Posted by: yannaungoak | October 5, 2009

Pork with Lao Gan Ma

I haven’t written a recipe post in so long I thought I should start again. Part of the reason was that I haven’t really been cooking at all for months. I don’t know why, I just didn’t feel like it. I hate how I randomly abandon important and rewarding things just because I don’t feel like it. I spend too much time chasing comfort.

Well, anyways, I’m definitely going to start cooking often now. I’ve coerced othercousin into letting me cook dinner twice a week. Usually, she would get up early in the morning to see her husband off to work, and then she’d start cooking and doing all the housework. By the time I wake up, she’d already be playing Farm Town on Facebook, have long finished all the cooking. So I never get to help. But this state of affairs will no longer continue.

I actually cooked this meal last Wednesday I think, but I’ve been too lazy to blog about it. Othercousin and her husband wanted me to make “western food”, but I haven’t the faintest clue how to make western food (plus, they’d want to eat it with rice, and they’d never understand the concept of rice as a “side dish”), so I struck a compromise, and made a vaguely Asian main dish and the simplest of all possible western side dishes: deviled eggs.

So, without further ado, here is my fabulous Pork with Lao Gan Ma:

pork with lao gan ma

It might not look spectacular, but it tastes delicious.

And if you don’t know what Lao Gan Ma is, you’ve obviously never hung out around East Asians before. It translates literally to “Old Dry Mother”, and its a brand of Chinese chili sauces that is famous the world over. I think it gets its name from the stoic androgynous looking “Grandmother” whose portrait adorns every jar of Lao Gan Ma, staring solemnly into the faces of her billions of consumers, as the Chinese answer to McDonaldization.

old dry mother

Anyways, on with the recipe before I get carried away. There’s several flavors of Lao Gan Ma, and the one I used was the one with black beans and chili. It tastes so savory you can just eat it straight out of the jar. If you’re anywhere in Asia, you can find the stuff in any supermarket, and if you’re not, you can find it in any ubiquitous Asian supermarket.

So, it’s great to mix in with rice, and serves about 3 people.


  1. 1/2 lbs of fatty pork (or lean if you prefer tasteless food)
  2. Potatoes (5 small)
  3. Lao Gan Ma’s black bean + chili paste (2 tbsp)
  4. Ginger (about a 1 cm piece)
  5. Onion (1 medium)
  6. Garlic (2 cloves)
  7. Soy Sauce (1.5 tbsp)
  8. Teriyaki Sauce (1 tbsp)
  9. Oil (very little, the pork and Lao Gan Ma are both oily)


  1. Marinade the pork in the soy sauce and teriyaki sauce for 30 minutes.
  2. Chop the potatoes into quarters (or nice sized chunks) and boil them until they start to get soft.
  3. Microwave the pork for about 10 minutes together with the marinade, maybe add a little water.
  4. Sautee the onions and garlic in a pot with just enough oil to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom. Keep adding tablespoons of water if they start sticking.
  5. When the pork is microwaved, cut it into nice chunks and add the pork together with the marinade and the ginger, into the pot with the sautee.
  6. After a few minutes, add the Lao Gan Ma and the potatoes, add a few tablespoon of water to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom.
  7. Since both the potatoes and the pork have been already cooked, all you need to do is stir the mixture in the pot for a few minutes and that’s it.

So that’s the Pork with Lao Gan Ma. It can be pretty spicy depending on the amount of Lao Gan Ma you add.

And I also made deviled eggs, but I won’t bother with the recipe for that, I just used the first recipe I found on Google. I added chili powder though. But here’s the picture:


Yum, yum, yum! Will be back with more next week. And if you guys have ideas on how I can please my cousins with “western food” that is both delicious and easy to cook, please advice. Would love to hear from ya’ll.



  1. Damn, I’ve been thinking it was a man in that picture.

  2. Thanks for this post. I discovered Laoganma later in life. I love the stuff, but these days, I have to watch my sodium intake.

    Incidentally, Laoganma, is more accurately translated Old Wet Nurse, as opposed to Old Grandmother. Ganma (literally “dry mother”) is the Chinese term for a lactating servant in a household whose job is to nurse and care for infants born to the mistress of the house. An example of this can be seen in the 1987 film “The Last Emperor”, where the young emperor is breastfed by a servant girl as opposed to his own mother, the Empress Dowager.

  3. Ahh… I see, now it makes sense. I’ve always been wondering what a “dry mother” is.

    Thanks for the comment Paul!

  4. No matter what it means, Laoganma Hot & Spicy is excellent with dumplings!!!

  5. Laoganma, is more accurately translated as Old Adopted mother rather than what the rest is thinking. In our part of the world Ganma means adopted mother precisely.

  6. Androgynous looking………….I don’t feel bad now that I thought the same thing!!!

  7. What is that green stuff people eat with noodles? My girlfriend told me once that it was olive leaves, in some kind of oil. Looks black, actually just a very dark green, and it’s soooo delicious.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: