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木樨肉 (Moo Shu Pork)
Moo shu pork (木樨肉)
Moo shu pork (also spelled moo shi pork, mu shu or mu xu pork) is a dish of northern Chinese origin, possibly originally from Shandong. It is believed to have first appeared on the menus of Chinese restaurants in the United States in the late 1960s, and is also a staple of American Chinese cuisine.
In its traditional Chinese version, moo shu pork consists of sliced or shredded pork chop meat and scrambled eggs, stir fried in sesame and/or peanut oil together with thinly sliced wood ear mushrooms and day lily buds. Thinly sliced bamboo shoots may also be used. The dish is seasoned with minced ginger and garlic, scallions, soy sauce, and rice cooking wine.
Moo shu pork is served with a small dish of hoisin sauce (海鮮醬) and several warm, steamed, thin, white tortilla-like wrappers made of flour, called "moo shu pancakes" (Chinese: 木须饼), "Mandarin pancakes", or báo bǐng (薄饼, literally "thin pancakes"); these are similar to those served with Peking Duck. In the late 20th century, some North American Chinese restaurants began serving Mexican-style flour tortillas, which are thicker and more brittle, in place of the traditional moo shu wrappers.
The moo shu pork is then wrapped in the moo shu pancakes, which are eaten by hand in the manner of a soft taco. The diner may wrap his or her own pancakes; in some Chinese restaurants, waiters or waitress will do so. First, a small amount of hoisin sauce is spread onto the pancake, then some moo shu pork is placed in the center of the pancake. The bottom of the pancake is folded up (to prevent the contents from falling out), then the sides of the pancake are folded or wrapped, in the manner of a soft taco. Unlike the practice in wrapping a burrito, the top is usually not folded over, as the pancake is generally eaten immediately and thus there is no danger of the food falling out of the top, which is the part that is eaten first. Because the dish often contains a great deal of liquid, care must be taken that the pancake does not become soaked through and break during rolling or eating.
Like Chinese noodle dishes, moo shu pork is not typically served with steamed rice.