Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Stir-Fried Pork and Kale

Stir-fry is my go-to preparation when dinner needs to be both fresh and fast. Ingredients are endless, but, as usual, the tastiest results come from simple flavor combinations without overcrowding. Lean pork and earthy kale highlight this recipe.

I used lacinto kale (also called “dinosaur” or Tuscan kale) because its hearty dark green leaves stand up well to the heat of cooking—especially quick, high-temperature stir-fry. If you can’t find lacinto, other kale will be just fine.

Lacinto Kale
Serves 4


For the Pork and Kale
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp dried red chile flakes
  • 4 4-oz boneless pork chops, cut into thin 2-inch strips
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 3 packed cups chopped lacinto (or other) kale
  • 2 cups cooked rice, for serving
  • unsalted peanuts, for garnish 
Sliced Garlic and Ginger 
Sliced Carrot
Chopped Kale
For the Sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp water
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil

For the Pork and Kale
  1. Combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, and chile flakes in a medium bowl. Add the pork and toss well to coat. Let stand 30 minutes. (Prepare the sauce, recipe below, while the pork marinates.)
Pork in the Marinade
  1. Heat a wok or large, deep skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of peanut oil, swirling to coat. Add the ginger, garlic, and marinated pork and stir-fry 5-6 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove to a bowl.
Pork Mixture Beginning to Cook
Cooked Pork Mixture 
  1. Add the carrot to the oil remaining in the wok. Stir-fry 2 minutes.
  2. Add the kale and stir-fry until just beginning to wilt, 1-2 minutes.
Stir-Fried Carrots 
Kale Added
  1. Return the pork mixture to the wok and add the sauce (recipe below). Combine well and cook until the sauce begins to thicken, 1-2 minutes.
Pork Mixture and Sauce Added
To serve, divide the rice among 4 shallow bowls. Divide the pork mixture on top and garnish with peanuts.

For the Sauce
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, stirring well to dissolve the sugar and cornstarch.


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