{ RECIPE }: BETTER THAN TAKEOUT Spicy Basil Pork & Stir Fry Sauce!

 

This recipe was made from a major craving.

Whenever I go to Thai restaurants, this is a go to order of mine. I’ll admit, I found myself scrolling through seamless to order it & couldn’t justify spending over $30 for myself – not to mention waiting an hour or two for it to get here.

SO off to the butcher & grocery store I went & got a little creative & I knew I can do this from start to finish in an hour.

I picked up some ground pork {but you can easily do chicken or beef}, basil, serrano peppers, red peppers, ginger, & shiitake mushrooms & got to it. We had some garlic, shallots, & soy at home too.

After doing a lot of research online on how to pull it together, a big ingredient was oyster sauce. Personally, it’s not an ingredient I use often & the one at the store was only made with oyster extract & MSG so I decided to get a little creative.

Also, I’m not claiming any of this to be authentic at the least or even a 100% swap but it sure was tasty and hella healthy.

Each week, I tend to stick with a “theme”. I find it a really easy way to buy minimal ingredients and I can prep sauces and such for the week. Last week, we had a dope enchilada sauce & drunken bacon beans and we were able to make enchiladas {shocker}, skinny versions of taco bell mexican pizzas {i think this needs to get on here, it was a WINNER & one of my fave things to get at the bell}, quesadilla taco fusions, etc.

Well, this week, asian inspired cuisines are our theme so instead of an oyster sauce, I made my own version of a stir fry sauce. Basically it adds body and umami to your dish.

Basically, my stir fry sauce is this: shiitake mushrooms, soy sauce, minced shallot, minced garlic, fresh ginger & water. I simmered it until the water reduced a bit ~30 mins. Then, I put it in my blender and blended until smooth. Easy.

Now you have this on hand to toss with some protein & stir fry. Tonight, I’m mixing it with sliced sirloin & some veggies. It makes future dinners a cinch. It’s also SO GOOD fried with rice!

I like shiitakes because they are healthy af but really any will do.

Moving on to the pork – this takes literally no more than 15 minutes.

It’s also super versatile. I used serranos because I like a lot of heat {i also throw in the seeds for extra spice}, but you can easily use jalapeno or even green peppers to keep it mild. I did a shallot since they are a bit more mild than onions & Erik hates onions. Finally, you can use any ground meat – chicken, pork, beef – whatever you want! You can easily do this over shrimp, tofu or even chopped vegetables.

Basically, you stir fry the veggies & meat, add the sauce, let it reduce a bit, add the basil, then serve. Easy peasy.

I like to have mine with brown rice and more sliced serranos for more heat! I know this is NOT traditional at all, but I like to squeeze a lemon or lime over it too for a lil acid touch.

On the topic of basil – thai basil will work best but regular basil is fine too! I used regular basil here and it was delicious. Also, here’s a hack on how to cut basil {in fact, I cut my kale like this}:: take the leaves, stack them, roll them like a cigar or blunt {lol i had to}, and with a sharp knife, slice them cross wise. Now you have pretty little strips that are so easy to cook with!

All right, let’s get into it all now.

Here are the recipes:

stir fry sauce

makes about 2 cups

ingredients

8 oz shiitake mushrooms, roughly chopped

1 inch of fresh ginger, peeled and grated

1 small shallot, minced

1 garlic clove, minced

2 tbsp of sugar {i used coconut sugar – YUM}

1/4 cup {4 tbsp} of soy sauce

1 cup of water

directions

in a small sauce pan, mix all the ingredients, give a stir, and simmer until liquid reduces, ~30 minutes. Blend until smooth. Set aside if using or refridgerate.

NOTE: you can rough chop everything since it will all be blended. Make sure your blender can handle hot products. A Vitamix or Nutribullet {which is what I use} can and will. Handle with care!

spicy basil pork

serves 2 (may have leftovers depending on how hungry you are!}

ingredients

oil, to coat pan

2 garlic cloves, diced

1 shallot, diced

3 serranos, diced

1 large red pepper, diced

1 lb of ground pork

stir fry sauce {use as much or as little as you want, I did a little less than a cup}

soy sauce, chili flakes, & sugar, to taste

10 basil leaves, cut in thin strips or chiffonade

directions

1. In a large skillet or wok, heat a small amount of oil over medium high heat. Add galic & cook until fragrant but not browned, ~1 minutes. Add shallot & cook an extra minute or two. Add peppers & cook for 1-3 minutes.

2 Add ground pork. Using a wooden spatula, break up meat into small pieces & stir fry until fully cooked. ~10 mins or less.

3. Add sauce mixture to pan. Taste & add more soy, sugar, or chili flakes if desired. Lower heat and stir until sauce is combined & thickened, ~5 mins. Add basil & cook until wilted. ~1 minute.

4. Serve as desired! I  like mine over a bed of spinach, kale, & bok choy with some rice on the side, sliced serranos and a lil lemon. YUM!

This is a SUPER easy weeknight dinner & if you make the sauce in advance, it takes no time at all. Bonus points if you make the sauce & the rice at the same time for all meal prep dreams come true.

And if you don’t want to make the sauce, a lil oyster sauce, fish sauce, or hoisin sauce can be used in leu of it. If you don’t have either of those, mix a little soy & sugar together until you have a nice, thick mix according to your taste… and same deal, use as much or as little as you want.

This is one of those “better than takeout” recipes that takes no time at all and super healthy. All in all, a win!!

One last thing, but last year, Erik & I got a wok and it is one of our favourite purchases ever. It really adds extra flavour and it’s fun to cook with – i find it also keeps things lean. Here is the exact one we have and it’s only $35!

Give it a go and let me know what you think. Happy hump day!! I’m about to get some large format film portraits today and I’m pretty stoked – it’s my first time to get some real film in!!

See you tomorrow for a fun little “drinking outside” tidbit 😉

xoxo Shannon


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