On Pickled Mustard
ja choi / zha cai 榨菜, also officially known as hot pickled mustard tuber, originated in Chongqing. It's one of several varieties of pickled mustard plants that are commonly used in Chinese cooking. You can usually find these at most Asian grocery stores, but I've also included a few links to buy them online.
On Selecting Meats
Pick fatty cuts of pork, like pork shoulder butt or pork belly. Lean cuts (like pork loin, pork chop) will turn out too dry and tough.
Finding Asian Ingredients
If you don't live near an Asian market, most or all of what my dad uses in this recipe can be found on Amazon:
I've also included some other Chinese kitchen essentials, used in many of my dad's other recipes.
These links are affiliate links, which means that if you use our links to purchase these ingredients, Amazon pays my family a small amount for the sale - at no extra cost to you. If you use these links, we really appreciate the support!
Alternatives to Oyster Sauce
If you're vegetarian or need to stay away from gluten, we have three alternatives for you!
Vegetarian Oyster Sauce
Since oyster sauce is made out of oyster extract, here are some alternatives that have a similar taste without using the actual oyster:
Gluten Free Oyster Sauce
Wok Mei has a gluten-free oyster sauce, but it still contains oyster extract, so it's not vegetarian friendly.
Vegetarian + Gluten Free Oyster Sauce
Unfortunately, we don't know of a vendor that sells an oyster sauce that caters to both dietary restrictions, so you'll need to DIY the sauce.
Mix equal parts gluten free soy sauce and gluten free hoisin sauce. This isn't exactly the same as oyster sauce, but it's pretty close.