So I get a lot of questions.
Some of them super weird (like really weird), some of them super creepy, some super nosy and most that are thankfully – normal.
By far my most asked question is how I come up with new recipes. I think I get asked this everyday, and not just by readers. I swear my mom asks me this all the time and then continues to say she would NEVER want to do what I do. To her, cooking and photographing all day, then writing, editing and brainstorming at night, yeah, she says it sounds terrible.
We could not be more different.
But she did unknowingly provided me with my secret weapon.
Some people go to their mom or grandma’s for family recipes or ideas when their brains are not producing anything worth eating.
But me? Well, neither of my grandmas are much of cooks and my mom……she bakes, but only oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, chocolate cake, chocolate pecan pie, k-bars and chocolate chip cookie pie. And that’s about it. Plus, her idea of a good meal would be steak and rice every single night. I do not even really like steak.
Obviously, she’s not really a great source of ideas for me.
But you see, she has this friend.
I call her Mrs. Mooney and even though I am twenty, I do not think I can ever call her anything else. She has been Mrs. Mooney to me since I was 8. Calling her anything else would feel just weird.
But anyway, Mrs. Mooney is a KILLER cook.
She knows how to make pretty much everything and she does it from scratch too. So, when my brain is not working, I use hers. Honestly, it is awesome. This stir fry is one of her ideas and oh my gosh, it is hands down the best stir fry I have ever made. Even better, it’s done in thirty minute, less if you skip the rice, but don’t skip the rice. Stir fry needs rice.
This is so simple.
And the flavors are insanely good. The sweet thai chili sauce (which I actually made from scratch!! I will be telling you all about it soon!) and ginger together are so good. At the very last-minute throw in some bok choy, which I have only used a handful of times, but am loving. It is so perfect for stir fries.
My favorite ingredient though is probably the tangerines, or cuties as we call them around here.
Throw them in at the very, very (like just before you are ready to spoon the stir fry over the rice) end, so the tangerines do not cook and get mushy and warm. Eww. I am not into that.
Oh, and I really love the ginger too!
And those colors, I love the colors. Aren’t they pretty?
Red and green! Yay!!
Not only is this dish quick, it is pretty healthy too. Score!! If you are not into pork you can swap, chicken, beef or even chickpeas for a vegetarian version. Just adjust the cooking times as needed.
- To make the toasted sesame seeds and rice. Heat the sesame seeds in a small skillet over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally for about 5 minutes. Remove the seeds when they darken and become fragrant.
- Add the water to a medium size pot. Bring to a low boil and then add the rice and sesame oil. Stir to combine and then place the lid on the pot and turn the heat down to the lowest setting possible. Allow the rice to cook ten minutes on low and then turn the heat off completely and let the rice sit on the stove (covered) for another 20 minutes (don't take any peeks inside!). After 20 minutes remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork and stir in 1-2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds. Note that rice can cook differently for everyone, this is just what works for me.
- While the rice cooks make the stir fry. Heat a very large skillet over high heat and add the sesame oil. When the skillet is hot, but not smoking (if it starts to smoke, turn heat down a bit and wait 5 minutes before adding the pork) add the pork in a single layer (you may need to do this in 2 batches if your skillet is smaller) and allow it to cook for 2-3 minutes, so it can get a nice caramelization on it. Then toss it around and cook another 2-3 minutes, or until the pork is browned an just getting crispy on the edges. Remove the pork from skillet and set aside.
- If needed add another tablespoon of sesame oil to the skillet and throw in the red peppers. Stir fry the peppers for 3-5 minutes, until they just begin to soften. Add the pork back to the skillet along with the ginger and stir fry 30 seconds. Add the sweet thai chile sauce, soy sauce, ground cloves, cinnamon and pepper. Allow the mixture to bubble and reduce, about 5 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and coats the pork nicely. When the sauce is to your liking add the bok choy and toss well, cooking for another minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the tangerines.
- Serve the stir fry over the rice and garnish with green onions and toasted sesame seeds.
*Rice adapted from here.
Perfect Monday food if you ask me.