Cooking On A Budget: Kandu Pork and Vegetable Stir-Fry

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Kandu Pork and Vegetable Stir-Fry


I was absolutely stumped on what to name this dish. Lying in bed last night and trying to fall asleep wasn't easy because all I could think of was: "What am I going to name the stir-fry dinner I made tonight?" In an absolute state of tired-silly, I thought "Kandu Pork". Kandu sounded like an Asian sort of name and I figured that anyone can do this recipe on a budget and wouldn't need an exorbitant skill set to pull it off. So there you have it: Kandu Pork and Vegetable Stir-Fry.

Marinating this pork for as long as I did (about 5 - 6 hours) I think was the key to the tenderness and delicious taste of the pork itself. Then when you mix in the other ingredients that go into the dish you end up with a host of flavors dancing on your pallet: spicy, sweet and tangy. Combine this with the crunch from the vegetables, the soft tender pork and a wonderful sauce, all served over rice and this dish just sings.

I just spotted a comment about mirin and here is my response:
Mirin can be found in the International section of most grocery stores. It is a sweetened sake , or sweet rice wine. You can make it by taking 2 parts Sake with 1 tsp. granulated sugar, OR 1 tbsp. dry sherry and 1 tsp. sugar.

  • 1 lb. (or so) thin pork cutlets - cut into strips
  • 1 bunch bok choy - sliced
  • 1 - 10 oz. pkg. crimini mushrooms - sliced
  • .32 oz. sno peas (two big handfuls)
  • 1 small orange bell pepper
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock + additional for extra sauce
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. mirin + extra for the marinade
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes + extra for marinade 
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
For the marinade:
  • 2 tbsp. dark soy sauce + extra for the sauce
  • 2 tsp. corn starch + extra for thickening
  • 1 tsp. mirin
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
For the sauce:
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tsp. corn starch
  • 1 tbsp. dark soy sauce
  1. Slice the pork into strips. First slice the cutlet in half from top to bottom, then into strips.
  2. In a bowl combine all of the ingredients for the marinade using a whisk or spoon. Add in the pork, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 5-6 hours, or overnight.
  3. Mince the garlic and grate the ginger and place in a small bowl.
  4. Wash and prep all of your vegetables and put them in a large bowl.
  5. Pull the pork out of the refrigerator. Heat up your wok to 350° (I have an electric wok.) Add in the olive oil and quickly saute the pork turning it and moving it around for about 30 seconds. Put the sauteed pork in a dish and continue with the remaining pork.
  6. Turn the wok down to 300° and add in the garlic and ginger and saute for about 30 seconds, then add in the vegetables and a touch more olive oil if necessary. Keep those vegetables tossing.
  7. To the vegetables add in the mirin, the rice wine vinegar and the red pepper flakes. Toss and stir-fry for a couple of minutes.
  8. Add in the chicken stock (3/4 cup) and stir well to combine. Then add in the pork, stir and cook on a low heat for about 4 minutes, or until the vegetables reach the desired tenderness or crispness you want.
  9. If you want or need extra sauce in the dish, make up the sauce by whisking together the sauce ingredients as listed above and when the mixture comes to a full bubble, add in the mixture and stir and cook until it is thickened to your liking. I kept mine a little on the thinner side.
Plate the dish over rice, and call everyone to the table. What I've done is cost this meal out as it cost me based on purchasing that pork loin a while back and using up a package of pork in the freezer labelled for a stir-fry meal. The total cost for the stir-fry and rice = $11.70, feeding six people for just $1.95 per person.
However, if I had to purchase the pork to make it, the dish works out to $14.69, feeding six people for $2.44 per person.

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