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!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Hoisin-Marinated Pork and Pineapple Stir-Fry

Bottled hoisin sauce—readily available in Asian markets or in the international aisle of your supermarket—is a sweet, dark reddish-brown sauce typically made from soybeans, vinegar, garlic, sugar, and various spices. Bottled is fine, and I buy it, but after making a little of my own, I’m thinking the store-bought may not show up in my kitchen as often.

That’s because making it is so easy to do—and, as with any other homemade food, it gives you control over the ingredients. I think that’s important. For this simple stir-fry, I used the hoisin as both a marinade for the pork and as a sauce to stir in toward the end of cooking. Give it a shot—I think you’ll like it.

Note: You can substitute canned pineapple chunks in this dish, but to make it even better—and fresher—find the real fruit and cut it up yourself. Again, easy to do and, yes, fresh.  

Serves 4

  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 tbsp chile garlic sauce
  • 1 lb boneless pork chops, cut into thin 1-1/2-inch strips
  • 2 tbsp peanut oil, divided
  • 2 serrano chiles, very thinly sliced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cups small, fresh pineapple cubes
  • steamed short-grain white rice, for serving
  • chopped chives, for garnish
Cubed Pineapple
  1. Heat a small saucepan over medium-low heat and add the sesame oil. Add the garlic and stir-fry 2 minutes.
  2. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, honey, sugar, and chile sauce and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the sauce is reduced and slightly thickened, 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely.
  3. Place the pork in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the hoisin sauce and stir well to combine. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours (or overnight). Bring to room temperature before continuing.
  4. Place the remaining sauce in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Bring to room temperature before continuing.
Garlic in Sesame Oil
Sauce Beginning to Cook 
Cooked Hoisin Sauce 
Pork in Marinade
  1. Heat a wok (or deep skillet) over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of peanut oil. Add the marinated pork and stir-fry until browned and most of the liquid is absorbed, 6-7 minutes. Transfer the pork to a bowl and wipe out the wok.
  2. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of peanut oil to the wok. Add the chiles and ginger and stir-fry 2 minutes. Add the pineapple and stir-fry 3 minutes.
  3. Return the pork to the wok and add the reserved sauce. Stir until well combined and hot throughout, 2-3 minutes.
Pork Beginning to Cook 
Stir-Fried Pork 
Chiles and Ginger 
Pineapple Added 
Pork and Sauce Added
To serve, divide the rice among 4 shallow bowls and divide the stir-fry on top. Garnish with chives and serve hot.

Hoisin-Marinated Pork and Pineapple Stir-Fry