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Kids in the Kitchen

Chinese New Year Moo Shu Pork (With or Without the Wraps)

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Kick off the Chinese New Year on Friday, February 16, 2018, with this savory dish.

Moo Shu Pork

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

Serves: 6

Moo Shu Pork

Moo Shu Pork

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

Serves: 6

Let’s just say that moo shu pork wraps are one of my children’s most requested dinners. Kids love spooning the savory filling into tortillas and eating them by hand, and I love the idea of an all-in-one-dish meal. Your budding chef can prep the vegetables, measure the ingredients, and warm the tortillas in the microwave, and he can make his own wraps and customize as desired with extra hoisin sauce to taste. This dish is also versatile. Serve it with rice, noodles, or even elbow macaroni if you don’t have tortillas in the house, and if you prefer, make it with chicken rather than pork.

What Kids Learn
  • The popular Chinese dish chop suey was invented in America.
  • In the 1960s new arrivals from Hong Kong and Taiwan came with their own recipes, and Chinese food in America began to resemble what we know today.
  • To celebrate the Chinese New Year, revelers feast on symbolic foods that represent longevity and prosperity.
What You’ll Need
  • 1 pound pork tenderloin
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce, and more for spreading on the wraps
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 scallions
  • 2 cups bagged coleslaw mix (carrot and cabbage mixed)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 6 (6-inch) flour tortillas
What to Do
  1. Slice the pork into ¼-inch-wide, 2-inch-long strips. Place into a large glass bowl and set aside.
  2. Let your budding chef measure into a medium glass bowl the chicken broth, cornstarch, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sugar, and pinch of pepper. Next, she can stir this to mix the ingredients. Pour this mixture over the pork, cover, and set aside.
    Teachable Moment: Lucky Foods and the Chinese New Year
    • The Chinese New Year starts on Friday, February 16, 2018. It’s the year of the dog. Celebrate the holiday with the lucky foods that follow.
    • Dine on longevity noodles (changshou mian) for, of course, longevity (a very long life)! You can serve them in soup or fry them up, depending on your preferences.
    • Feast on winter fruits like tangerines and oranges. Their orangey-gold color and round shape signify good fortune.
    • Spring rolls are called chun juan in China, and they represent prosperity.
  3. Peel and chop the garlic cloves or let your child help chop them if she has good knife skills. She also cut the root off the scallions, discard the tops, and then slice the scallions. Place the garlic and the scallion into a large bowl. Have your child measure and add the coleslaw mix. Core, seed, and chop the red bell pepper. Add it to the bowl.
  4. In a large wok, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat until hot. Remove pork from the marinade with a slotted spoon and add it to the wok. Stir-fry for 3 minutes, or until cooked. Remove the pork from the wok.

    Teachable Moment: A Brief History of Chinese Food
    • Moo shu pork as we know it is based on a classic Chinese dish combining pork and mushrooms.
    • Our recipe is a kid-friendly version. More-sophisticated variations contain other ingredients including minced ginger, shiitake mushrooms, white bamboo shoots, and ear mushrooms.
    • Depending on the source you turn to, chop suey became an early American favorite … (a) When Chinese American chefs in San Francisco tried to marry the taste preferences for Chinese and American diners, or (b) By Chinese American chefs in the 1800s working on the transcontinental railroad.
  5. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the wok over medium heat until hot. Add the garlic, scallion, coleslaw mix, and chopped red bell pepper.
  6. Stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the pork. Add an additional tablespoon of hoisin sauce and cook, stirring, until the mixture is nice and hot. Transfer to a serving bowl.
  7. Invite your child to place the tortillas on a plate. Next, let him warm the tortillas in the microwave for 2 minutes or until very hot. Encourage kids to assemble their own wraps, adding about a teaspoon or so of hoisin sauce, if desired.

How will your family celebrate Halloween this year?

Parents Talk Back
How will your family celebrate Halloween this year?
Go trick-or-treating
66% (46 votes)
Go trunk-or-treating
20% (14 votes)
Attend a house party
4% (3 votes)
Attend a school or community function
10% (7 votes)
Total votes: 70