I had a rummage and found
Tins drawer: a tin of sliced water chestnuts
Freezer: a 400g pack of minced pork and a couple of 6 packs of pancakes for Peking Duck
Fridge: half a limp cucumber, a wedge of Iceberg lettuce, four tired spring onions, the dregs of a bottle of plum sauce and the last scrapings of a jar of Peking Duck sauce.
This all took me back to my days in Hong Kong many years ago, when some of the restaurants in the New Territories were famous for a dish of minced pigeon cooked with Chinese flavourings and water chestnuts and served with a pile of Iceberg lettuce leaves, trimmed into cups, for diners to roll the pigeon in and eat.
OK pork isn't pigeon but I thought with the Peking Duck sauce and pancakes I could cobble something yummy if not the least bit authentic together. As the lettuce was already cut up and wouldn’t make cups, I shredded it to use with the pancakes.
Added ingredients were
A splash of cooking oil (I used peanut oil)
1 tablespoon each of light soy sauce and Chinese cooking wine, ginger wine or dry sherry
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
Finely shred the lettuce and cucumber and set aside along with the Peking Duck (or Hoi Sin) sauce and set aside for serving.
Drain the water chestnuts (you could use bamboo shoots or a mixture instead), slice the spring onions, crush the garlic and chop the ginger then put them all on a large chopping board and continue to chop until it's all finely chopped. Ideally you want it all as small as the grains of minced pork but that's just for prettiness.
Put a pan of water on to boil and have ready a steamer that fits on top of it, with the bottom lined with non stick paper. Put the pancakes in the steamer ready to cook.
15 minutes before serving, heat a wok with the oil and when it is piping hot, add the pork. Stir fry until no raw bits show then add the chopped mixture. Stir for a couple of minutes then add the soy sauce, wine and plum sauce (about 2 tbs). Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and leave to simmer, then put the pancakes in their steamer on top of the pan of water to cook.
Cook everything for about 10 minutes, keeping an eye on the pork, you want the liquid to evaporate but not to boil so dry that the mixture burns.
To serve, put all the dishes on the table. Everyone takes a pancake, smears it with sauce, adds a few shreds each of lettuce and cucumber, tops with a spoonful of pork then rolls it up and eats it. You'll want finger bowls or hand wipes nearby, it can be quite a messy business, but that's all part of the fun.
Enjoy! We loved it - I hope you do too.
I am, of course, sharing this with #KitchenClearout at Madhouse Family Reviews - why not pop over there and take a look at lots of other ideas for using up odds and ends, leftovers and fridge clutter?