Thursday, 28 June 2012

Pork Stir-Fried with Fresh Ginger

Stir-fries are brilliant week-night meals. They are generally very easy, and once everything is chopped up, they are ready in the blink of an eye. This one is great, because it is very flavorful and and packed with veggies. Simple and delicious. And on a Monday evening, what could possibly be better than that?

I found this dish in Nancie McDermott's "Real Thai", tweaked it a bit (her servings tend to be tiny) and I find it to be a great basic recipe for a quick stir-fry. You can adjust the heat of ginger and Sri Racha to taste (I love ginger and my sweetie loves spicy, so when we make it, it generally sets off our fire alarm), but it's practically impossible to screw up. The original recipe called for the ginger to be cut into long, thin slices, but that seemed to concentrate it's taste in a few bites. If you chop it instead, the lovely flavor will be in every mouthful.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped garlic
1/2 pound pork, thinly sliced
3/4 to 1 cup fresh ginger, chopped
1 small onion, sliced lengthwise into thin wedges
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 package fresh mushrooms (oyster mushrooms, if you can find them), thinly sliced lengthwise
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 small red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
2 tablespoons water
1 to 2 tablespoons Sri Racha sauce
1 teaspoon sugar

Heat a wok over medium-high heat until very hot. Add the oil and swirl to coat the surface. When the oil is very hot, drop a piece of garlic in the pan: if it sizzles immediately, the oil is ready. Add the garlic and toss until it just begins to turn golden, about 15 seconds. Add the pork and stir-fry until it is no longer pink, about 2 minutes.

Add the ginger and toss to coat with the oil. Let it cook one minute and then add the onion and fish sauce and toss to mix them in. Add the mushrooms and soy sauce and stir-fry until the mushrooms have softened and are shiny, about 1 minute.

Add the bell pepper, Sri Racha sauce, water and sugar and toss well. Cook without stirring for 1 minute. Taste the sauce: it should have a pleasant balance of hot, salty and sweet. Adjust with soy sauce and/or sugar, as needed. Transfer to a serving platter and serve hot, with some jasmine rice or rice noodles. We had it on vermicelli when I took the pictures and I have to say I prefer it on noodles of any size, as it's not saucy enough for the flavor to really be absorbed by rice.

The meat will be very tender, and there will be a lovely ginger heat in every bite. You can also substitute the pork for the equivalent quantity of chicken or tofu, cut into bite-sized pieces. Play around with the veggies, and the possibilities are just about endless.

If fish sauce makes you queasy (the smell grosses the living daylights out of me, even more so when I start thinking about what goes it in, so I use it as little as possible), simply use 6 tablespoons of soy sauce, and add a pinch of salt when you add the sugar.

1 comment:

  1. Going to try this tonight instead of the shoga ( ginger ) yaki my wife often makes . No Sri Racha sauce so going to use Yuzu Kosho + salt + a few chillies as a sub . Will let you know how it turns out .