Monday, March 12, 2007
Spicy Asian Pork
Daylight savings time is here, and for me that means the start of many months of running outside in the evening--a magnificent time of year indeed. Spurred on by the glorious blue sky over the Manhattan skyline as I headed back up the East River on my way home, inspiration struck, in the form of an idea for dinner that was light, fresh and kind of spring-like.
I've made Spicy Ginger Pork in Lettuce Leaves many times, and tonight was as tasty as all the rest. This is a very easy dinner to make; once you've done your prep, it takes less than 10 minutes to cook. You need a bunch of Asian sauces, but if you make stir-fries somewhat regularly, you've probably got them on hand already. Tonight, for instance, I only had to pick up the meat, a bell pepper, water chestnuts and lettuce. Handing over a sweaty $10 bill to the cashier at the grocery store after a run is always kind of embarassing, but it's a small price to pay for the spring/summer ritual of an evening run and a homemade dinner.--S
Spicy Ginger Pork in Lettuce Leaves
3/4 pound ground pork [I use a mix of ground pork & veal]
1 red [or green] bell pepper, finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon minced peeled ginger
1 tablespoon Thai sweet chile sauce [I use General Tsao's Stir Fry Sauce, from Trader Joe's]
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil
One 8-ounce can whole water chestnuts, drained and diced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
24 Boston lettuce leaves
1. In a medium bowl, combine the ground pork with the bell pepper, garlic, ginger, chile sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil and 1 tablespoon of the grapeseed oil.
2. In a large skillet or wok, heat the remaining 1 teaspoon of grapeseed oil until shimmering. Add the pork mixture and stir-fry over high heat, breaking it up, until it is cooked through and starting to brown, about 8 minutes. Stir in the water chestnuts, scallions, oyster sauce and cilantro and remove from the heat.
3. Spoon the pork into bowls. Stack the lettuce leaves on plates. To eat, spoon the pork onto the lettuce leaves, roll up and eat.
Recipe courtesy of Food & Wine, Aug. 2006