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January 21, 2006

Wok Fu - Pork with Mint and Sugar Snap Peas

While grocery shopping this evening, I was struck by the urge to stir-fry. So I threw a little something together that turned out well enough to share. I'll write it up semi-recipe style, but bear in mind that all measurements are super approximate based on my recollection, and as such are probably horribly inaccurate. One of these days I'll get into the habit of measuring as I go in the name of full documentation.



Dominic Armato (click to enlarge)


Dominic Armato (click to enlarge)

Stir-Fried Pork with Mint
and Sugar Snap Peas

1/2 Lb. Pork Loin, cut into matchsticks
1/2 Small Onion, cut into 1" chunks
1 C. Sugar Snap Peas
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 whole red chiles
Peanut Oil

Marinade:
1 Tbsp. Shaoxing
1 Tbsp. Thai Fish Sauce
2 tsp. Honey

Sauce:
1/4 C. Tangerine Juice
Grated Zest from 1 Tangerine
2 Tbsp. Shaoxing
2 Tbsp. Thai Fish Sauce
1 Tbsp. Honey
2 Tbsp. Mint Chiffonade
1 tsp. Cornstarch

Combine the pork wth the marinade ingredients, and let them sit in the fridge for an hour or so. Dry sherry would be an ample substitute for the shaoxing. When washing and prepping, it's important to remember that for stir fry, the vegetables should be dry, dry, dry. Otherwise, they steam and simmer and lose that crisp freshness you expect from a good stir fry. Ideally, you should wash them, dry them as much as possible, and then let them air dry for a few hours. But if you're pressed for time, there are always other options. Heat a wok over high heat, and when the wok is extremely hot, add a couple tablespoons of the peanut oil, swirl, and add the pork. Spread it out, and let it sit for 15-20 to get a nice sear going. Then, stir-fry until the raw exterior color has just disappeared. Slide the pork out onto a separate plate, and reheat the wok. Add more oil, then toss in the garlic and chiles. Stir-fry for a few seconds, then toss in the onions. Cook until they just barely begin to turn translucent, then add the sugar snap peas. Cook until the peas are bright and crispy, only about 10-15 seconds. Return the pork to the wok and stir to combine. Give the sauce a stir to ensure the cornstarch is dissolved, then add to the wok. Stir-fry until the sauce has thickened slightly, and coats all of the ingredients. The entire stir-frying process, from start to finish, shouldn't take longer than 2-3 minutes.

Chow down posthaste... wok hay fades with every passing second!

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