Preparation / Directions:
This dish is Szechwan in origin.
"The annual run of the shad upstream stopped east of Szechwan, where they spawned in lakes as large as small seas. Farther upstream, the waters became more turbulent. The rapids cut through gorges, making navigations upstream laborious, and the waters tan too swiftly to make lakes where fish could be raised. This may be the reason for a peculiar dish of pork known as Mock Fish, an attempt to reproduce the taste of a well-sauced fish. It you close your eyes you can almost believe it. The contrariness of Szechwan cooking lies in the fact that veal or beef may be substituted in the recipe below with little change in its taste. The taste of the original substances is all but lost in the sauce. No one seems to mind, because the use of seasonings is extraordinary.
Sliver the pork very finely, and marinate it for 2 to 3 hours in a mixture of wine, soy sauce and corn flour. Deep-fry the slivers for about 2 minutes, until well browned. Set them aside to drain. In a bowl, mix together all the remaining ingredients except the corn flour and water mixture. Sauté the pork in the bean sauce mixture for a few minutes in a deep frying pan, until heated through. Then thicken the sauce with the cornstarch and water, stirring gently to make it smooth.
From "Chinese Gastronomy" by Hsiang Ju Lin and Tsuifeng Lin, First Harvest/HBJ, New York, 1977. Introduction by Lin Yutang.