Pork and Wood Ear Mushroom Stir-fry

A round white serving bowl with a pork, mushroom, and cucumber Chinese stir-fry.

5 from 1 review

Thinly sliced pork strips are coated in starch and briefly blanched to develop a silky and smooth texture. They’re then stir-fried with aromatics, cucumber, and tender wood ear mushrooms in a mouthwatering savory, slightly sweet, and fragrant sauce!



For the Pork:

  • 230g Pork Loin (tenderloin and lean pork is fine too) – excess fat removed and thinly sliced
  • ½ TSP Chicken Powder
  • ¼ TSP ground White Pepper
  • 1 TSP Corn Starch
  • 1 TSP Potato Starch
  • 1 TSP Sesame Oil (for water blanching)

For the Sauce:

For the Pork and Wood Ear Mushroom Stir-fry:

  • 6 Garlic cloves – thinly sliced
  • 1 inch knob of Ginger – thinly sliced into rounds, then roughly chopped
  • 1 Spring Onion – chopped, whites and greens separated
  • 2 Red Chilies – chopped
  • ½ a large English Cucumber – thinly sliced at an angle
  • ½ cup Dried Wood Ear Mushrooms or Dried Cloud Ear Mushrooms – soaked in a bowl of water for 20 minutes, then drained and rinsed thoroughly
  • 1/3 cup Water
  • 58 Dried Red Chilies, to taste – broken up into halves and thirds depending on size
  • ½ TSP Kosher Salt, to taste
  • 23 TSP White Sugar, to taste
  • A pinch of ground White Pepper, to taste
  • 2 TSP Corn Starch + 1/4 cup Water (mixed together to make a slurry)
  • 1.5 TBLS Peanut Oil
  • ½ TBLS Sesame Oil



  1. Marinate the pork: Trim and remove excess fat from the pork cut, then thinly slice into strips. Combine the pork, chicken powder, ground white pepper, corn starch, and potato starch in a large bowl. Mix with chopsticks or a spoon until the pork is evenly coated, then set aside for 10-20 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients so that the pork can absorb the seasonings.
  2. Prepare the fresh ingredients: Thinly slice the garlic, roughly chop the ginger, and chop the fresh red chilies and spring onion. Separate the whites and green parts of the spring onion as they will be added to the wok at different times.
  3. Make the sauce: Combine the low sodium light soy sauce, Shao Xing rice wine, rice vinegar, dark soy sauce, and sesame oil in a small bowl or measuring cup (the latter will make it easier to pour into the wok). Mix with a spoon to thoroughly combine, then set aside.
  4. Boil the mushrooms: Soak the mushrooms in a bowl of water for 20 minutes to rehydrate. Then drain and rinse thoroughly. Cut the wood ears into smaller pieces if they are on the larger side. Then heat water over high heat in a small pot until boiling. Add the rehydrated mushrooms and boil for 3-5 minutes. Drain into a colander and rinse the mushrooms thoroughly again (the water from the pot will be dirty). Set aside.
  5. Blanche the pork: Rinse out the pot you used to boil the mushrooms and fill it up again with water. Add 1 TSP sesame oil to the water and heat over high heat until boiling. Then add the pork and briefly boil for 20-25 seconds. Switch off the heat and quickly drain into a mesh strainer. Set aside.
  6. Make the corn starch slurry: Combine the corn starch and water in a small bowl or measuring cup (for easier pouring). Mix until combined and a slurry has formed, then set aside.

For the Pork and Wood Ear Mushroom Stir-fry:

  1. Sauté aromatics: In a large wok, heat the peanut oil and sesame oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the garlic, ginger, and spring onion whites. Sauté until fragrant – about 1 minute.
  2. Cook the cucumber: Next, add the cucumber slices and stir-fry to separate the slices from each other if they are stuck together. Then pour in the 1/3 cup of water and cover the wok. Briefly steam for 2-3 minutes to soften. Uncover the wok and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes until almost all of the water has evaporated.
  3. Add the chilies: Add the dried and fresh red chilies and continue stir-frying for 30-40 seconds, or until they start to release their fragrance.
  4. Add mushrooms: Add the mushrooms and toss briefly to combine.
  5. Add pork, sauce and seasonings: Next, add the pork, the sauce, kosher salt, sugar, and white pepper to taste and toss to combine.
  6. Thicken the sauce: Then give the cornstarch slurry a quick stir with a spoon (the corn starch will have settled at the bottom of the cup) then add it into the wok. Stir-fry for a minute or until the sauce has thickened.
  7. Toss through spring onion: Add the spring onion greens and stir-fry for 10 seconds to combine, then switch off the heat.
  8. To Serve: Transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately with warm steamed rice.



  1. Using Dried Wood Ear Mushrooms vs. Dried Cloud Ear Mushrooms: Pictured here in this recipe are cloud ear mushrooms. But traditionally, this dish is made with wood ear mushrooms in China and in Sichuan restaurants. You can use either interchangeably for this recipe as both taste great. Just be aware that wood ears are more chewy and larger than cloud ears. You may need to cut them into smaller pieces if your wood ears are very large once rehydrated. Cloud ears tend to be smaller and more tender, and I didn’t need to cut them into smaller pieces for this dish. 
  2. To make this with chicken: Thinly slice a large chicken breast or chicken thighs. Follow the exact same recipe ingredient amounts and instructions to make a Chicken and Wood Ear Mushroom Stir-fry.
  3. To make this gluten-free: For the pork, swap the chicken powder for kosher salt. For the sauce, use a gluten-free soy sauce , dry sherry instead of Shao Xing rice wine, and a gluten-free dark soy sauce.
  4. To make this vegetarian: Swap the pork for diced firm tofu cubes instead. I recommend pan-frying the seasoned starch coated tofu on all sides until crispy instead of water blanching. This will help to prevent them from breaking down when you toss them with the mushrooms and cucumber in the sauce.


Keywords: Mu Er Rou Pian, wood ear mushroom stir-fry, cloud ear mushroom pork stir-fry, Chinese pork stir fry