Fashion magazines are notorious for presenting clothes and models in impossible-to-reach-scenarios for the everyman (or woman). I sure as shit don’t have a size 30” waist or look good in black skinny jeans. Sometimes I think maybe, maybe that look could work on me. But it doesn’t. I’ve tried to put those pants on and getting it over my calves is a problem. Sad, Matt.
I can say the same for many of the cooking/food magazines. Beautifully plated dishes using ingredients you can only get at a farm or specialty shop. How the hell am I supposed to “render beef tallow”? Wait, to make this soup I have to boil a whole chicken, take it apart and then make a stock of the bones? Oh, because I have an extra 17 hours to make that happen? Come on, now.
Food & Wine comes to our house and it gets thumbed through each month. My wife will typically pick out 3-4 recipes that look good to her and set them on the counter. I’ll look at them, my brain will explode due to complexity and I move on with my life.
Of the 5% of the dishes we’ve attempted, it’s usually a complete crash and burn situation.
But, when I got my hands on this latest bad boy, I was feeling like a hot shot so I gave it a go.
Asian isn’t something I do much at home (for no other reason than intimidation) but this Steamed Bok Choy with Mapo-Style Pork seemed reasonable enough.
The flavors are truly Asian, which I love. The right amount of spicy that sits at the back of your throat while the crispy chill of the bok choy helps to even things out. The serving size below is perfect for 2 as we had nothing left.
With a little practice, I’m sure I could get this down to the estimated 30-minute total time, but it ended up taking about 45. Still, well worth the time. This is a repeater and I’m pumped to confirm it tastes as good as it looks.
Let’s get cooking!
Prep: 10 minutes Cook: 20 minutes Total: 30 minutes
INGREDIENTS YOU’LL NEED:
2 ½ teaspoon cornstarch
1 Tablespoon canola oil
½ lb. ground pork
½ tsp. ground Sichuan peppercorns
1 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
¼ cup chopped scallions (chop more for garnish)
Four 6-8 oz heads of baby bok choy halved lengthwise
Crushed peanuts (optional)
- In a bowl, combine cornstarch and 1¼ cup of water. It will look like murky, white water but not thick. I thought it might be, but it wasn’t. Depending on how saucy you want the pork, maybe don’t add the entire bowl.
- In a large skillet, heat up the oil.
- Add the pork, peppercorns with a decent amount of kosher salt.
- Stir together, breaking up the meat until crumbly and lightly browned. About 3 minutes.
- Once browned, stir in the Chile-bean, hoisin and soy sauces and cook. About 2 minutes.
- Stir in cornstarch mixture and simmer until thickened. About 2 minutes.
- Stir in ¼ cup of chopped scallions and season with salt.
- Keep warm over very low heat and stir occasionally while you prepare the bok choy.
- Set a steamer basket in a large saucepan or pot.
- Add 1 inch of water and bring to a boil.
- Add the bok choy to the basket, cover and steam until crisp-tender. About 4-6 minutes.
- Put bok choy on a plate.
- Put pork atop bok choy that’s on the plate.
- Put chopped scallions atop the pork that’s atop the bok choy that’s on the plate.
- Eat it.
Note: #Hotwife thought adding a little crunch with some peanuts would make this dish even better. I can’t argue.