My pork Stroganoff recipe makes an umami-rich, melt-in-the-mouth pork Stroganoff. The silky, tender-soft texture of the pork comes courtesy of the Chinese velveting technique, a method that calls for marinating and pre-cooking the pork before stir-frying it. Braised with mushrooms in a richly-spiced sour cream-based sauce, my pork Stroganoff takes inspiration from Shanghai’s East-West Haipai cuisine.
If you enjoyed my richly spiced chicken Stroganoff recipe and you’re a lover of Chinese cuisines and dishes made with the Chinese velveting technique – such as the popular stir-fried pork with mushrooms that partly inspired this dish – you’ll love this pork Stroganoff, especially with crispy shoestring fries, a classic Stroganoff side.
Instead of doing what we do with the beef in my traditional Russian beef Stroganoff recipe, and cooking the meat in the pan with the onion and mushroom sauce, which if you’re not careful can easily result in tough pork, I use the Chinese velveting method to create a silky-soft, super-tender pork.
If applying a Chinese cooking technique to a traditional Russian dish sounds like a strange thing to do, keep in mind that when Stroganoff left the Russian Empire with Russian émigrés following the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, it landed in Harbin, China, then Shanghai, then Hong Kong, before it travelled to countries such as Australia and the USA.
The food that those Russian émigrés served in the many restaurants and cafés they opened, initially to feed other expatriates missing the flavours of home, was gradually adapted to suit local tastes. No more so than in Shanghai, where an East-West fusion cuisine called Haipai formed. My pork Stroganoff recipe is inspired by that concept, time and place.
If you make and enjoy my pork Stroganoff recipe, do try my mushroom Stroganoff recipe for a vegetarian take on beef Stroganoff, or my rustic meatball Stroganoff recipe. Head here to my best Stroganoff recipes for the complete collection.
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Pork Stroganoff Recipe for Tender Pork Made with the Chinese Velveting Technique
This pork Stroganoff recipe is the result of my frustration in not finding a pork Stroganoff recipe from that period from 1917 to the start of World War II, when Shanghai was home to a vibrant Russian community and Russian restaurants were as popular with locals as the expatriates.
Not long after arriving, those White Russian émigrés, who became known as Shanghai Russians or luó song, opened 40 Russian restaurants in Shanghai’s ‘Little Russia’ on Xiafei Road, also known as Avenue Joffre and now called Middle Huaihai Road.
Over the years the food served evolved into Russian-Chinese then Western-Chinese or Haipai cuisine, as menus incorporated other European dishes. But by the close of 1937, when there were over 200 Haipai restaurants, most on Xiafei Road and Fuzhou Road, the most popular dishes were borscht and Stroganoff.
Terence and I have long been fascinated by how food travels with refugees and migrants and how dishes are transformed in their new homes – whether it’s due to an inability to source ‘authentic’ ingredients from home or because new ingredients and techniques are adopted.
In the case of expatriates who start restaurants in their adopted homes, dishes are often tweaked to appeal to the taste of locals, because while expatriates might come and go in waves there will always be a local customer base.
We’ve seen evidence of how food evolves in diasporas all over the world. Indeed some of the most disappointing Russian-Ukrainian food we’ve tasted was in New York – not to mention terrible Turkish food and Indian food – yet exciting new cuisines can also develop.
While those first Russian restaurants no longer exist in Shanghai – a handful did survive for decades after the émigrés had resettled in Australasia, North America and other parts of the world – Haipai cuisine can still be found and is in fact making a comeback.
During my research I came across a few Chinese borscht recipes – and I’m going to test those out and share a recipe here – but I couldn’t find a Chinese Stroganoff recipe, and the Stroganoff dishes on menus were beef Stroganoff, not pork Stroganoff.
I went with pork because the Chinese, like Southeast Asians, adore their pork, and the pork is incredibly delicious. One of the most popular Chinese dishes is a classic stir-fried pork with mushrooms.
I took inspiration from that dish, which is how I came to use the Chinese velveting technique, but I stuck with the flavours of my chicken Stroganoff, which is loaded with the deep savouriness of umami. I only have a few tips to making my pork Stroganoff recipe.
Tips to Making this Pork Stroganoff Recipe with the Chinese Velveting Technique
Just a handful of tips to making my pork Stroganoff recipe, as it’s fairly straightforward despite the couple of extra steps that comprise the Chinese cooking method called velveting. There are two stages to velveting, marinating the meat, then quickly pre-cooking it before stir-frying it.
The marinating stage in nearly always a two-step process, which involves a quick pre-coating before marinating. Ingredients nearly always include a combination of Chinese rice wine or Shaoxing wine, oyster sauce, soy sauce, white pepper, maybe salt, maybe sugar, and corn starch is the tenderiser.
The second stage of velveting involves pre-cooking or par-cooking the meat, which is either done in oil in a very hot wok or under water, which is called water-velveting. I’ve opted for a quick wok-fry as you’ll then continue to use the wok and fry the pork and other ingredients, so that made more sense. It’s also easier.
After the velveting, my pork Stroganoff recipe is made in much the same way as my chicken Stroganoff recipe.
I usually like to serve my Stroganoff dishes with mashed potatoes or buckwheat kasha, but another traditional Russian Stroganoff accompaniment of shoestring fries is perfect with pork Stroganoff, as is rice for an Asian inspired Stroganoff, andI went with brown rice.
If you’re serving this pork Stroganoff as part of a family feast, I also recommend a Russian garden salad on the side, some piroshki, and perhaps Russian pelmeni which also came from the East, from Siberia, but perhaps arrived during the Mongol invasions.
Despite the Asian inspiration, Stroganoff is inherently Russian, which means you will still want to garnish your dish with loads of fresh dill and dollops of sour cream. Gherkins or dill pickles also cut through the richness.
Pork Stroganoff Recipe Made with the Chinese Velveting Technique
- 500 g pork loin sliced into strips ½ cm thick
- 1 tsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tsp oyster sauce
- 1 tsp Shaoxing wine
- 2 tsp water
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- ½ tsp white pepper
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 4 tbsp soybean oil divided
- 2 onions roughly sliced
- 250 g brown mushrooms sliced in thirds
- 1 tsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp tomato sauce
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 200 ml sour cream
- 100 ml cream
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1 tsp ground smoky paprika
- 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 1 tsp sea salt
- To a large plastic container with lid, add the dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, Shaoxing wine, water, and baking soda and stir until well combined. Add the pork strips and combine until they’re completely coated with the liquid and it’s absorbed.
- In a small bowl, stir the sesame oil, white pepper and cornstarch together, add it the pork, combine well until thoroughly mixed through, pop the lid on, and marinate for 30 minutes. (Note: if you’re in a hot climate with no air-con, refrigerate the pork, however, it should be removed and reach room temperature before searing.)
- While the pork is marinating, prep the rest of the Stroganoff ingredients: slice the onions and mushrooms and set aside; in a small bowl or jar, combine 1 tsp light soy sauce, 1 tbsp quality fish sauce, 1 tbsp tomato sauce, and 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce, and set aside; and ready the other ingredients.
- When the pork is at room temperature, heat a wok over high until hot, pour 2 tablespoons soybean oil around the rim to coat the entire surface. Using tongs, transfer the pork to the wok, sear one side until opaque, then turn to sear the other side until opaque, all of which should take a minute, no more. Transfer the pork to a clean bowl and set aside. (Note: do the pork in two batches if needed.)
- To the same wok, add a tablespoon of soybean oil and when hot, stir-fry the onions until translucent, then set aside.
- Add another tablespoon of soybean oil, heat until hot, add the mushrooms and stir-fry on high for a minute or two until they start to brown, add the mixture of soy sauce, fish sauce, tomato sauce, and Worcestershire sauce, combine and continue to stir-fry for another minute.
- Add the pork, combine well, and stir-fry continuously for 30 seconds, then return the onions, combine and stir-fry for another 30 seconds, then turn the heat down to medium.
- Add the sour cream and cream, allspice, smoky paprika and wholegrain mustard, stir to combine well, then simmer for ten minutes or so until the sauce thickens and spices meld together. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding the salt and white pepper if needed.
- When the sauce is thick and creamy and rich and aromatic, plate individually with rice or noodles, garnish with fresh dill, and serve with dishes of gherkins and additional sour cream.
Please do let us know in the comments below if you make my pork Stroganoff recipe as we love to hear how our recipes turn out for you.