Everyone loves dumplings, that’s just an undisputed fact. Not everyone feels confident making them from scratch though. These Cantonese Shumai are little juicy bundles of delight, they are a dim sum favorite for a reason after all, but they are also an excellent way to read more
This Pork Stir Fry is the kind of simple dish that every Japanese home has a version of. Known in Japan as nira buta, the nira refers to garlic chives (also called Chinese chives), and the buta is the pork. This is a lightening fast recipe that works well with other dishes on the dinner table. It’s also something a parent might whip up after school to hold you over until dinner and it could even satisfy as an exceptional late night snack. Quick, easy, and delicious. Let’s get started!
Like many stir-fries, there is room for experimentation. Sometimes the chives are stir fried with bean sprouts or chicken and sometimes the egg is omitted. When meat is used, like I am here, it’s in a typically Asian way. The meat is more of a flavoring than the star of the show. The 8 ounces of pork here serves 4 as an appetizer, which is a far cry from the standard Western practice 0f 6-8 ounces of meat per person. So this is a pretty economical and healthy dish as well.
Garlic chives are a totally different animal than the chives you are probably already familiar and should not be confused with the fine delicate French chives in the herb section of the grocery store. Those chives will not work in this stir fry. There are two main types of garlic chives you will find available here in the States. You can find both of them at an Asian grocery store in the produce section. The first type is flat and looks like a blade of grass. It is soft and tender, and used in Korean dishes like kimchi, in Chinese potstickers, and in Japanese stir fries. You can use that garlic chive here, but it cooks in seconds so you’ll want to cook it for less time. But the type of chive we’re using today is the flowering type. It has a more sturdy look with a thicker stem capped with a bud. The buds are typically closed tightly. When purchasing garlic chives, look for a bunch that is green and fresh. Avoid any that are slimy, a faded color, or dried out.
Stir Fry Basics
Since stir fries come together so quickly, it’s important to have everything prepped and within reach before you start cooking. Otherwise you run the risk of your pork burning while you dash around the kitchen frantically trying to find the sesame oil. So prep the chives, cut the meat, scramble the eggs, and lay it all out with the sauce ingredients by your stovetop.
Just a note, the ends of the flowering garlic chives are very fibrous. I always take a generous 1 1/2 inches off of the bottom so that the I don’t end up with a mouthful of tough bits. And the buds are completely edible so there’s no need to cut them off. However, if you’re using regular garlic chives, which are more tender, a little trim off the bottom will do it.
Heat the pan for several minutes before adding the oil. You want that pan very very hot. Then add the oil right before the other ingredients so it doesn’t smoke. The key to successful stir frying without a wok and incredibly high heat is to let the protein cook undisturbed with plenty of space before continuing with the stir fry. This technique gets a good sear on the meat and prevents liquid from pooling in the pan, which would interfere with your stir fry.
I like a softly cooked egg so I turn off the heat when I add it in. The residual heat in the pan will continue to cook the egg. What you end up with is similar to a carbonara where the egg turns into a thick sauce. Of course, you can cook the egg how you like; that’s the beauty of cooking for yourself! Next, transfer the stir fry to a plate and you’re all set.
You can serve this Pork Stir Fry with Java Rice to make it a complete meal. It’s also delicious served with:
Or you could just devour it to keep the hangries at bay, like we do in Japan. Try it this week and let me know what you think by rating and commenting on the recipe below, and don’t forget to tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!
- 8 ounces pork loin
- 2 Tablespoons neutral oil
- 1 bunch flowering garlic chives, about 11 ounces
- 2 eggs
- 2 Tablespoons oyster sauce
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- Trim the bottom inch of the garlic chives and discard. Cut the chives into 2 inch pieces and set aside.
- Cut the pork in half lengthwise and then into thin strips. Set aside.
- Crack the eggs and lightly scramble with a fork. Set aside.
- Heat a large 12” skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil and tilt the skillet and swirl the pan to coat with oil. Add the pork, let it cook for 1 minute undisturbed and then stir fry for 1 minute.
- Add the garlic chives and continue cooking for 1 minute, stir frying to move the ingredients around the pan.
- Add the oyster sauce, salt, and pepper and stir to combine.
- Add the scrambled egg, stir, and turn the heat off the pan. Gently stir a couple times until the egg is cooked to your liking. I typically only cook it halfway through so it’s more like a thickened sauce.
- Transfer the pork stir fry to a plate and serve immediately.
Keywords: nira buta, stir fry, pork, garlic chives, chinese chives,
In these days where we are all amateur food photographers and critics, it’s easy to overlook less photogenic dishes. But sometimes the humblest looking food is the most delicious. That’s why I love David Chang’s show, Ugly Delicious, and I think this Curried Eggplant and Pork could star in an episode. It may not be much to look at it, but it is so rich and savory. It’s the perfect one-pot meal, with some rice of course. This dish has basic ingredients, easy cooking steps, and is delicious. Plus it’s economical and re-heats like a dream.
My mom is a great cook and so was my grandmother. When I was a kid, my sister and I would spend our summers in Japan at my grandparents’ house. My mom comes from a small city on the coast of Southern Honshu Island called Kii-Katsuura. It’s a quaint place where everyone kind of knows each other and it allowed us to have the kind of childhood every kid wants, full of autonomy and freedom. We would be on our bikes with cousins from morning to night, picnicking by the river, creating bonfires at the beach, and racing up the forest to reach the local waterfall, Nachisan.
And at night, my grandmother would often have dinner waiting for us. She loved to try new foods and taste different cuisines; one of the ways she was able to do this in a small city was to read through recipes posted in the local paper. So this recipe, which is based on a Chinese dish, was printed in the paper in the early 80s. As soon as my grandmother made it, I knew I wanted to have it again.
This dish, which is slightly familiar and slightly exotic, is home cooking at its best. Curried Eggplant and Pork is such a comforting dish, especially served over rice, and I think you’re going to love it-even if it won’t win any beauty pageants.
Curried Eggplant and Pork is one of those recipes where I like to have everything prepped before I begin. That way, the cooking is a fast and easy process. I peel and cut the eggplant, mince the ginger and garlic, and dice the onion. I also make a water and cornstarch slurry and gather the sauce ingredients.
Once you have all the ingredients prepped, making Curried Eggplant and Pork is a breeze.
Curried Eggplant and Pork is a stew-like, braised dish. Once you add the chicken stock and the rest of the sauce ingredients, you let it gently simmer in the pan. The eggplant will become meltingly tender, and everything will cook down to a soft soupy texture. At this point you will add in the cornstarch slurry to help it thicken up a bit.
Curried Eggplant and Pork begs to be served on top of perfect rice to soak up all the yummy sauce. Try it tonight and let me know what you think! Leave a comment below, rate the recipe, and of course tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, hashtag ugly delicious optional.
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 large eggplant, about 1 pound
- 1 Tablespoon neutral oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 Tablespoon peeled and minced ginger
- 1 Tablespoon curry powder
- 2 Tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 3 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1 scallion minced
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- ⅛ teaspoon fresh ground pepper and salt to taste
- Mix the cornstarch and water and set aside.
- Peel the eggplant and slice it into thick pieces. Stack the eggplant and then cut it into ½ inch sticks and then cut the sticks into ½ inch cubes. Set aside.
- Heat a large deep skillet (dutch oven works great) over medium high heat and add the oil and onion. Saute the onion for 5 minutes until translucent and very soft. Add the pork and break it up into small pieces. Cook it for 2-3 minutes until almost cooked.
- Add the ginger, garlic, and curry powder and stir to mix. Next add the eggplant and stir to combine. Add the oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar, fresh ground pepper, and chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a simmer, partially cover, and lower the heat to medium.
- Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep the bottom from sticking, until the eggplant is soft and creamy. If there is still a white core, continue cooking for several more minutes. You want the eggplant completely cooked through.
- Take a small taste and add a little salt if needed. Add the cornstarch slurry, making sure to give it a quick stir first. Stir it in and let it thicken for a minute.
- Add the sesame oil, scallion, and cilantro and stir to combine. Serve immediately with some steamed rice.
Keywords: curry, eggplant, pork, chinese food