1/2 cup dried wood ear fungus, optional (NOTE: This ingredient is available at Asian supermarkets and specialty grocery stores)
Olive oil cooking spray
1 1/4 lb lean ground pork or lean ground turkey
1 1/4 cups dried black beans, soaked in water for 24 hours (TIP: If you don't have time to soak beans for 24 hours, boil them for 1 hour, until al dente, then drain and set aside.)
3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 small hot Thai red chile, or to taste, chopped
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced (about 2 tbsp)
1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
15 Chinese long beans, trimmed and cut into thirds (TIP: You can use 4 cups chopped green beans instead of long beans. Add them in about 5 minutes before the end of cooing time.)
1 cup stemmed and sliced shitake mushrooms
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 cups baby bok choy, trimmed, rinsed and drained
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
5 green onions, white and light green parts, chopped
If using wood ear, bring a kettle of water to a boil. In a small, heat-proof bowl, add wood ear and cover with boiling water. Soak for 10 minutes until soft; drain and set aside.
Mist a large, heavy-bottomed stockpot or Dutch oven with cooking spray and heat on medium. Add pork, stirring and breaking up with a wooden spoon, for 8 to 10 minutes, until browned.
Add wood ear, black beans, garlic, chile, ginger and five-spice powder and cook, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes. Add long beans, mushrooms, sesame oil and broth. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to medium-low; simmer for about 1 hour. Just before serving, stir in bok choy; simmer about 1 minute, until just wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with green onions.
Toasted sesame seeds turn these pork tenderloin medallions into a dramatic-looking dish, while sweet apple butter and savory tamari combine to create a luscious sauce for a sideof steamed baby bok choy.
The most popular variety of Asian pear available in the US is the Japanese Nijisseiki, which is more like a super juicy apple than a pear. It's perfect to offset the rich creaminess of our gorgonzola crumbles!
The traditional Chinese New Year marks the beginning of the Lunar New Year in February, officially welcoming spring. Celebrate with our new take on a rich soup, which is chock-full of flavorful early spring produce.