Monday, December 17, 2012

Sticky Chinese Pork Stir-Fry and it's Low Fat too!

         At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the stir-fry is the savior of every harried home cook.  When you have to get dinner on the table in as short a time as possible, a stir-fry’s hard to beat.  It’s all a matter of getting everything prepped and ready to go in this super fast cooking method.   And there’s no need for a wok to do so.  Any large fry pan will do.  There’s endless variety of things you can stir-fry.  This one is my latest discovery and it’s very good.  It’s loaded with vegetables and the most tender pork all bound together in an Asian accented sauce flavored with ginger and garlic. The sauce is the ‘sticky’ part with its hint of honey.  And what’s really impressive is that it’s extremely low fat.  How can you resist?

         There’s a marvelous food magazine called “Delicious” which is published both in the UK and in Australia.  I adapted my recipe from the Australian magazine, which meant I had to learn what a capsicum is:  a red pepper.  But everything else was relatively straightforward. It’s one of those wonderful dishes that you can switch out vegetables to whatever looks best in the market.  This is exactly what I did when I decided to add a handful of sliced mushrooms to the mix.  If I could not have found bok choy, I am sure broccoli would have been lovely. The pork tenderloin that’s at the heart of the recipe has to be the tenderest pork we’ve had in a long time.  I chose one at Trader Joe’s that had been marinated in garlic and pepper simply because the un-marinated variety on hand when I was there was not nearly as nice a piece of meat.  It added to the flavor of the dish.  I made this for 2 people but as usual, all that meant was decreasing the amount of meat.  I stuck with the full recipe for the sauce and went whole hog with the vegetables.  Here’s the recipe:

Recipe for Sticky Chinese Pork Stir Fry adapted from Delicious Magazine:
Serves 4

The vegetables minus the mushrooms
2 pork tenderloins, about 1 lb a piece, cut into 1 inch cubes.
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tsp. sesame oil
2 tsp. Chinese Five Spice Powder
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp. finely grated ginger
2 tbsp. honey
1 ½ tbsp. Sunflower or Canola Oil
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
2 dozen snow peas, trimmed
4 oz. baby bella mushrooms sliced ¼ inch thick
6 heads of baby bok choy, trimmed
Toasted sesame seeds, to serve.
Place the pork in a bowl with soy, sesame oil, five spice powder, garlic, ginger and honey.  Toss to combine and set aside for ten minutes while you prep the vegetables.

Heat half the oil in a large frypan or wok over high heat.  Add the mushrooms and cook 1-2 minutes.  Next add the red pepper and the snow peas and cook an additional 1-2 minutes or until tender.  

Now add the bok choy and cook for another minute.  Transfer the vegetables to a bowl.  Set aside.

Heat the remaining oil in the same frypan over medium low heat.  Drain the pork, reserving the marinade to make your sauce.  Cook the pork in batches, if necessary, for 3-4 minutes until light golden brown on all sides.  Add the reserved marinade and all to bubble for 3-5 minutes until reduced and sticky.

Return the vegetable to the frypan with the pork, tossing gently to combine.  Sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds and serve.

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