This was pretty much about using up a few things in the fridge. I think that we all get times where we have to do this and, for me the challenge is about producing something that is tasty and which has a kind of logic about it, rather than just flinging disparate elements together and producing a train crash on a plate.
So, I had minced pork, a few shimeji mushrooms, some pak choi and beansprouts. That said “oriental” to me, and, keeping to my current trend for oriental food, that was fine.
It said, stir-fried vegetables and it said a spicy pork sauce.
So, the ingredients to be used up were;
300g minced pork
3 heads of pak choi, separated into leaves and stems
half a bag of beansprouts
some shimeji mushrooms
the white parts of 4 spring onions, cut on the bias into “horse’s ears”
From the larder I added;
previously roasted peanuts
a couple of fresh red chillies, chopped
light soy sauce
Chingkiang black rice vinegar
Thai red jasmine rice
First, I cooked the rice. I washed it and soaked it in cold water for 30 minutes, then cooked it using the 1 part rice/two parts boiling water method. This took about 30 minutes.
Then, with hardly any water left to be absorbed by the rice, I cooked the pork.
First I fried the spring onions and chillies in hot oil for 30 seconds before adding the pork mince and frying this until it lost the raw pinkness. To this I added a tablespoon of peanut butter, the same of hoisin sauce and two teaspoons of light soy sauce, reduced the heat and stirred this together. I let this cook and thicken before adding in a small handful of roasted peanuts (see here for how to roast raw peanuts) and the shredded pak choi leaves. Once the leaves had wilted, I left this aside in a covered bowl while I made a quick vegetable stir-fry in the wok, which I wiped clean.
I heated up some fresh oil and fried the pak choi stems with a teaspoon of Sichuan peppercorns, adding the beansprouts and shimeji mushrooms and mixing together. Then I added a teaspoon each of Chingkiang vinegar and light soy sauce and fried this for another minute or so.
Finally, I plated up, adding a tablespoonful of kimchi as a savoury garnish.
All in all, this was economical, tasty and filling. Not really anything authentic, but keeping, hopefully to tried and tested methods and styles of cooking these ingredients to make something harmonious.