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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Spicy Pork with Asparagus

Have I mentioned that we have a Thai restaurant around the corner from our house? It's like a ski lodge in the way that it pumps out delicious smells from its fan in the back - luring in people off the street who weren't even hungry in the first place. It blows directly at our house. On summer nights while we sit on the balcony having a beer, our mouths water and inevitably conversation turns to spring rolls and pad thai. In the winter, if the wind's blowing the right direction, I catch a whiff just before I turn the key in the door. But we don't order in too often, and usually because making it at home is more delicious, much cheaper...and we know what's in it (healthier and less scary). This is not a Thai recipe but the next time you get a hankering for Chinese take-out or something of the sort, make this instead. Your taste buds (and bowels) will thank you.

3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice wine
2 tsp cornstarch
~12 oz ground pork (you can use varied amounts, this week I happened to have 1/2 lb in the freezer which worked just fine)
3 tsp sesame oil
1 handful of asparagus (whatever is rubberbanded together at the store), trimmed and cut on diagonal into 1/2 pieces
1 jalapeno, minced with seeds (if you're afraid of spicy, go easy on the seeds)
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp honey
2 green onions, thinly sliced
Soft boiled or poached eggs (optional)

1. Whisk 1 tbsp soy, rice wine, and cornstarch in a medium bowl. Add pork, toss to blend.

2. Heat 2 tsp oil in a wok or large/deep skillet over high heat (yes - HIGH. Don't be shy, this is why they call it stir fry. If you go for less, you'll end up with smushy veggies and pork without the brown caramel bits). Add asparagus, jalapeno and ginger. Toss until crisp-tender (about 3 mins). Boil water and add your eggs. Cook for 6-7 mins.

3. Remove the asparagus and place in a bowl, leaving the oil/ginger in the pan. Add the remaining oil and add the pork. Stir fry until browned and cooked through, breaking up the chunks.

4. Return the asparagus to the pan, add the remaining soy, oyster sauce, honey and green onions and stir until well combined.

Serve over white jasmine rice. I happened to have some leftover white rice in the fridge which I just threw in at the end and mixed with everything else.

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