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Monday, March 01, 2010

Spiced Pork with Fried Ginger and Curry Leaves

Savory, spicy pork tenderloin – so delicious!

spiced pork with fried ginger and curry leaves It’s been a while since we posted. So much has been happening with us. The most important news is that I just got a new job!

I haven’t actually worked full-time in forever and this is my first job in more than 10 years. I started today actually, and I’m quite blasted after a whole day of orientation and meeting people in different departments. But I felt a need to write a post tonight.

As I adjust to work, I don’t really know what will happen with my cooking. I know that I will still cook. I just don’t know if I can do elaborate meals quite as often.

More Quick Dishes

What this will mean is that you will see me posting more dishes that are quick to prepare. So for you working moms out there, this should come in pretty handy. Case in point—we had spaghetti tonight for dinner—it was fast and delicious and I made enough that Nate and I will both have it for lunch tomorrow.

What made this easy was that I had made a large batch of my breakfast sausage a week ago and frozen them in small patties (besides using them at breakfast, they are wonderful for spaghetti!). This morning, before work, I took four patties out and left them to thaw in the fridge. I also took out some dried shiitake mushrooms, rinsed them, and then left them to rehydrate in the fridge.

When I came home, I just needed to boil some water, chop some onions and garlic and open a can of whole tomatoes. Everything else was pretty much ready—follow my instructions on easy pasta and voila! Dinner on the table in 30 minutes.

Then just now (which is about an hour after dinner), I’m actually cooking pork adobo which is a stew that does take some time for tomorrow’s dinner (I will post a recipe for this soon). Who says you can’t cook and hold a full-time job?

It’s all in the planning. I really don’t want to give in to take-out all the time so I’ve decided that I’m going to have to try to plan my meals better. Once the adobo is done, all I’ll need to do tomorrow will be a quick stir-fry vegetable and rice and again, dinner will be served.

Now, this really has nothing to do with this post’s recipe. I just had to get that off my chest as I haven’t written in a while and I wanted to let you, my readers, know that I haven’t disappeared off the face of the earth. I’ve just been trying to get settled in (what with Chinese New Year, then my birthday and now starting work, I’ve been quite overwhelmed!).

An Inspired Riff

So now that you understand the silence, I wanted to share this recipe. It’s a riff off a fried chicken recipe that we tried over Christmas at a friend’s house. My friend’s husband had marinated some chicken and then fried them up. We just could not get enough of it. It was so delicious!

Of course, typical of most Malaysian cooks, he just threw things together without measuring. But he did tell me what went into his marinate—salt, a bit of sugar, tumeric powder, ginger juice, shallots, and curry leaves. I have been determined to try it since then.

One day when I had some pork tenderloin to cook up, I remembered his fried chicken and used his ingredients as an inspiration to create this stir-fried pork dish. What I did was I marinated the pork slices with salt, sugar and tumeric powder. Then I sliced up some ginger into really thin slices and fried them till they were crispy. I removed them from the oil and set aside.

In the same oil, I added sliced shallots and sauteed them, threw in some curry leaves and then the marinated pork along with one sliced tomato (just a last minute addition that I thought would give more flavor). Stir-fried everything till the pork was cooked through, then plated up and garnished with the fried ginger.

Spiced Pork with Fried Ginger and Curry Leaves

1 lb pork tenderloin, sliced thin
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp tumeric powder
2 inches ginger knob, skinned, then sliced and julienned thin
3-4 shallots, halved and sliced thin
1 medium tomato, halved and sliced thin
1-2 sprigs fresh curry leaves, stem removed
2-3 Tbsp vegetable oil

1. Marinate pork slices with salt, sugar and tumeric powder for about thirty minutes.

marinating pork in turmeric

2. Heat up wok and add vegetable oil. Fry the ginger till brown and crispy over medium heat. Remove ginger from oil and set aside.

fried ginger strings

3. In the same oil that has been infused with the ginger, add shallots and saute till translucent and just beginning to take on some color.
4. Add curry leaves and saute for another 30 seconds to a minute.
5. Add in pork and saute over med-high heat till pork is just turning opaque.
6. Add tomatoes and continue to toss till pork is cooked and tomatoes have started to exude their juices, another 2-3 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.

stir-frying pork with turmeric

7. Plate up and garnish with fried ginger.

pork with turmeric and ginger

Enjoy over rice!

This pork dish turned out really tasty (of course fried chicken is ALWAYS tastier—my major weakness!) and the addition of curry leaves, ginger and tumeric powder gave it a savory spiciness that was reminiscent of Indian flavors. We all enjoyed it very much and it didn’t oil up my house too much at all.

It’s a nice and semi-quick meal that the whole family can enjoy! The slicing and frying of the ginger being the only humbug thing—which I bet could be easily adapted by just grating the ginger into the marinate. I still have to try to make the fried chicken but in the meantime, give this recipe a shot.

Cheers, Annie

Since the curry leaves came from our neighbor’s tree, I am entering this post in the February “Grow Your Own” roundup.


Borneoboy said...

Hi Annie. That looks delicious. And good luck on your new job !

Sharlene T. said...

Congratulations on your new job! And, I really hope you don't stop your blog. It's possible to work and prepare healthy food. I know. I did it. But, you do have to rethink your habits and plan your meals. Same with slow-cookers and solar cooking. (Which, I know, you will ultimately try. lol)

We are women! We are multi-taskers!!

Tuty said...

Congrats on your new job! I am sure that you'll do well. I can imagine the adjustments that you have to make. Take it easy and things will turn just fine. Just like this pork dish you created. Fried ginger and fried shallots are yummy garnish.

smile4me8p said...

Hi Annie,
Happy belated b-day and Congrats on your job!

Lingzie said...

congrats on your new job!! :)
and this recipe looks fab! (reminds me of something my late grandma used to make)and i love fried ginger! yum!

Single Guy Ben said...

Oh, when I saw fried I thought I couldn't make this recipe because I don't like to make deep fried foods, but looks like it's pan fried which I'm all over that! (Except the fried ginger which I may have to skip). Sounds yummy! Congrats on the job!

Nate @ House of Annie said...

@All - thanks for the congratulations!

@Sharlene - yes, I must spend more time on your Solar Cooking blog and get tips on slow cooking with solar!

@Tuty - thanks for the encouragement!

@Smile4me8p - mwah! ^_^

@Lingzie - how did your grandma make it?

@Single Guy Ben - You can omit the fried ginger. Try adding some julienned chile peppers instead.

Ellen Zachos said...

Congratulations on the job, Annie. I'm confident you'll manage to work, cook, and blog, and even if you write less often, I look forward to every post. Would you tell us about the new job?

Nate @ House of Annie said...

@Ellen - Annie's a full-time lecturer in the English Dept at a local University.