Stir-Fried Pork and Vegetables in Black Bean Sauce

18 Apr

stir-fried pork and vegetables in black bean sauce

Stir-frying is a really useful technique; it’s simple, fast, and yields delicious results. I especially love it for fresh vegetables where the high heat draws out their natural sweetness while keeping them nice and crisp. This type of preparation is my favorite for brussels sprouts which I think get a bad reputation due to often being overcooked. I like my brussels sprouts only slightly softened, still retaining a crisp nearly raw interior. Chinese long beans (which are very similar to green beans but a bit better suited to stir-frying as they stay crisper) are a great match here, while ground pork marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil, and Chinese five-spice helps to round out the flavors. Despite the jarred black bean sauce being used here (as much as I like to make everything from scratch, sometimes it’s just not feasible), this stir-fry is miles ahead of your standard take-out – both tastier and healthier! Once you get the hang of stir-frying, you’ll realize how invaluable it is to be able to toss together whatever vegetables are hanging out in your fridge and end up with a delicious meal.


Stir-Fried Pork and Vegetables in Black Bean Sauce (adapted from Rasa Malaysia)
Yield: 6 – 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 2 cloves + 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce*
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp Chinese five-spice
  • 10 – 15 dried shiitake mushrooms**
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1″ piece ginger, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1/4 cup shaoxing cooking wine
  • 1 lb brussels sprouts, halved
  • 1 lb Chinese long beans, cut into 1″ pieces***
  • 3 Tbsp jarred black bean sauce****
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup vegetable stock

*If you can’t eat gluten, make sure you’re using a gluten-free soy sauce.
**Fresh shiitake mushrooms would also work – skip the soaking step.
***Regular green beans should be fine too, although they won’t stay as nice and crisp as the long beans.
****This shouldn’t be too difficult to find at an Asian market or in the Asian section of a regular supermarket. The Lee Kum Kee brand is what I used, and you can buy it online if needed.

Method:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine 1 lb ground pork with 2 cloves garlic, minced, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil, and 1/4 tsp Chinese five-spice. Mix thoroughly, then let marinate in the refrigerator for at least half an hour.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, cover 10 – 15 dried shiitake mushrooms with hot water (you may need to place something on top of the mushrooms to keep them underwater), and soak until softened, about 20 – 30 minutes. After the mushrooms are softened, drain (if you strain your soaking water through cheesecloth and it doesn’t look too dirty, you can use it in place of the vegetable stock later on), then chop, and set aside.
  3. In a wok or large sautee pan, heat 1 Tbsp vegetable oil over high heat, then add the marinated pork, and cook, breaking it up with a spatula, until cooked through, about 10 minutes, then remove from the pan, and set aside.
  4. Add more vegetable oil, if needed, then sautee 1 onion, diced until it turns translucent, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the diced mushrooms, and sautee briefly until softened, about 2 minutes.
  6. Add 2 cloves garlic, minced, 1″ piece ginger, minced, and 1 jalapeno pepper, minced, and sautee until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  7. Pour in 1/4 cup shaoxing cooking wine, then add 1 lb brussels sprouts, halved and 1 lb long beans, cut into 1″ pieces, and cook, stirring, until the brussel sprouts start to soften, about 3 – 5 minutes.
  8. Stir in 3 Tbsp black bean sauce, and return the pork to the pan.
  9. Dissolve 1 tsp cornstarch in 3/4 cup vegetable stock, then pour into the pan, and allow to simmer until thickened, about 2 – 3 minutes.
  10. Taste, and add soy sauce or more black bean sauce, if needed.

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