It’s pretty clear that I love all things kitchen-related, all things for cooking. So, it should be no surprise to hear that I loooovveee getting new kitchen toys! Our kitchen has the basics–cutting boards, baking tools, cast iron skillets, etc. We also have specialty items like a stand mixer, a waffle maker, sandwich maker, and food processor. We also have an air fryer, which is one of the coolest toys we’ve ever had.
Recently we got a new addition to an old toy: a meat grinder attachment to our stand mixer. We buy meat in bulk, so having a meat grinder opens a whole new avenue of recipes, and saves us tons of money when it comes to buying additional meats. Which leads us to today. I desperately wanted to play with the new toy, so I grabbed pork shoulder and promptly pushed it through. Quite literally. So, what should I do with my bowl of newly ground pork? Well, I make stir fry! Pork stir fry with vegetables and rice to be exact.
Stir fries are incredible for multiple reasons, which I will now enumerate:
- All stir fries are essentially one-pot meals, which are both efficient for cooking and cleaning. You only have to focus on one pot and cooking things one way.
- Stir fries are a catch all of anything you want to eat that night. Just throw it all in a dish and have at it! They are super easy that way. It’s also an amazing way to get rid of any soon-to-be-rotting veggies in your crisper.
- Almost all stir fries are already served with rice. Enough said there.
- If I haven’t made this clear already, stir fries are really, really easy.
When I was in college, stir fry was my go-to dish at the dining hall. Mostly I got stir fry because I went to college in central Virginia and they didn’t really serve a whole lot of Asian food in the dining hall. But there was always a stir fry station, and even though the line was insanely long, I almost always got it. In an attempt to re-live some of that nostalgia, I made an Asian-inspired stir fry for y’all. Along with the ground pork, I added a bunch of veggies: garlic, onions, mushrooms, carrots, zucchini, and green onion. Everything is cut in strips and/or very thin slices to make it look more uniform. Side note: while eating this dish, I realized that a perfect addition would have been bean sprouts. I’m sad I missed out on that opportunity!
I also made a sauce using a mix of Asian flavors. The pork itself is fried in soy sauce and lemon, aka the Filipino marinade. Then after sauteing all of the veggies you add the sauce. Anyways, in a small bowl I whisked together oyster sauce and rice cooking wine, because I knew those flavors complement each other. I added honey for some sweetness, but it came out too sweet. I added lemon to balance out the tartness in the honey. Finally, I added a touch of sesame oil just to give it more saltiness. I wasn’t sure this would turn out well, which is why I didn’t add it one by one but mixed it in a bowl first. Luckily, it came out perfectly!
The last component to any great stir fry, as I said before, is rice. If I wanted to be healthier I would have made it with quinoa, or at the very least quinoa and rice, but alas. This time I went for full on Asian flavor, and that means steamed white rice. Little tip: make sure to cook your rice first so that it’s ready by the time you fry the rest of the ingredients.
Whenever I’m feeling uninspired or just need a little break from the intensity that cooking can be, I throw together a stir fry. Maybe one day you’ll be feeling a little bogged down by life’s chaos and you decide to give this one a try. I hope that you do! I’ll tell you one thing. It’s definitely one I’m keeping in my back pocket.
What was your last stir fry experience?
Pork and Veggie Stir Fry
- 1/4 cup oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp rice cooking wine
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp lemon juice (+ 1 tsp for the pork)
- 1/4 tbsp sesame oil
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 small onion thinly sliced
- 1 lb ground pork
- salt + pepper to taste
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 bunch carrots chopped into strips
- 2 small zucchini chopped into strips
- 1 cup baby bella mushrooms thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup green onions cut into thirds
- 1-2 cups white rice cooked
In a small bowl whisk together the sauce ingredients: oyster sauce, rice cooking wine, honey, lemon juice, and sesame oil. Mix until smooth. Set aside.
In a large wok or cast iron skillet, heat olive oil. Saute the onions and garlic until soft and fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Remove to plate.
Add more oil if necessary. Add the ground pork and fry on high heat. Generously add salt and pepper. Add the soy sauce and remaining lemon juice and mix. Keep frying until fully brown, about 5-10 min. Remove to plate.
Lower the heat to medium and add more oil if necessary. Saute the carrots for 3 minutes. Add the zucchini and continue to saute until both are soft, about 4 more minutes.
Lower the heat to medium low. Add the mushroom and mix until they are lightly brown, about 2 minutes. Mix in the green onions.
Add the sauce mixture. Mix thoroughly to coat all of the vegetables. Add the meat and mix through the sauce again. Once mixed, add the rice and mix one final time. Turn off the heat and serve!