Sweet Asian Chili Stir~Fry with Pork, Ginger & Tangerine


Intro Collage


“82.  Cook - Cooking just might be the single most important thing you can do for your dietary health.  In theory, it should make little difference to your health whether you cook for yourself or let someone else do the work for you.  But, unless you can hire a personal chef to prepare meals exactly to your specifications, letting other people or corporations cook for you means losing control of your eating life, of the portions as much as the ingredients.  Cooking for yourself is the only sure way to take back control of your diet from the food scientists and food processors, and to guarantee you’re eating real food rather than edible food like substances, with their unhealthy oils, high-fructose corn syrup, and surfeit of salt.  Not surprisingly the decline in home cooking closely parallels the rise in obesity, and research has demonstrated that people who cook are more likely to eat a healthful diet than those who don’t.  True, we all feel pressed for time nowadays, but consider that, in the last few years, we’ve somehow found several hours in the day to be on-line at home.  We will always make time for the things that matter.  Cooking matters.”  ~ Michael Pollan, Food Rules, An Eater’s Manual, The Penguin Press, 2011

Food Rules Collage

I received this lovely little edition over the holidays and, with Michael traveling for the next few days, I had the opportunity to sit down and enjoy it, in its entirety, with a cup of tea before turning in for the evening last night.  I received it from a friend who knew I loved three of Michael Pollan’s previous books:  The Omnivore’s Dilemma,   In Defense of Food, and Cooked.  In this revised, and beautifully illustrated {by Maira Kalman} edition, Pollan who, in The Omnivore’s Dilemma posited that America is suffering from a “national eating disorder”, continues the national discussion he prompted with the first edition of Food Rules “that is helping to change the way Americans approach their eating”.

The book itself is artistically a gift and the message, especially “Rule 82″ {set forth above}, resonated with me {obviously, as I sit here writing on my very own food blog}.  I suspect that, if you have found yourself here on this space you, too, might enjoy this little gem of a book.  With that being said, let’s get back to what I cooked for dinner…


Ingredients CollageThe ingredient list for this easy, and incredibly flavorful, stir-fry is short.  The dish begins with very lean, tender, quick-cooking {and inexpensive} pork tenderloin and gains added texture with the addition of crunchy baby bok choy, a bit of kick from the tiny peppers {and fresh ginger}, sweetness from the citrus and the savory-sweet-spicy undertones are achieved through a sauce made from liquid aminos {a natural soy sauce alternative}, Thai sweet chile sauce, Chinese five-spice powder * and black pepper. { * the original recipe called for a combination of ground cloves and cinnamon but I have come to love this exotic ground blend of cinnamon, anise seed, cloves, ginger and fennel seed, especially in Asian dishes. }


Now, with a prep board of ingredients boasting that much color, the final dish has got to be tasty…and it was.  While a pot of brown rice simmered on the stove, the ingredients above were stirred, sautĂ©ed, and reduced into what became an absolutely wonderful stir-fry topping to our rice…


Sweet Asian Chile Stir-Fry with Pork, Ginger + Tangerine
Serves 4
An easy, tasty + quick weeknight stir-fry...no need to order out!
  1. 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  2. 1 {1 to 1 1/2 pounds} pork tenderloin, sliced into bite-sized cubes
  3. 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
  4. 2-4 small sweet peppers {depending on size}, stemmed, seeded + sliced thin
  5. 1 1/4 cups {about a 12 ounce jar} sweet Thai chile sauce
  6. 1/4 cup liquid aminos {or soy sauce}
  7. 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  8. 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  9. 2 bunches baby bok choy, cleaned + chopped
  10. 2 tangerines peeled + sectioned
  11. 2-3 scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish
  1. In a large saucepan, prepare a pot of rice according to package directions.
  2. While the rice cooks make the stir fry. Heat a very large skillet over high heat and add the sesame oil. When the skillet is hot, but not smoking {if it starts to smoke, turn heat down a bit and wait 5 minutes before adding the pork} add the pork in a single layer {you may need to do this in 2 batches if your skillet is on the smaller side} and allow it to cook for 2-3 minutes, allowing the meat to become nicely caramelized. Then toss it around and cook another 2-3 minutes, or until the pork is browned and slightly crispy along the edges. Remove the pork from skillet and set aside.
  3. If needed, add another tablespoon of sesame oil to the skillet and add the peppers. Stir fry the peppers for 3-5 minutes, until they just begin to soften. Return the pork to the skillet, along with the ginger and stir fry 30 seconds. Add the sweet Thai chile sauce, liquid aminos, Chinese five-spice powder and pepper. Allow the mixture to bubble and reduce, about 5 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and coats the pork nicely.
  4. When the sauce is to your liking add the baby bok choy and toss well, cooking for another minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the tangerines.
  5. Serve the pork stir-fry over rice and garnish with scallions.
Adapted from Half-Baked Harvest
THE DINNER CONCIERGE http://thedinnerconcierge.com/

K Initial


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2 thoughts on “Sweet Asian Chili Stir~Fry with Pork, Ginger & Tangerine

  1. I love the Michael Pollan quote. I also made a stir fry tonight with ingredients I had on hand: garlic, onion, green beans, chicken, carrots: everything organic served over organic brown rice. It was worth the short amount of time it took to make. I am so thankful that you provide me with the inspiration and education to put time into healthy eating!

    • Beverly~thanks so much for your kind note and faithful readership. A stir~fry makes for a great, quick, healthy, weeknight dinner and yours sounds amazing! Eat well & live well :0)

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