureus bacteria. Wood ear mushrooms can be found in the dehydrated mushroom section of Asian markets. The label will likely read “Wood Ear” or “Black Fungus”.

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  • Spicy Pork and Mushroom Bowl

    By Jeri Mobley-Arias

    I made this on a whim for dinner one weeknight and instantly fell in love. It's quick + easy to whip up, robust in flavor, and a great balance of salty and spicy.

    • Total Time:
      30 minutes
    • Servings:
      2

    Ingredients

    • 3 tablespoons dried woodear mushrooms, rehydrated
    • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
    • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
    • 1½ tablespoons ginger, minced
    • 1 lb ground pork
    • 2 tablespoons doubanjiang, chili black bean paste
    • 2 teaspoons reduced sodium soy sauce
    • ¼ cup water

    To Serve

    • steamed rice

    Instructions

    1. Place wood ear mushrooms in a bowl. Add very hot (near boiling) water, enough to cover mushrooms and cover bowls with a lid or plate. Set aside to rehydrate for 20 minutes.
    2. Heat oil in a wok or skillet over high medium-high heat. Add garlic and ginger and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add pork and cook until most of the pink is lo longer showing.
    3. Add doubanjiang paste and stir fry for 2 minutes. As you stir, use the back of your spoon to press the doubanjiang into the ground pork.
    4. Lower heat to simmer and add soy sauce, wood ear mushrooms, and water. Cook until some of the sauce has absorbed. Remove from heat and serve with steamed rice.

    Enjoy!

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