Mizo Vawksa (smoked pork with oyster mushrooms and baby spinach)
Mizo Vawksa (smoked pork with oyster mushrooms and baby spinach)

Let me start off by saying this recipe is not Mizo but its the closest I could get with the ingredients I had on hand. However the smoked pork I used was the Mizo version of it called Vawksa. I was elated to be able to lay my hands on some of that lovely stuff that my brother’s friends had managed to get for him. In my defence, I only took some of it and not all, from him since it smelt so irresistible. Having had smoked pork from the other seven sister states such Meghalaya and Nagaland, I felt every state had its own traditional method of smoking the pork, which is why each tastes different than the other. The Mizo version had large chunks of browned meat, largely boneless, with skewer marks through them, and that smelt, blasphemous as it may sound, heavenly.

I searched and searched for a traditional Mizo recipe on the net but couldn’t find any, but I did come across references of the Vawksa Rep which originally says its cooked with bamboo shoots and a local herb called anthur, but largely its stir-fried and not too wet. In line with how they like it to be, I chose to keep the flavouring as simple as possible. As it is, smoked pork doesn’t need any.

Ingredients:

  • Smoked pork or vawksa: 2 large chunks
  • Fresh Oyster mushrooms: 1 cup
  • Baby spinach leaves: 2 cups
  • Garlic: 2 large cloves, crushed
  • Ginger: 1 tsp, julienned
  • Oyster sauce: 1 tsp (optional)
  • Green chilly: 1 no, chopped
  • A little water, if needed
  • Salt and pepper to season

Method:

  • To begin with, I sliced the pork anti-grain, since it was cooked already,it turned more into shreds and chunks
  • Heated some oil/ sliced fat from the pork in a frying pan (chose one with a lid for that would be needed)
  • Add the crushed ginger and garlic, saute for a bit
  • Add the oyster mushrooms and season with a pinch of salt and stir till the mushroom releases some water
  • Add in the smoked pork, chopped chilly, oyster sauce and some water and cover it with the lid
  • Turn heat to minimum and let it simmer for a while
  • When the water had dried up, add in the baby spinach leaves and stir until
    wilted.
  • Remove from heat, taste and season with salt and pepper as necessary.
  • Serve with steamed rice or better still, with sticky rice
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