Thursday, July 31, 2014

One-Dish Meal: Celery and Pork Stir-Fry

I love one-pot or one-dish meals. A single recipe that saves me time in the kitchen yet still provides me with a well-rounded meal? It's a win-win, especially for when I'm too lazy busy to make a "proper" dinner. I also consider it an extra plus whenever a meal can be eaten with a spoon, like this one.

This celery and pork recipe is one of my favorites because of its versatility. It can stand on its own or be served as a side along with other dishes. You can easily swap out the pork with ground turkey for an even leaner meal. Both the meat and the celery share the spotlight equally, so this dish has the protein, the fiber, the flavors, and it goes great with rice--all bases covered.

For a vegetable, I feel like celery doesn't usually get the love. As a great soup base staple, it's often taken for granted. As a health food, it's often eaten as a snack only out of obligation. And then there's the celery that we only know as a lowly palate cleanser for buffalo wings. How sad!

This recipe is all love for the celery. Refreshing and crisp, it adds just the right bite to go along with the pork. For some, celery may be a bit of an acquired taste. But rest assured, this won't taste like you're eating a celery salad. In the words of my carnivorous and palate-wise husband, this dish is "Mmmigod SO GOOD."


(Yields 4 servings)
1 tbsp. oil
1 lb. ground pork
2-inch piece ginger, minced (yields approx. 2 tbsps.)
pinch of Sichuan peppercorns (if you have it)
1 tbsp. of chili oil
2 tbsps. soy sauce
6 stalks of celery, diced small

1. In a large pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the ground meat and cook for approximately 3-4 minutes to brown it, stirring and breaking the meat apart with the spatula to get rid of large clumps.

2. Once the meat is no longer pink, add ginger and Sichuan peppercorns. Cook for about a minute, stirring constantly.

3. Add the chili oil, cook stirringly for about 30 seconds. Add the soy sauce, cook stirringly for another 30 seconds.

4. Add celery, stirring to combine it completely with the meat, cooking for 1-2 minutes.

5. Remove from heat. Serve and enjoy over rice!

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