Spicy Ground Pork and Vegetable Stir Fry with Peanut Sauce
The photo you’re looking at is the product of my cocky attempt at figuring out my new external flash without reading any manuals, with no tripod, with no previous toying around, and without asking google, “how the f&#* do I sync the goddamn flash with the goddamn shutter?” – because they were cooperating as much as my arms cooperate with my legs on the dance floor. (Read: there was a serious misconnection.)
I was HANGRY (hungry + angry). So you just get one photo. #itsjustdinner – like I said before, that happens sometimes. Anyway, all is good now, and no regrettable decisions were made on where to shove the flash (good news for the friendly guy who sold it to me).
Lesson learned? Figure out your new equipment before the stakes are “high” (meaning hunger, in my case). Read the manuals. Ask google all your questions. Then take ten million photos of your dinner plate in your photography area after your belly is full and your brain is clear.
Ok, now that we’re past the anger and hostility – THIS PORK AND VEGETABLE STIR FRY. Ground pork, shredded cabbage, carrots, bitter greens with an incredible spicy-creamy peanut sauce, and crunchy, salty peanuts on top. It’s insane. Seriously, I’m not exaggerating. I want it every day. I served it on hot sticky rice and savoured it slowly with chopsticks.
I only wish the photo did it justice. You’re just going to have to trust me.
- 5 tbsp peanut or vegetable oil divided use
- 1 1/2 lbs ground pork
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 medium onion thinly sliced crosswise
- 1/2 small napa cabbage
- 2 carrots peeled and julienned
- 6 stalks gai lan or 1/2 head of broccoli, stalks julienned and leaves coarsely chopped (florets separated if using broccoli)
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth divided use
- 3/4 cup peanut natural smooth peanut butter
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tbsp brown sugar packed
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 thai green chiles minced
- 1/3 cup roasted peanuts coarsely chopped
- lime wedges for serving
- Heat 1 tbsp oil over medium-high heat in a large cast-iron skillet or a wok. When oil is shimmering hot, add pork and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until cooked through and starting to crisp up.
- Meanwhile, whisk 3/4 cup chicken stock with peanut butter, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic and chiles in a large mixing bowl (you need a lot of room to whisk in the peanut butter). Set aside.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer cooked pork to a bowl. Pour fat from pan and discard. Add remaining 1/4 cup chicken broth to pan and return to medium heat. Deglaze the pan by scraping the bottom to release all browned bits. Pour into bowl with pork.
- Add 4 tbsp oil to same pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, cabbage, carrots and gai lan stalks. Cook, stirring frequently, until cabbage is tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in gai lan leaves and cook until just wilted. Return pork to pan, add sauce and cook, tossing with tongs, until well combined and heated through. Serve topped with peanuts with lots of lime wedges on the side.