Why get take out when you can make this great garlic pork and bok choy in your own kitchen?
Yes You Can Cook Like The Restaurant!
It’s pretty simple once you know the secret.
One thing I always loved about Chinese food was the texture they achieved with meat in their stir fry dishes. It was always tender and melted in your mouth.
After quite a bit of research, I discovered they used a process called velveting. The classic way to velvet is using egg whites and cornstarch. Experts say this is the best way to velvet chicken.
However, most restaurants use a cheaper method that works with all meats. This method uses baking soda and cornstarch. This is the method I use because the ingredients are always readily available. Plus I never really find a use for that lone egg yolk so it’s less wasteful.
You velvet the meat for up to one hour so it does add a bit of prep time, but I find it’s well worth it. Of course you don’t have to do this if you want dinner on the table in about 20 minutes. The dish will still taste great but the meat will have a different texture.
Mirin: One Of My Favorite Ingredients
One of my favorite ingredients in Asian cooking is Mirin. It’s not Chinese but Japanese in origin. I’ve also heard it referred to as “sweet saki,” but I don’t think that’s entirely correct.
Mirin adds a touch of sweetness to the food that’s pleasant and not overpowering. I find it works very well in this recipe too.
Years ago it was pretty hard to find if you didn’t live in a major city. Nowadays I can find it in my local supermarket in the Asian aisle. If you can’t find it in your store, it’s available from Amazon grocery
Don’t Forget The Greens
In this recipe, you get to use some of those lovely green leaves from the bok choy. Never throw them out!! Use them in soups, stews or even lightly steam them for a veggie. Even though they look a lot like spinach, they’re a lot milder and not bitter.
I had a few orphaned mushrooms that I added to the mix here, but if you don’t like mushrooms or don’t have them on hand, they’re totally unnecessary here.
- 1 lb lean pork loin, sliced in strips
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups sliced bok choy (including the green leaves)
- 2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced (optional)
- 3 tbs oil
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 tbs white wine
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp baking soda
- Stir Fry Sauce:
- 1 cup top-quality chicken stock (see NOTES)
- ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbs mirin -OR- white wine (if using white wine, add 1 tsp sugar)
- 1 tsp dark sesame oil
- 2 tbs corn starch
- Place pork in plastic zipper bag. Mix marinade in a small bowl then pour over the pork. Seal the bag and and mush to distribute marinade. Marinate for 1 hour.
- In a small bowl, mix all stir fry sauce ingredients; set aside.
- In a large deep skillet or wok, heat oil over high heat. When oil shimmers, add the pork and the garlic. Stir fry until pork begins to brown.
- Add the bok choy and mushrooms (if using). Stir fry until green bok choy leaves are bright green. Stir in sauce and cook until sauce bubbles and thickens; cook for 1 minute.
- Serve over jasmine or basmati rice.
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