This simple Asian dinner is my substitute for Chinese take out.
Some Chinese take out 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 that need a more intense “meaty” taste.
Although deemed safe by the Food and Drug Administration, MSG is linked to severe headaches, bloating, and general discomfort.
Found in many processed foods, it is harmful to 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.
Go ahead and prepare your Long Grain Rice according to package directions.
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
One 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 the 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.
Make sure it sizzles as soon as it touches the pan.
This will ensure proper browning.
Discard 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.
Pork and rice results
Return skillet to heat.
Add another Tablespoon of oil to the empty skillet.
Leave the 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.
Despite containing a large list of ingredients; this meal comes together very fast.
Dinner is on the table in less than 40 minutes.
Serve with a small salad, it contrasts with the hot rice very well.
The original recipe actually appeared in Cook’s Country Magazine; however, I made a few changes because I dislike 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 in the Asian food section of all major grocery stores.
Asian Pork and Rice
- 8 ozs. boneless, country-style pork ribs cut into 1/2" bite portions
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce divided
- 1 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 2 Tbsp classic stir-fry sauce
- 1 Tbsp dry Sherry
- 1 Tbsp ketchup (containing no sugar)
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
- 6 scallions chopped fine white and green parts
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 8 ozs. frozen peas optional
- In a bowl, mix together 2 teaspoons of the soy sauce, the brown sugar, cornstarch, and the baking soda in a bowl. Mix in the pork bites. Cover and let stand, at room temperature for 15 minutes. Then place in the refrigerator for one hour for marinating.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the stir-fry sauce, remaining soy sauce, Sherry, ketchup, salt, and pepper.
- Prepare rice to box suggestions.
- Remove all water from the rice, draining in a colander if necessary.
- In a 12-inch, nonstick skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon of the vegetable oil till very hot.
- Add the pork bites, in a single layer; making sure it sizzles when it hits the pan. Discard any remaining marinating sauce.
- Cook the pork for two minutes without moving it at all, then flip the individual pieces, to form a brown crust on all sides.
- Once all the pork is browned, remove from the pan and tent with foil.
- Return the skillet to medium-high heat. Add 1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the eggs. Once the eggs set (about 30 seconds) stir with a rubber spatula. Move the eggs to one side of the pan, add the remaining Tablespoon of oil to the empty side of the pan and add the scallions and garlic to that side.
- Saute the scallions and garlic for 40 seconds, till you can smell the garlic.
- Add the cooked rice and begin to incorporate the eggs, rice, scallions, and garlic together.
- Stir in the peas and the stir-fry sauce mixture.
- Add the pork. Cook for approximately 3 minutes or until everything is heated thoroughly.