I had this dish at a Taiwanese restaurant in Queens a few weeks ago, Main Street Imperial Taiwanese Gourmet. Normally, I might not order something that’s named after Musca domestica but I had some Taiwanese friends along who assured me that it is not only insect free, but tastes absolutely amazing.
In various places I’ve read the dish’s eponymous fly heads attributed to the white headed garlic chives or the fermented black beans. Visually, the beans make more sense, but who knows.
The restaurant minced the pork very finely, but that made eating with chopsticks difficult, so I decided to cut mine a little bigger. I think I may have gone too far though, as pieces this large change the character of the dish. Next time I’m going to cut the pork to match the long thin sliced chives. You should have about equal proportions of pork and chives. The pork is covered with a mixture of corn starch and rice wine.
Other aromatics in the mix include garlic, ginger, and chile pepper. The restaurant dish was pretty spicy, and mine came out a little too mild. So, more peppers next time.
Add a few tablespoons of oil to the pan. Add the aromatics and fry for a few seconds. Add the pork and fry until it is light brown and a little crispy, stirring occasionally. If necessary, work in batches to avoid crowding the pan.
Remove the pork to a bowl and if necessary, add more oil to the pan. Fry the chives for a minute or two, then add 2 tablespoons of fermented beans. Then return the pork to the pan and cook a little longer. At this point I added some bean sprouts, not because they belong there, but because I had just gotten 2 lbs for $1 in Chinatown. At the end you can also season to taste with soy sauce, you’ll probably have to adjust the amount depending on the consistency of your black beans.
Serve on top of rice. Steamed broccoli on the side.
Fly Head Pork
- pork, sliced in thin shreds
- rice wine
- corn starch
- chile pepper
- garlic chives
- fermented black beans
- soy sauce, to taste
- (bean sprouts)