You know, I had a hard time getting the snow peas into this dish. I had to stop myself snacking on those sweet and crunchy beauties while I prepared this meal, so make sure you buy a few extra snow peas for yourself as you busy yourself in the kitchen with this recipe!
The spicy minced pork goes wonderfully with the crispy, just-cooked snow peas (mange tout peas) and is so simple and economical to make. It makes a great family meal, or you can easily stretch it out for that unexpected guest.
I think minced pork works best in this recipe, but you could also try it with minced beef or chicken for a slightly different flavor.
Humble minced meat has a lot of advantages, the first being that it takes on flavor easily. As the meat is squeezed through the meat grinder, the muscle fibers loosen causing the meat to become sponge-like. This porous texture means the meat absorbs other flavors readily.
Let’s go to the question on everyone’s lips, the list of ingredients:
250g good quality minced pork, try to choose finely ground
125g snow peas
25g (about 2-3) green onion/scallions
1 fresh red chili pepper
1 clove garlic
1 x 2 cm piece ginger
2 teaspoons light or dark soy sauce (tamari for gluten free)
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons cooking wine
2 teaspoons peanut oil
Marinate and flavor the minced pork with a mixture made up of the light soy sauce (use tamari if you are gluten free) , cooking wine and white pepper.
Stir the mixture through with a fork and put it aside while you prepare the other ingredients.
Pay attention not to over mix; only enough to see the color of the soy sauce evenly distributed through the meat. The meat will be more difficult to cook if it has been over mixed as it will bind together making it harder to break up the meat into smaller pieces. Smaller pieces mean more flavor absorption.
Wash the snow peas and pinch off the end, stripping away the stringy part along the top edge.
Slice them diagonally into thin strips. Snow peas are a very easy vegetable to cook and can be eaten whole, however, slicing them finely distributes their sweet flavor throughout the dish.
Finely slice the red pepper. If you feel it’s too hot, you can remove the seeds, and if after that it is still too hot, strip out the internal membrane of the pepper as well.
Slice the onion on the diagonal, and chop the garlic and ginger into fine strips. All the ingredients are now ready to be combined. At this point our ingredients are ready, and now comes the easy part- cooking!
Take a flat-bottomed non toxic, non-stick pan, preheat for 90 seconds on the stove, and pour in a small amount of peanut oil.
Add the marinated meat into the pan and spread it evenly around.
Quickly stir fry, breaking up the meat with a spatula as you go. A spatula is better than a kitchen knife as you won’t risk scratching the bottom of the pan, and it does not ‘squeeze’ the meat and release too much moisture.
The meat soon becomes gray and then exudes some soy sauce. Do not pause the stir frying at this point; keep going until all the fat from the meat disappears, and there is no liquid in the pan. The meat will change from gray to brown after this (caramelizing) which is when you get the best flavor.
Push the meat over to one side of the pan and add the red pepper, onion, garlic, and ginger into the empty space to cook.
Stir fry the vegetables for about 1 minute before stirring them through the meat, so their flavors combine together first. The red pepper needs to be heated to fully release its flavor, so if you like spicy food, you can stir fry a little longer.
Finally, toss in the snow peas, stir fry quickly and turn off the heat.
Season with a little salt if you like, and dish up.
This dish combines textures as well as flavors: the soft texture of the minced pork with the crunchy snow peas is refreshing, and the salty, spicy combination of soy sauce and chili makes this dish a real treat for your palate.
Minced meat’s ability to take up flavors makes it so versatile and economical. My Spicy Minced Pork and Snow Peas recipe takes humble minced pork to super gourmet!
Author bio: Tiana is a lover and creator of delicious and wholesome oriental food. She teaches the art and skill of Chinese cooking, tips and secrets to the delicious flavors of China on her blog Yum Of China