A stir-fry is an easy way to transform an assortment of simple, healthy ingredients into a harmonious whole. The cooking time is quick, so once you're at the stove, have everything ready to go. When prepping, dry vegetables after washing them, and cut each ingredient uniformly for a crisp-tender, evenly cooked result.
The beauty of a wok is that the sides are an extension of the cooking surface: Repeatedly push the food up the sides and let it tumble down while tossing and turning it over. Once you get the hang of it, you'll look at the contents of your refrigerator in a whole new way.
To see step-by-step photos of this process, click here.
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons dry sherry
2 teaspoons cornstarch
12 ounces lean pork shoulder or tenderloin, cut against the grain into 1/4-inch slices, then into 1 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons safflower oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece peeled fresh ginger, thinly sliced
1 Fresno chile or 1 to 2 red Thai chiles, stemmed and thinly sliced
8 ounces Broccolini, florets thinly sliced lengthwise, stalks cut on the bias into 1/4-inch pieces; or broccoli florets, thinly sliced
2 medium carrots, julienned (about 1 1/4 cups)
4 scallions, cut into 2-inch pieces
4 cups steamed long-grain rice (preferably jasmine), for serving
1. Marinate pork: Whisk together soy sauce, sherry, and cornstarch in a medium bowl until cornstarch is dissolved. Add pork and stir until coated; marinate 10 minutes. The marinade is all you need for flavor; no heavy sauce is added later.
2. Preheat a 14-inch carbon-steel wok over medium-high heat until very hot, about 2 minutes (a sprinkle of water should evaporate immediately). Add 1 tablespoon oil and swirl to coat sides and bottom.
3. Cook garlic, ginger, and chile, turning over with a wooden spoon or shovel-shaped wok spatula, until golden, about 10 seconds. Hear that sizzle? That?s the sound you want throughout the stir-fry.
4. Add marinated pork, spreading into a single layer. Let sear (do not stir) until golden on bottom, about 1 minute. Toss and turn occasionally until golden on all sides and just cooked through, about 1 1/2 minutes.
5. Transfer pork and aromatics to a shallow bowl or plate. While meat rests, reheat wok over medium-high heat until sizzling-hot. Add remaining tablespoon oil and swirl to coat sides and bottom.
6. Cook Broccolini, tossing and turning occasionally, until bright green and lightly seared, about 1 minute. Mild, tender Broccolini is a trademarked hybrid of standard and Chinese broccolis.
7. Push Broccolini up sides of wok and add carrots and scallions to bottom. Cook, tossing and turning, until crisp-tender, about 1 1/2 minutes. Incorporate Broccolini, and season stir-fry with salt.
8. Transfer pork and any accumulated juices (they help provide depth of flavor) to wok. Cook, tossing and turning, until pork and vegetables are combined and pork is heated through, about 30 seconds.
9. Divide stir-fry among bowls of rice. Stir-frying lends itself to improvisation, so have fun experimenting with other proteins and vegetables (or just vegetables) in similar amounts, cut in similar fashion.
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