Thursday, May 26, 2011

Spicy Pork with Asparagus and Chile

I returned from my last trip to Indiana with a stack of my mom's cooking magazines (she saves her subscriptions for me after she reads them...or doesn't have time to read them) and 4 lbs. of asparagus that my uncle brought back from a trip to Michigan. This was perfect timing, because most of the spring edition magazines feature recipes with asparagus, like this yummy pork stir-fry that I found in the April issue of Bon Appetit.

As for the rest of the asparagus, we've steamed it for a side dishes, blanched and chilled it for a snack, and I even found a cool idea for shaving raw asparagus with a vegetable peeler and making it into a salad. I've made 2 salads this way and have not remembered to take a picture, so if you're a fan of asparagus, definitely check out the link. It was delicious! I really thought that I would freeze some of the asparagus for later, but we have eaten our way through that 4 pound bag pretty quickly. I have just a handful left that I'm saving to grill over the weekend. 

How do YOU like to eat asparagus?

While  you think about your answers, let's take a look at the Spicy Pork with Asparagus and Chile... 

First, I diagonally sliced about 12 oz. of asparagus into 1/2 - 3/4 inch pieces.

While I was in "chopping mode", I went ahead and minced a jalapeno pepper, mashed some ginger, and sliced a couple of green onions. When you're making a stir-fry it's nice to have all of the ingredients ready to toss in...

The recipe called for 12 oz. of ground pork (preferably coarsely ground). I didn't have any ground pork. What I did have was a 1 lb. piece of pork loin.

I cut it up into little pieces and tossed it with a tablespoon of soy sauce, a tablespoon of rice vinegar, and tablespoon of cornstarch.

With all of the ingredients chopped and ready to go, I fired up the stove and heated a couple teaspoons of toasted sesame oil in a skillet. Then I added in the asparagus, pepper, and ginger. Toss for a few minutes until the asparagus is tender-crisp. Then remove the veggies from the skillet.

Heat another teaspoon of sesame oil in the same skillet and add the pork. Stir fry for a few minutes until the pork is browned.

Add the veggies back into the skillet and then pour on the sauce ingredients: soy sauce, oyster sauce, and honey. Stir-fry a little longer, until the pork is cooked through. Toss in the green onions and salt and pepper (if needed) to finish.

I served mine over rice. As a fan of stir-fry,  I'd definitely make this one again!

The jalapeno that I used was surprisingly hot. It made the stir-fry too spicy for our daughters to enjoy. Luckily I had extra asparagus, so I steamed a batch their dinner. Here's a picture of one of the half-eaten asparagus and rice dinners that I served to the kiddos. It totally makes me happy that they love asparagus too!

* Asparagus makes for great finger food for kiddos. If they're not sure about it at first, let them dip it in ranch dressing. Once they develop a taste for a new vegetable, they might enjoy it without the aid of condiments down the road. It's all about setting up healthy habits for the future!

Here's the recipe:

Spicy Pork with Asparagus and Chile from Bon Apettit

•3 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
•1 tablespoon Shaoxing Chinese rice wine or dry Sherry
•2 teaspoons cornstarch
•12 ounces ground pork (preferably coarsely ground; sometimes labeled chili-grind)
•3 teaspoons Asian sesame oil, divided
•12 ounces thin to medium asparagus spears, trimmed, cut on extreme diagonal into 1/2- to 3/4-inch pieces
•1 red jalapeƱo chile, minced with seeds
•1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
•2 tablespoons oyster sauce
•1 teaspoon honey
•2 green onions, thinly sliced on diagonal
•Fine sea salt
Ingredient info: Oyster sauce is available in the Asian foods section of some supermarkets and at Asian markets.


Whisk 1 tablespoon soy sauce, rice wine, and cornstarch in medium bowl. Add pork; toss to blend. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in heavy large wok or deep skillet over high heat. Add asparagus, chile, and ginger. Toss until asparagus is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer asparagus mixture to plate. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil to wok. Add pork mixture and stir-fry until browned, using spoon to break up pork into small pieces, 2 to 3 minutes. Return asparagus mixture to wok. Add remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, oyster sauce, and honey; stir-fry until pork is cooked through, adding water by tablespoonfuls if dry, about 2 minutes. Add green onions; toss to incorporate. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Nutritional Information
One serving contains:
Calories (kcal) 285.6
%Calories from Fat 57.4
Fat (g) 18.4
Saturated Fat (g) 6.0
Cholesterol (mg) 66.6
Carbohydrates (g) 9.0
Dietary Fiber (g) 2.0
Total Sugars (g) 4.4
Net Carbs (g) 6.9
Protein (g) 21.4
Sodium (mg) 1287.7


Kim said...

Hey Krista! Sorry I haven't been by in awhile. The past couple months have been crazy. What a score you got at your parents house! Cooking magazines and 4 pounds of asparagus:) I love how you tackled this recipe and made it work with what you had on hand. You are so right about letting kids try the veggies with ranch first. My daughter is 10, but is just getting around to trying lots of veg and ranch always makes it more approachable. Have a great Memorial Day weekend!

Mary | Deep South Dish said...

Wow, that looks wonderful! Bet it's tasty too. I love asparagus roasted the best, but plain ole steamed or sauteed makes me happy too!

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