When I'm hunting for a quick weeknight recipe, it helps when a cookbook author drops a few hints. And nothing quite cuts to the chase like just declaring it the perfect weeknight meal in the recipe title.
Luckily, that's exactly what Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid do for this recipe from Beyond the Great Wall. It's definitely easy. Only eight ingredients, and from the moment you start chopping to the point where the food comes out of the wok, the dish is done in 15 to 20 minutes. Plus it comes out fragrant from garlic and ginger and just a little spicy from the red chiles.
As for the pork, it may get mentioned first in the recipe title, but bean sprouts make up the bulk of the dish. A 1/2 pound is called for, which will initially seem like way more bean sprouts than could possibly be necessary, especially since, unlike spinach, you can't expect them to completely wilt down.
Fortunately, this is a good thing. After cooking, they still retain their crunchiness, while also picking up a slightly smoky character from the high heat.
Adapted from Beyond the Great Wall
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 3 medium cloves of garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1/3 pound boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 small dried red chiles, each torn into three pieces
- 2 cups bean sprouts (about 1/2 pound), rinsed well in a colander
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
Heat oil in a large wok or cast-iron skillet over high heat. When just starting to smoke, add the garlic and ginger and stir well with a wooden spoon until very fragrant, about ten seconds. Add the pork, salt, and the chiles. Stir-fry until the pork is no longer pink, one to two minutes.
Add the bean sprouts, and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Cover the wok, and cook for two minutes. Shake the wok occasionally to keep the pork from sticking. Remove the cover, and then add the soy sauce. Stir-fry until the ingredients are coated in the soy sauce, about 15 seconds. Remove from heat.
Serve the dish immediately with white rice. Adjust seasoning with more soy sauce, if necessary.