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Chinese Spicy Pork with Broccoli

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If you can find it choose tenderstem broccoli for this easy Chinese stir-fry recipe. It cooks quickly so it is ideal for high-heat wok cooking. There is no need to trim the broccoli or blanch it first – you can add it straight to the pan. See our notes at the end of the recipe to make a vegetarian version.

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 tablespoons oil (peanut oil or rapeseed oil)
400g pork cut into thin slices about half the size of a matchbox
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced Or chopped finely
2 inches ginger, peeled and chopped finely
1 teaspoon chilli oil or one red chilli, finely chopped
200g broccoli cut into small florets
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, to finish the dish

Instructions
1.  Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan until smoking.

2. Add the pork and fry until it loses its pink colour and is golden.

3. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a minute, stirring all the time. Add the chilli oil or fresh red chilli and fry briefly.

4. Add the broccoli and cook, turning every 30 seconds, until the stems are tender and the broccoli is wrinkled in appearance.

5. Add the soy sauce and oyster sauce and stir-fry for one minute. Turn the heat off, add the sesame oil and toss. Serve immediately with boiled rice or as part of a larger Chinese meal.

RECIPE NOTES
– Use lean beef instead of pork. We use sirloin steak rather than round steak as you only cook it for a short time and increasingly round steak has become a tougher cut of meat, especially if you buy it at the supermarket.

– Add a handful of sweetcorn once the broccoli is cooked through.

– Add a teaspoon of chopped ginger (fresh or from a jar) with the chilli.

– Add 1 finely sliced spring onion when the broccoli is cooked and stir-fry for 1 minute.

– Serve this dish with rice or cooked noodles.

– To make this dish vegetarian, omit the pork and add vegetables instead. Use whole baby sweetcorn, frozen peas, thin batons of carrot, bamboo shoots and finely sliced shallots.

– If you have any leftover, leave it to cool, chill in the fridge, then toss it in a wok the next day with a tablespoon of oil, fry until hot and add a handful of chilled cooked rice or cooked egg noodles. Sprinkle chopped coriander on top.

Why do you add the sesame oil as the last ingredient in Chinese cooking?

Sesame oil has a delicate flavour which would be destroyed by cooking it at high heat. You need very little as it is very strong (you can always add more). If you don’t have sesame oil use any nut oil instead.

Always store nut oils in the fridge after opening so the oils don’t go rancid and use them within a few months.

Try to buy the best quality sesame oil that you can find –  you use so little that you may as well use a good one.

Don’t keep sesame oil for Chinese cooking – mix it with olive oil when you make a french dressing (instead of walnut oil for example) or toss it through cooked vegetables or warm grains like couscous or pearl barley salad.

We like the Thai Gold brand of sesame oil which is now readily available in supermarkets (their coconut milk and fish sauce or Nam Plaa is also excellent). You are looking for a clean nutty flavour.

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