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Stir-Fried Potatoes and Pork

“Chinese Peasant Cooking” features recipes prepared in the simple ways of the people who live in the Chinese countryside.


  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 1/3 pound pork, cut into strips, 1/4 inch by 1 inch
  • 3-5 Tablespoons soy sauce, divided
  • 2-4 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and julienned
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 fresh red chile pepper, stems and seeds removed, minced (or 1/2 -1 teaspoon dried crushed red peppers.
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • Salt to taste

In a small bowl combine cornstarch and five-spice powder. Add pork and stir to lightly coat. Stir in 2 Tablespoons soy sauce to moisten the cornstarch and give it a brownish appearance, adding more soy sauce if needed. Heat wok at high setting. Pour in enough oil to coat the wok. When the oil is hot, quickly add the pork and cook, stirring constantly until golden brown. Remove the wok from the fire. Place pork in a clean bowl and aside. Clean wok, return to heat and re-oil. Place potatoes in the wok and stir quickly. As wok begins to look dry, add enough water to prevent burning. Continue to stir and add water as necessary. Cover for a minute or two. (If you have a particularly hot stove, turn the heat down a little. Don’t overcook.) Add 1 Tablespoon of remaining soy sauce and the garlic, chili pepper, onion and pork. Stir for about 30 seconds; add salt to taste. Place in serving bowl. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Five-spice powder is a pungent mixture of five ground spices: cinnamon, cloves, fennel, seed, star anise and Szechuan peppercorns. It is used in Chinese cooking and is available in most grocery stores or Asian specialty stores

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