Pork and Bean Sprouts

A typical "red cooking" dish

This is a "Chinese" recipe, but adapted to western tastes. It was prompted by a yearning for bean sprouts and soy sauce, and encouraged by a very nice tray of lean pork pieces in the supermarket. The quantities will serve two generously; cut in half for one person. I served it over steamed rice, but crisp chow mein noodles may do as well. All the fat in it you see yourself: a little oil for frying, plus what is in the pork. Instead of pork, chicken or beef can be substituted, but the pork is excellent and tender. It takes about half an hour to prepare (except for marinading), about the same time as steamed rice.

Make a marinade from 1/4 cup each of soy sauce and red wine. Add a teaspoon of Chinese Five Spices, a teaspoon of crushed garlic, and a half teaspoon of arrowroot. Mix thoroughly and add the pork, cut into small strips or pieces. 12 ounces of pork (360 g) is enough for two. There should be enough marinade to cover all the meat. Marinade for about an hour. If you wish, add some hot sauce to the marinade, or fry the meat with some hot pepper oil.

Pour the marinade out of the meat into a cup, and add water to make one cup of liquid. Set aside. Dry the meat so it does not spatter when added to the hot oil in the skillet or wok. Divide the meat into three portions and fry each portion separately in a hot frying pan for about 5-7 minutes each, to avoid extracting all the liquid and boiling the pork. Remove the meat to a bowl.

Chop up a medium yellow onion and a half a green pepper, then fry until the onion is transparent and the pepper is soft. Add the marinade liquid and stir until bubbling. It should not be too thick. If you like it thicker, add more arrowroot carefully, dispersing it first in a little water. Add about a half cup each of chopped broccoli florets and cauliflower, and then the pork, and stir. If you use raw bean sprouts, wash them thoroughly and add now. Use about two cups (if you like them as much as I do). Cook for a few minutes.

Drain cans of bamboo shoots and bean sprouts (unless you use fresh) and add to the skillet. Gently turn over the mixture, putting the bottom on the top, at intervals until everything is hot. The canned shoots and sprouts do not need to cook, simply to heat, so they will preserve their crunch.

Serve over rice or noodles, as you prefer. This is a very hearty and healthy meal that will stick to your ribs.

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Composed by J. B. Calvert
Created 23 July 2002
Last revised