茶树菇蒜苗炒腊肉 Tea Tree Mushrooms and Garlic Greens with Cured Pork
Pinyin: chá shù gū suàn miáo chǎo là ròu
Rapeseed oil has been used by humans for hundreds of years. In the 1960’s scientists in Canada created a genetically modified rapeseed, now known as Canola oil, to be a more healthy form of oil. but rapeseed oil still rules the kitchen in China. Global rapeseed production has more than doubled in the last 20 years and China leads in annual global production. Rapeseed oil contains both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids and experts claim that Canola oil and even rapeseed oil can reduce cholesterol among other benefits and are generally considered some of the more healthy cooking oils.
Today’s dish of tea tree mushrooms, garlic stems, smoked pork, and other ingredients is coated in oil. It’s an unfortunate reality throughout China that the local food is oily. Some dishes are literally served in a bowl of oil, while dishes such as this one simply come served with a thick oily film. I’ve talked about cured meats and mushrooms before, both of which I eagerly devour, so it’s only natural that I would like this dish too. The flavors and textures meld nicely, the dish is tinged with spiciness, but the real flavor comes from the meat.
This is a nice solid Sichuan dish that includes a lot of great ingredients, but it’s hard to overlook the oil in this incantation. Give this one a try, but be sure to specify that the cook goes light on the oil and I you will have an enjoyable meal.