I was inspired to blog about my dinner tonight by Book of Yum’s post about dal vadas (think lentil fritters). It’s comforting to think I could just write about what I had for dinner on an average, regular night when I’m starved after a day at work and then swimming, and The Man is out mountain biking. That means it’s gotta be fast. Otherwise, I’ll stand at the refrigerator spooning peanut butter in my maw while trying to think of something to make. Bad times.
So. First, I went to the freezer to see what I had. I came up with a pound of ground pork (vegetarians, do not be afraid! The resulting recipe can be made with tofu). Next, I checked the fridge where I found some bok choy and a red bell pepper, at which point, a little thought balloon appeared above my head: Stir Fry.
That brought me to this fascinating cookbook I picked up recently at Goodwill called Chinese Technique: An Illustrated Guide to the Fundamental Techniques of Chinese Cooking by Ken Hom.
What I love about this cookbook is that it:
a) focuses on technique, as its title might imply, and
b) has a Show & Tell format! Just look at all these fab pictures! Just like a good blog.
I went to the cookbook to see what kind of sauce might go best with ground pork. What I found was the Mu Shu Pork recipe, which called for a simple 1:1 combo of soy sauce and Chinese cooking wine. Good enough for me. So with that, I set off on my Stir Fried Pork Journey.
MJ’s Quick Dinner for an Average Weeknight (aka Stir-Fried Veggies with Pork)
2 small onions, diced
1 tbs toasted sesame oil
1 tbs canola oil
2 small heads of bok choy, cut into 1″ pieces
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1″ pieces
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
2 tbs soy sauce (yes, I had some wheat-free soy sauce tonight, living dangerously)
2 tbs Chinese cooking wine
1 pound of ground pork, or block of tofu, mashed
1. Put the sesame and canola oils into your wok or skillet and get them hot, very hot, but not smoking.
2. Toss in your onions–they should sizzle–and saute til just soft.
3. Toss in the white parts of the bok choy (do not yet add the green leafy parts) and the red bell pepper and saute until just soft. Personally, I like my stir-fried veggies a tad on the crunchy side.
4. Your veggies are done now. Get them out of the wok and set them aside. Lower the heat on your skillet a bit.
5. Defrost your frozen ground pork in the microwave. Put the pork (or tofu) into the skillet and cook with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes (to your taste, but 1/2 tsp is about my current spice tolerance at the moment–tragic, I know).
6. Once the pork is getting to almost-cooked, add 2 tbs of soy sauce and 2 tbs of Chinese cooking wine. Then toss in the veggies, including the green leafy parts of the bok choy.
7. Toss and heat everything through. The greens should be just wilted. Enjoy!
This dish reminded me a little of larb, which is something I like, so that was great.
So now you know what I eat when I’m not eating coconut milk.