• A small handful of dried cloud ear mushrooms
• 1/2 lb boneless pork loin
• 2/3 cup fresh or canned bamboo shoots or 2 celery stalks
• Peanut oil
• 2 tablespoons chili paste
• 2 cloves chopped garlic
• 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger (about 1 inch)
• 2 scallions, green parts only, very thinly sliced
For the marinade:
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 2 teaspoons soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon potato flour or 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
• 1 tablespoon cold water
• 2 teaspoons shaoxing rice wine or medium-dry sherry
For the sauce:
• 1 tablespoon white sugar
• 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
• 1 tablespoon soy sauce
• ¾ teaspoon potato flour or 1 1/8 teaspoons cornstarch
• 3 tablespoons chicken stock of water
• Cover the cloud ear mushrooms in very hot water and soak for 30 minutes.
• Cut the pork into thin slices (ideally about 1/8 of an inch thick), and then cut these into long, fine slivers.
• Place in a bowl, add the marinade ingredients, and stir in one direction to combine.Marinade for 30 minutes.
• Blanch the bamboo shoots in boiling salted water for a minute or two.
• Rinse in cold water; then slice thinly and cut the slices into very fine strips to match the pork. If you are using celery, cut them into thin strips. Sprinkle with a few pinches of salt and let them sit for 15 minutes or so to drain out some of their water content.
• Thinly slice the cloud ear mushrooms, discarding any knobby bits.
• Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
• Season the wok, then add a ¼ cup of cool oil to the wok and reheat over a high flame.
• When the oil is beginning to smoke, add the pork and stir-fry briskly.
• As soon as the strips have separated, push them to one side of the wok, tip the wok toward the other side, and tip the chili paste into the space you have created.
• Stir-fry very briefly until the oil is ready and fragrant, and then add the garlic and ginger and mix everything together, tilting the wok back to normal.
• Stir-fry for another 30 seconds or so until you can smell the aromas of garlic and ginger.
• Tip in the bamboo shoots and mushrooms and stir-fry briefly, until just hot.
• Stir the sauce in its bowl, and then add to the wok.
• Stir quickly to incorporate, throw in the scallions, toss briefly, and turn onto a serving dish.