This simple Asian dinner is my substitute for Chinese take out. Some “fast food” Chinese is loaded in MSG, which I try to avoid.
Although easy, this Pork and Rice dish is filling and a great option for a weeknight meal.
It can be done in only one pot and one skillet, for less clean up.
What is Monosodium glutamate?
MSG is the salt based compound used as a flavor enhancer in dishes needing a more intense “meaty” taste.
Although deemed safe by the Food and Drug Administration, MSG has been linked to severe headaches, bloating and general discomfort.
Found in many processed foods, it can be harmful for those diagnosed with hypertension, (like me) due to the salt compounds raising blood pressure. Therefore, it is best for me to control how much salt is in my food.
Although this recipe calls for a small amount of baking soda, which also contains sodium, it can be eliminated from the recipe, without compromising the flavor.
The baking soda is used to intensify the brown color of the pork during cooking.
Ingredients for Pork and Rice
Because the cooking process moves very quickly in this recipe; I advised preparing all ingredients while your rice is cooking.
I chose Uncle Ben’s because it is gluten free.
Just make sure to make the equivalent of four servings.
While the rice is cooking, prepare the rest of your ingredients.
8 ounces boneless country -style pork ribs. Cut them into 1/2″-bite size portions
1 Tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 Tablespoons classic stir-fry sauce
1 Tablespoon dry sherry
1 Tablespoon ketchup
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
6 scallions, white and green parts chopped fine
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces frozen peas, thawed
Instructions for Pork and Rice
After cutting the pork into bite size portions, place it in a clean bowl and combine with 2 teaspoons of the soy sauce, the brown sugar, the cornstarch, and the baking soda. Let pork sit at least 15 minutes, at room temperature, or cover and place in the refrigerator for one hour.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the stir-fry sauce, sherry, ketchup, salt, pepper and the other 2 teaspoons of soy sauce; allow to sit.
When rice has finished cooking, drain in a mesh strainer to remove all water.
In a 12-inch, non-stick skillet heat 1 Tablespoon of the vegetable oil on high heat, till very hot.
Add pork in a single layer. Make sure it sizzles as soon as it touches the pan. This will ensure proper browning. Disgard any remaining juices from the pork marinating. Cook the pork WITHOUT STIRRING, to get a good crust, for about 2 minutes. Turn the pork to brown all sides of the meat. This could take up to 5 minutes. Once the pork is browned, remove from pan and place in a clean bowl. Return skillet to heat. Add another Tablespoon of oil to the empty skillet. Leave skillet on high heat. Add the beaten eggs. Once the eggs set (takes about 30 seconds), stir with a rubber spatula. Move eggs to one side of the pan…add remaining Tablespoon of oil to the empty side of the pan; then add the scallions and garlic to that side of the pan.
Saute the scallions and garlic for about 40 seconds, till you can smell the garlic. Add the rice and begin to incorporate the rice, eggs, scallions and garlic together. Stir in peas and stir-fry sauce mixture. I added another Tablespoon of butter to mine as well.
Add the pork. Cook for approximately 3 minutes until everything is thoroughly incorporated and hot. Serve.
This recipe may incorporate a rather large list of ingredients; it actually comes together very fast. This dinner could be prepped and on the table in less than 40 minutes.
The Pork and Rice could be served on its own, but I decided to add a small side salad. It contrasted very well with the hot rice.
The original recipe actually appeared in Cook’s Country Magazine; however, I made a few changes because I despise oyster sauce and use it so rarely, it is not worth buying it.
Using the classic stir-fry sauce instead of oyster sauce was delicious. It is usually sold in the Asian food section of all major grocery stores.
If you decide to make this recipe, please email me your results and snap a few photos – Thanks.