Sunday, 25 October 2015

Stir-Fried Pork & Cucumber

If there's something my people definitely love doing, it's stir-frying salad items. Lettuce, check. Tomatoes, sure. From my experience, the Chinese (especially older generations) don't much like eating raw vegetables. My dad made a tuna salad once and my grandmother tipped the whole lot into a wok and stir-fried it for a good few minutes. We all stared on, wide-eyed.

Just as often as cucumbers are served raw for salads and crudités in the West, they can also be cooked with great result. The key is to keep them big, so they don't dissolve in the pan, and to salt them well to draw the excess water out of them before you cook them. It also helps to cook them on a high, ferocious heat to get some smokiness in them. They become denser, a more concentrated flavour. This is the simplest of stir-fried dishes, and you need only a few staples to get a very tasty result.

Stir-Fried Pork & Cucumber

Serves 2

1 larger cucumber, sliced lengthways in half and deseeded
1 tbsp table salt
A handful of sugarsnap peas
2 spring onions
1 tsp minced ginger
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
200gr pork (leg or tenderloin), sliced thinly
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp cornflour
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp dark soy
1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
A pinch of white pepper
2 tbsp vegetable oil

For the sauce:
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp light soy
1 tsp dark soy
1 tbsp Chinkiang vinegar (sub with half sherry vinegar and half balsamic if you don't have this)
A pinch of sugar
1 tsp cornflour

Peel the cucumber in stripes so that you have large green and white stripes. Chop roughly in large pieces, toss in the 1 tbsp salt and place in a sieve. Leave to drain for half an hour, then wash thoroughly and leave to dry. Meanwhile, marinade the pork in the soy sauces, rice wine, sesame oil, cornflour and white pepper.

Separate the whites from the greens of the spring onion, and slice into 2 inch sections. Slice the greens finely and place to one side.

Mix the sauce ingredients together.

Heat 1 tbsp of oil until smoking hot, then fry the pork, tossing occasionally, for 2 - 3 minutes. Remove to a plate. Get the wok smoking hot again, add another tbsp of oil, then add the ginger and whites of the spring onion. Add the cucumber and sugarsnap peas, and stir fry for 2 - 3 minutes until they get some colour on them. Add the garlic, and continue to stir-fry for another couple of minutes. Add the pork back in and stir to combine for another minute or two, then add the sauce ingredients. Stir-fry until the liquid thickens slightly, then remove from the heat and serve, garnishing the top with spring onions. Serve with rice.


Charlene Flash said...

Lovely :-) x

Helen said...

FIT. I love this. I shall make it, you mark my words. Pumpkin toffee dip for afters (JOKES)