I knew immediatly upon seeing this recipe in a recent Bon Appetit, that I wanted to make this as soon as our first of the season asparagus arrived. My wife and I had a VERY RARE night alone during Spring vacation week, so I whipped this dish up for just the two of us, and let me tell you, it was terrific!
As with all stir-fries, prep is key because once you actually start cooking, things move pretty quickly and the dish comes together in no time. That said, start by making sure all of your mise-en-place is prepped and waiting in small bowls before you light a fire under your wok. Feel free to add other veggies to your liking, but unless you’re restricted from eating pork for religious reasons, I strongly recommend that you stick to it here, and not substitute another kind of meat. Unlike beef, which I find tends to dry a bit when cooked over such high heat, the pork in this dish stays very moist, almost silky in texture, a lovely counter-point to the bright green and crisp asparagus.
We loved this dish so much that the recipe which is scaled for 4 people served just the two of us with maybe a 1/2 portion left-over…..we were such piggies. This is a meal that we’re sure to make again and again while our local asparagus is in season. The kids will LOVE IT, though we may dial back the use of sambal in the cooked dish to please a few sensitive palates, instead, passing a bowl of the chili sauce at the table for those of us who like it HOT!
Cheers – Steve
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
- 1 tablespoon Shaoxing Chinese rice wine or dry Sherry
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 12 ounces ground pork
- 3 teaspoons Asian sesame oil, divided
- 12 ounces thin to medium asparagus spears, ends trimmed, cut on extreme diagonal into 1/2- to 3/4-inch pieces
- 1/2 to 1 tablespoon sambal (chili paste)-depending on how spicy you want it.
- 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced on diagonal
- kosher salt
- Whisk 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce, the rice wine, and cornstarch in medium bowl. Add pork and toss to blend.
- Heat 2 teaspoons oil in heavy large wok or deep skillet over high heat. Add asparagus, sambal, and ginger. Toss until asparagus is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer asparagus mixture to plate.
- Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil to wok. Add pork mixture and stir-fry until browned, using spoon to break up pork into small pieces, 2 to 3 minutes. Return asparagus mixture to wok. Add remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, oyster sauce, and honey; stir-fry until pork is cooked through, adding water by tablespoonfuls if dry, about 2 minutes. Add green onions; toss to incorporate.
- Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve over steamed rice, topped with a dollop of sambal for an added kick, if desired.