Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Impromptu Pork and Vegetable Teriyaki

Growing up, we had a lot of stir-fries for dinner. Both my parents worked seven days a week, and nearly ten hours everyday. We ate out a lot as a result of that, frequently at Chinese restaurants (why do Chinese/Taiwanese families always eat out at Chinese restaurants?). But when we did eat at home, it had to be cooked fast and on the fly. Served over white rice, of course. And now that I am an adult, I find that this style has influenced my everyday cooking.

Of course, my stir-fries are a bit different from my mom's. My mom's stir-fries usually involved garlic, dried shrimp, ginger, and cabbage. A lot of cabbage. I tend to use more western vegetables, such as zucchini, summer squash, peppers and eggplant. I've also experimented more with sauces.

Here is an example of something I threw together today, using the vegetables I had in the fridge:

Impromptu Pork and Vegetable Teriyaki

1 boneless pork tenderloin
1 small eggplant, cubed
1 zucchini, cubed
1 red pepper, chopped into roughly 1 inch chunks
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced (set some aside for the sauce)
Olive oil
Sesame seeds for garnish

For the sauce:
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin
1 Tbs sugar
pinch of ground ginger
pinch of minced garlic

Heat some oil in a large skillet. Cook the pork until brown on both sides (Roughly 1-2 minutes on each side). Remove and set aside on a plate. Add a little more oil and reheat the pan on medium-high heat. Add onions first. When the onions are starting to brown, add eggplant, zucchini and pepper. Allow to cook for about a minute or two and then push the vegetables towards the rim of the pan, leaving a space in the middle for the garlic. Add garlic and little more oil, and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds). (This method is to avoid burning the garlic.) Incorporate the garlic with the rest of the vegetables. Continue to cook until the vegetables are soft enough that a fork will easily pierce them). Stir in cooked pork.

While the vegetables are cooking, combine the ingredients for the sauce in a small saucepan and heat on low. Allow to simmer for 3-5 minutes or until the sauce is slightly thickened. When the pork and vegetables are combined, pour the sauce and mix to combine. Garnish with some sesame seeds and serve immediately over rice.
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