Sometimes you just can’t decide whether you want hamburgers or Chinese food. So how about this option – Chinese hamburgers. Actually called Rou Jia Mo, this snack food is made with pork, not beef, and a number of different spices. Some of these spices can be a bit pricy and/or difficult to find, so I substituted some and also found a great Chinese 5-spice blend at a grocery store in Reno (pickings can be rather slim in Harridge). From what I’ve read, there can be a lot of different takes on this one – so here is mine. Traditionally make with pork belly and Shaoxing wine, I substituted boneless pork shoulder ribs and dry cooking sherry.
Combine dry ingredients – brown sugar, coriander, mint, and Chinese spice blend. Since the brown sugar tends to clump, I like to muddle these ingredients together with a small mortar and pestle first, then add the grated ginger and minced garlic.
In a saucepan large enough to boil the meat, pour the cooking sherry, soy sauce, and add your combined dry ingredients. Add the pork shoulder and enough water to cover, plus your bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Bring to a full boil, then lower heat to medium and cook for around 2 hours, until the pork is tender. Be sure to check your water level on occasion – add more when needed to keep the meat covered.
While the meat is cooking, prepare the buns by combining the ingredients and kneading well. If you have a stand mixer with a dough hook, this can make the job much easier. Cover the bowl and allow it to sit for about an hour.
After the dough has risen, divide it into 12 pieces and form them into balls. Then take each ball and roll it between your hands to form a cigar shape. Use your rolling pin to roll it out into a long narrow strip and then fold it over lengthwise. Next, roll up the strip so it looks like a cinnamon roll, tucking the end inside the roll. Now flatten the roll with either your hands or a rolling pin until it is about 4” across. Set the buns aside for another 20 minutes or so.
To put it all together: Preheat your oven to 300°. Brown the buns on each side in a hot skillet (no oil needed – about 2 minutes for each side), then transfer to the oven for about 10 minutes. In the meantime, remove the pork from the saucepan and cut into small chunks. Reserve some of the seasoned stock that you cooked the pork in. Heat some peanut oil in a wok over high heat. Add the shallots and the pork. Spoon some of the stock over the mixture as you heat it, and add the green onions. Pull the buns out of the oven, slice them ½ way through, stuff with the pork mixture and serve immediately.
Now, Sunday at 9pm, tune your radio to KNVC 95.1 FM Carson City – or if you’re not in range, you can pull it up on their website: https://knvc.org. If you happen to miss it for some reason, they will re-air it next Friday at 8pm.
R Mike Kelley (Agent Matheson) spent many years behind the scenes as a lighting and sound technician, before first appearing onstage in Lysistrata’s War at the Victoria Fringe Festival. He has been featured in the short film Three Clicks, as well Proscenium Players, Inc.’s Twelve Angry Men, The Taming of the Shrew, and Dealt a Deadly Hand. His most recent role was on the VT&T Railway as Barton Blackburn in She Wouldn’t Harm a Fly.
Secrets of Harridge House is Stormy’s debut as a performer. A naturally talkative terrier capable of a broad variety of canine sounds on command, she was a shoe-in for the role of Cooper in Season Three.
Cary minored in Theater in college and DJ’d an indie rock show for KXLU in Los Angeles. Her favorite acting role was Lady Catherine de Bourgh in a stage adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Cary has worked as a summer camp counselor, a barista, and as a divemaster at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center; she learned how to dive in India and Honduras, and has spent over six months volunteering at animal sanctuaries in Southern Africa. However, dogs are still her favorite animal.
Rachel Anderson grew up in Gardnerville, Nevada where she fell in love with the world of theater and dance while also cultivating her passion for the sciences. Her favorite roles include Sara in Stop Kiss and Purity in Anything Goes, Honey in Go-Go Beach, and Romaine Patterson in The Laramie Project, and a dancer in Lysistrata’s War. After graduating with a B.S. in Biology, Rachel performed professionally as a showgirl, lead dancer, and magician’s assistant in Kevin & Caruso’s production shows, Magique, Magique Encore, Madame Houdini, and Holiday Jubilee, touring in Atlantic City, Reno, and Niagara Falls. Currently, she works as a medical laboratory scientist in an emergency room lab. She is grateful to be a part of this cast, and she would like to extend her gratitude to her supporters, including her wife Tina, her parents, and her two dogs.
Asher Honor Hwang lives in the suburbs of Chicago. He has acted in school productions of “Cinderella” and “Baba Yaga.” This is his first professional acting job, and he is thrilled to be playing a ghost. When he grows up, he hopes to become a singing-acting-comic-drawing voice actor.
Kyle Littlefield has worked on PPI productions of The War Of The Worlds and The Odd Couple. He has also been involved with several CVCT shows since 2016. Kyle enjoys foosball and working on the old Dodge.
ANITA KELLEY (Roxie) has performed in numerous stage productions in Tahoe and Carson Valley, and in the short films 10 Syllables and Three Clicks. Favorite roles include the eccentric Madame Arcati in Blithe Spirit, Hannah and Diana in California Suite, Johnna in August: Osage County, The Grand Duchess in You Can’t Take It With You, and The Pedant in The Taming of the Shrew. Her most recent appearance onstage was as Mrs. Phelps in WNMTC’s production of Matilda, the Musical at the Bob Boldrick Theater in Carson City.
HALEY HWANG lives in Chicago and spends her days drinking coffee and weaving tall tales. She has a passion for writing Asian historical fiction, often infusing her stories with diverse characters, martial arts fighting, and concubines. Her short fiction has been published in Volumes 7 and 8 of 72 Hours of Insanity and The Horror Tree’s Trembling With Terror Anthology. Her creative nonfiction has been published in The New York Times, which was included in the print anthology Tiny Love Stories. She has won screenwriting competitions and is currently writing her first feature screenplay.
FREDERICK HAMPTON grew up in California’s San Joaquin Valley. Now, he is a transplanted Nevadan, working at an accidental career in administrative services. His short fiction has appeared in The Missouri Review. He has written and directed a few short films, and works often with PPI and Brewery Arts Center. A graduate of UC Davis, he studied fiction writing and poetry with Clarence Major, Carolyn Kizer, and Charles Grosel. He lives in Carson City with his son and is at work on a novel and other short stories.
SCOTT YOUNG is a filmmaker that specializes in short films. In the last 8-years, many of his films have taken top awards in the competitions for which they were produced. He spends his down time between films writing and taking odd jobs as film editor. Currently, besides overseeing the writing on Secrets of Harridge House, he is also putting the finishing touches on a new television pilot and getting ready to break ground on a new comedy screenplay. A film school grad from Cal State Northridge, Scott resides in Los Angeles.
JOHN ADAMS (he/him/his) is an author from Kansas City. He writes about teenage detectives, pelican-people, robo-butlers, cursed cowboys, and bear nuns. His plays have been produced by Alphabet Soup and the 6×10 Play Festival and selected for readings at the William Inge Theater Festival and the Midwest Dramatists Conference. His short stories have been published by Australian Writers’ Centre, Bowery Gothic, Dream of Shadows, Fat Cat Magazine, Intrinsick, SERIAL Magazine, and Weird Christmas. He won the Johnson County Library Imagine Your Story Writing Contest, was Runner-Up in The Story Engine’s Microfiction Contest, and has been shortlisted by Furious Fiction and The Molotov Cocktail’s Flash Monster Contest. He performs with That’s No Movie, a multi-genre Improv team. Find John at John Adams, Writer and on Twitter.