Bon Appétit (April 2011)
April's Bon Appétit has a terrific feature on making the most of early spring vegetables. In addition to this Spicy Pork with Asparagus and Chile, there's a delicious-sounding Pea and Radish Salad with Goat Cheese, a yummy-looking Chicken and Carrot Stew, and a Chilled Leek Soup with Lemon-Dill Yogurt that we can't wait to try.
Sadly, it's still a little too early for us to enjoy these spring veggies straight from the farm. So we made do with grocery-store asparagus.
But whether your asparagus comes from the produce aisle or the farmers market, you're going to love this Spicy Pork with Asparagus and Chile.
We loved the flavors of this dish! The soy sauce, Chinese cooking wine, ginger and oyster sauce combine to give the dish a marvelous mix of Asian flavors. The chile imparts a little heat (although frankly, we could have stood a little more spice). And the asparagus keeps everything fresh and vibrant.
Plus, the whole thing is on your table in less than half an hour. It's a beautiful thing.
We served this with some rice and Carrots with Caramelized Ginger, from the same Bon App feature. The carrot recipe recommends using true baby carrots (actual small carrots, as opposed to little carved carrot sticks) but we made them with a regular old bag of carrots that was rolling around in our crisper drawer and thought the dish was a good accompaniment to the stir fry.
It may be a tad early in the season for us to find market-fresh asparagus and baby carrots, but this meal had us yearning for the return of fresh produce. Bring on spring!
* PREP TIME: 25 minutes
* TOTAL TIME: 25 minutes
- 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 jalapeño 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
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.