Not 100% sure if dried vegetables are allowed to bring from Asia to America, but well, this precious jar of dried radish is now sitting on my kitchen island!
I got this dried radish from a local restaurant in Taiwan. Basically you cure the radish with salt and drain out the liquid, then the radish is dried under the sun. Repeat the steps for days or even up to weeks depending on the weather condition and personal preferences. Of course, every traditional family has their own ways of making the perfect dried radish. This will be my next project too, making my very own dried radish. Why waste the California sunshine right?
Dried radish and ground pork stir fry 蘿蔔干炒肉末 -
1 lb of ground pork
1 cup of dried radish (loosely packed)
3 tablespoons of dried shrimps
5 fresh red chilies
5 garlic cloves
1 big stalk of scallion
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon of grown sugar
Some freshly ground black pepper
Gently rinse the dried shrimps and soak with room temperature water for about 10 to 15 minutes. Once ready, drain the water, pat dry the shrimps, and chop into tiny bits.
Gently rinse the dried radish and pat dry also. Depending on the hardness of the dried radish, if the vegetable still feels kind of soft then there is no need to soak it. However, if the radish has been dried out completely, then soak it with room temperature water till softens a bit. Lastly, pat dry and chop into smaller pieces.
Peel and chop the garlic cloves into smaller bits. Discard the chili stems and finely chop the remaining. Discard the scallion stems and chop the remaining into smaller pieces.
Drizzle some olive oil to the pan and turn to medium heat. Add in chopped dried shrimps and cook till the color turns slightly brown. Be careful when the dried shrimps start to bubble. There is still liquid inside the shrimps so when the oil gets to the center, just about time when the dried shrimps start to bubble, you know these shrimps are about to burst out from the pan.
Lower the heat a wee bit or cover with a lid will help you dodging some flying shrimps. Add in chopped chilies, garlic, and scallion along with just a little bit of salt and pepper. Give the mixture a quick stir and the dried shrimps should have stopped bursting out by now. Cook till the garlicky aroma comes out but not burning the garlic.
Add in the ground pork and stir the mixture to make sure every pieces of the meat is mixed with the aromatic ingredients. Make sure the heat stays medium or medium high power if it was turned down earlier when battling with the dried shrimps.
Wait till the pork is about 50% cooked through then add in the soy sauce and brown sugar. Try to pour in the soy sauce along the edge of the hot pan. The high temperature from the side of the pan will help bringing out the soy aroma. Mix well and add in chopped dried radish. Give everything a quick stir and cook till the ground pork starts to dry out, like till almost going to burn on the sides.
Don't use too much soy sauce especially it's only meant for extra fragrance and coloring. The dried radish already contains a lot of salt. You can taste the pork after cooking the dried radish for about one minute. If still not salty enough then adjust the taste with soy sauce.
Serve it with steamed rice or mix it with dried noodles, even spaghetti works great with this stir fry dish.
Hopefully I can get my own batch of dried radish here in California so I can generously use it in fried rice, steamed food, scrambled eggs, and even chicken soup!