Stir-fried pork, with mixed vegetables and waterchestnuts

There are three of us living in this house.  One of whom is my younger son who comes and goes at mysterious hours. Working in retail he never knows what his hours are, and as he works in one of those Big 4 convenience stores, it’s not unusual for him to be at work until 11 pm.

And like many of his generation,  although better connected than I ever was, communication about where he is, what he’s doing and when he’ll be home is generally initiated by me.

All of which means that when I’m cooking I never know if I’m cooking for two or three. For a meal to be eaten immediately or something that will keep.  So quantities tend to be a bit of minefield.

In the event, this recipe made enough for three. Thankfully!

Stir-fried pork

stir-fried pork

Stir fries are another wonderfully flexible meal. You can use pretty much whatever meat or veg you have to hand. What’s important, though, is to maximise the flavour of whatever you’re cooking. Mainly this comes, I think, from marinading the meat that you’re using. I also like to use chilli of some sort (chilli features a lot in my food, because I love it!). This recipe uses the chilli oil that I wrote about in my last blog.

The carb count for this, with the veg I’d used,- came to just 33g in total, so just a little more than 10g per person.

Ingredients

The meat and its marinade:

1 pork fillet, big enough for 3, fat trimmed off and sliced into thin medallions (try and get them around 5mm)
2-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped (or crushed in a garlic press)
1 tablespoon light soy sauce (use a good brand, like Kikkoman or Sanchi Shoyu)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
a chunk of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped (you want a piece about the size of an Oxo cube; mine weighed 13g)
roasted sesame oil
black pepper

Slice the meat and put it in a bowl or plastic box and add all the ingredients

Season generously with black pepper, stir so that it’s all well mixed, and leave to marinade for around 20 minutes. (You can leave it for longer if you have the time – but 20 minutes is a minimum to give you a decent flavour)

The stir-fry

65g echalion shallots, peeled and sliced thinly – I used 2 shallots for this weight
130g celery stalks, thinly sliced (about 3 or 4 stalks of celery)
2-4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
140g savoy cabbage, sliced thinly (this was about a 1/3 of a cabbage)
140g bean sprouts
1 tin of water chestnuts, drained and halved (I used the Kingfisher brand, which gives a carb count of 4.3g for 100g, and the whole tin is 140g when drained – if you use another brand, check the carb counts don’t very too widely)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
A light, unflavoured oil for frying – sunflower or groundnut would be ideal
Salt and black pepper

And finally, my weird ingredient: 25g chilli oil with peanuts – this is not really an oil, more an oily paste, using lots of chilli flakes and peanuts:
IMG_2003IMG_2002

The oil not only adds flavour, but also texture, from the dried flakes and peanuts

Here’s how to make it:

Heat a wok (or a large frying pan), add a generous sloosh of oil, and when it’s really hot, fry the celery and shallots, stirring all the time

Next, add the cabbage, garlic and water chestnuts, and continue to stir fry for another minute or so.

Then add the bean sprouts and cook briefly.

Season with some black pepper and a little bit of salt (not too much as soy sauce is salty)

When it’s softened and cooked to your liking, add the chilli oil and soy sauce and fry for a little longer to amalgamate everything

Put it all into a serving dish and keep it warm while you cook the meat

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Stir-frying the pork

Put the wok back on the heat (no need to wash it) and make sure it’s hot before you add the meat

You don’t need to add any extra oil, as there is sesame oil in the marinade

When the wok is really hot, add the meat. Do this using a slotted spoon, so that you are not adding the marinade as well. The meat will steam rather than fry if it’s too wet in the wok

Stir fry the meat, stirring continuously, for no more than a couple of minutes. This is really important. It’s cut thin enough to cook through very quickly, and if you cook it for longer than this, it will be tough. It’s OK to eat pork fillet slightly pink, just in case you’re worried!

Just before you take it off the heat, add the remains of the marinade and stir it through, then add the meat to the vegetables, mix together, and serve immediately

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