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Sweet And Spicy Pork Stir-Fry Recipe

sweet spicy pork vegetable stir-fry
sweet spicy pork vegetable stir-fry - Feta Topalu/Mashed

Cooking a quick and nourishing meal is one of our requirements for a successful weeknight, but it can be hard to find a recipe that fits the bill. Mashed recipe developer Feta Topalu comes to the rescue with this sweet and spicy pork stir-fry recipe. Ready in half an hour, there's nothing complicated about this straightforward weeknight dinner recipe. Yet, for such a basic preparation, it packs plenty of flavor. The dish is loaded with colorful veggies and savory meat, all tossed in a delicious, chili-tinged sauce.

"I love the balance of veggies and protein in this dish, making it easy to pair with noodles," Topalu comments. Aside from being an easy match, noodles (or rice, for that matter) add just the right amount of starch to bring everything together. Mixed vegetables and marinated meat complement their simplicity, ultimately creating a saucy stir-fry that will satisfy you, albeit leave you wanting more.

Read more: The Most Useless Cooking Utensils, According To Chefs

Gather The Ingredients For This Sweet And Spicy Pork Stir-Fry

pork stir-fry ingredients
pork stir-fry ingredients - Feta Topalu/Mashed

For this recipe, start by cutting pork tenderloin into ½-inch strips. "Pork tenderloin is just one of the many cuts that can be used for stir-fry, along with pork shoulder, butt, and loin," Topalu notes. Next, get cornstarch, soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, chili paste (for example, gochujang), and vegetable oil.

For the vegetables, you'll need yellow onion (sliced), red bell pepper (sliced), carrot (peeled and thinly sliced), broccoli florets, canned baby corn (drained), garlic cloves (minced), ginger (peeled and grated), and kosher salt. To garnish, you'll need thinly sliced scallions and sesame seeds. Finally, prep some noodles or steamed rice for serving.

Step 1: Marinate The Pork

pork pieces marinating in plastic bag
pork pieces marinating in plastic bag - Feta Topalu/Mashed

Place pork, cornstarch, and 2 tablespoons soy sauce into a sealable bag. Seal the bag and massage the pork for 1 minute until coated, then place into the refrigerator until ready to use.

Step 2: Make The Stir-Fry Sauce

soy sauce mixture in bowl
soy sauce mixture in bowl - Feta Topalu/Mashed

In a bowl, whisk together remaining ¼ cup soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, and chili paste. Set aside.

Step 3: Heat Some Oil

oil in skillet
oil in skillet - Feta Topalu/Mashed

Add 2 tablespoons oil to a large pan over medium-high heat.

Step 4: Stir-Fry Most Of The Veggies

vegetables in skillet
vegetables in skillet - Feta Topalu/Mashed

Add onion, bell pepper, carrot, and broccoli and stir-fry for 4-5 minutes.

Step 5: Add The Remaining Vegetables

vegetable stir-fry in skillet
vegetable stir-fry in skillet - Feta Topalu/Mashed

Add baby corn, garlic, and ginger and cook for 2 more minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Step 6: Heat Some More Oil

oil in skillet
oil in skillet - Feta Topalu/Mashed

Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the same pan.

Step 7: Stir-Fry The Pork

browned pork pieces in skillet
browned pork pieces in skillet - Feta Topalu/Mashed

Add pork and stir-fry until browned and cooked through.

Step 8: Combine The Meat And Vegetables

pork vegetable stir-fry in skillet
pork vegetable stir-fry in skillet - Feta Topalu/Mashed

Return vegetables to the pan with the pork.

Step 9: Toss With The Sauce

saucy pork stir-fry in skillet
saucy pork stir-fry in skillet - Feta Topalu/Mashed

Pour soy sauce mixture into the pan and toss to coat the pork and vegetables. Simmer for 2 minutes until sauce begins to thicken.

Step 10: Season And Garnish

garnished pork stir-fry in skillet
garnished pork stir-fry in skillet - Feta Topalu/Mashed

Season stir-fry with salt. Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.

Step 11: Serve

sweet spicy pork stir-fry
sweet spicy pork stir-fry - Feta Topalu/Mashed

Plate stir-fry over noodles or steamed rice, if desired, and serve.

How Should You Store And Reheat Leftover Sweet And Spicy Pork Stir-Fry?

pork stir-fry with noodles
pork stir-fry with noodles - Feta Topalu/Mashed

Once you taste this sweet and spicy pork stir-fry, you'll likely want to double the recipe for the next time. Either way, you're lucky if you end up with leftovers, because this is a meal you'll want to savor again the next day. To ensure optimal freshness and peak flavors, Topalu instructs, "Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator."

If you plan to serve this stir-fry with noodles or steamed rice, it's best not to combine the leftovers into one container. This will give you more flexibility when reheating the dish — and ensure a better texture for the reheated starchy element. For example, you might want to microwave the rice and noodles but toss the stir-fry into a hot pan to sizzle. Or, you could fry the noodles in oil and add the pork and vegetables too.

Why Do I Need Cornstarch For This Sweet And Spicy Pork Stir-Fry Recipe?

pork stir-fry closeup
pork stir-fry closeup - Feta Topalu/Mashed

The first step of the recipe process calls for placing the pork tenderloin, cornstarch, and soy sauce into a plastic bag and massaging the meat. If you haven't encountered this method before, Topalu explains its purpose. "The cornstarch works in two ways," she says. "When the pork is coated in cornstarch, it creates a barrier and retains moisture when the pork is cooked. Second, it acts as a thickening agent in the sauce when the veggies, pork, and sauce are all simmered together."

Ultimately, cornstarch can greatly improve the overall texture of a dish. In this case, the pork remains nice and juicy as you stir-fry it in the pan. At the same time, the soy sauce mixture becomes thicker, producing a smooth and silky mouthfeel that adds richness and depth to a simple stir-fry.

Sweet And Spicy Pork Stir-Fry Recipe

pork vegetable stir-fry dish
pork vegetable stir-fry dish - Feta Topalu/Mashed

Prep Time: 15mCook Time: 15mYield: 4 servingsIngredients

  • 1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into ½-inch strips

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons soy sauce, divided

  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar

  • ¼ cup brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons chili paste (such as gochujang)

  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

  • ½ yellow onion, sliced

  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced

  • 1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced

  • 1 ½ cups broccoli florets

  • 1 (15-ounce) can baby corn, drained

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and grated

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • 2-3 scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish

  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, for garnish

Optional Ingredients

  • Noodles or steamed rice, for serving

Directions

  1. Place pork, cornstarch, and 2 tablespoons soy sauce into a sealable bag. Seal the bag and massage the pork for 1 minute until coated, then place into the refrigerator until ready to use.

  2. In a bowl, whisk together remaining ¼ cup soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, and chili paste. Set aside.

  3. Add 2 tablespoons oil to a large pan over medium-high heat.

  4. Add onion, bell pepper, carrot, and broccoli and stir-fry for 4-5 minutes.

  5. Add baby corn, garlic, and ginger and cook for 2 more minutes. Transfer to a plate.

  6. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the same pan.

  7. Add pork and stir-fry until browned and cooked through.

  8. Return vegetables to the pan with the pork.

  9. Pour soy sauce mixture into the pan and toss to coat the pork and vegetables. Simmer for 2 minutes until sauce begins to thicken.

  10. Season stir-fry with salt. Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.

  11. Plate stir-fry over noodles or steamed rice, if desired, and serve.

Read the original article on Mashed.