Shih-tzu-tou

PORK AND CABBAGE CASSEROLE

Subtly flavoured pork, cooked in rice wine and soy sauce on a bed of Chinese cabbage, Shih-tzu-tou (shec-tsoh-toh) is a traditional Chinese dish. If Chinese cabbage is not available spinach may be used instead.

4 SERVINGS

1 lb. lean pork, minced

1 shallot, finely chopped

4 canned water chestnuts, drained and chopped

1-inch piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped

1 tablespoon cornflour

3 tablespoons light soy sauce

1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

8 fl. oz. chicken stock

1 tablespoon rice wine or dry sherry 1 lb. Chinese cabbage, trimmed, washed and cut into julienne strips

Preheat the oven to moderate 350′ F (Gas Mark 4, 180’C).

Place the pork, shallot, water chestnuts, ginger, cornflour and half the soy sauce in a large mixing bowl. Using your hands, mix and knead the ingredients together. Mix in the egg yolk and season with the salt. Divide the mixture into 4 pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Set aside.

In a large flameproof casserole, heat the oil over moderate heal. When the oil is hot, add the pork balls and fry, turning frequently, for 5 minutes or until the balls are browned all over. Pour in the remaining soy sauce, stock and rice wine.

Increase the heat to high and bring to the boil. Remove the casserole from the heat.

Cover the casserole and place it in the oven. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove the casserole from the oven. Using a slotted spoon, remove the meatballs from the casserole. Place the cabbage in the casserole and arrange the meatballs on top of the cabbage.

Return the casserole to the oven and bake for a further 10 to 15 minutes or until the cabbage is cooked but still slightly crisp.

Remove the casserole from the oven and serve at once, from the casserole.

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