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weekend wanderings

Recipe: chinese stir-fried pork and soy beans

Admittedly, I haven’t been cooking much lately. I’ve been having a few issues with my left arm as well as a few other annoying and lingering side effects, thanks to chemo – the gift that keeps on giving… or not. I’m doing my best to ride it out and be patient (ha!) because getting my panties in a wad over it isn’t going to make anything better. On Saturday, our pal drove up to our place and we all went for a nice hike with the crazy (Kaweah) in tow – or rather towing Jeremy along at the end of the leash. The spring runoff is the highest we’ve seen it in our three years here. We’re having a late thaw and we also had some nice late season dumps in the high country.

runoff was high

but that didn’t stop miss crazy from gettin’ her swim in

my chica is a polar engineer

the continental divide from the lake shore

globe flowers love the boggy streamsides

kaweah had the most fun

I am definitely improving in my strength, but it’s merely a fraction of what it used to be. That’s okay though, I at least know how strong I was and I’ve made it my goal to work back up to it and beyond this summer no matter how painful, how long, or how difficult. Besides, getting back in shape is pretty nice when you’ve got so much eye candy around you.

Today I managed some cooking, although it’s all stuff you’ve seen before (and if not, it’s in the archives). I do have some recipes squirreled away for just those times when I’m feeling culinarily uninspired or more accurately: physically hosed. I was first introduced to edamame in a sushi bar. Soybeans in their fuzzy pods are such a treat at the start of a sushi gorging. Only years later did I run across shelled soybeans in bags in the frozen section of various Asian grocery stores. Huh, what’s the fun of that? You don’t get to squeeze the beans out of the pods with all of the lovely salt crystals exploding on your lips. I ignored the bags of shelled soybeans.

bags like this

One day I took my good pal to the Asian grocery store in Ithaca, New York. She’s white and she’s a foodie. Claire was dying to check out the grocery store, but she didn’t want to go by herself (this is a phenomenon that happened with my white friends in So Cal who wanted to go to dim sum – they didn’t want to go without me – I got a little sick of dim sum after a while). She loaded her cart full of groceries after interrogating me about each one. By the end, she didn’t even ask me to identify anything and just chucked in anything that looked remotely interesting. During checkout, the proprietor of the store held up a bag of the frozen shelled soybeans and shouted (all of the Asian women store owners seem to have one volume of speech: shouting), “Dis is guuuuud! You know how to cook!? Stir fry with pork, chicken, beef, or shrimp – it’s all guuuud!”

pork, green onions, garlic

add cornstarch, sesame oil, and soy sauce to the pork

The funny thing about shouting lady was that she always shouted, but happily, at customers. She also shouted at her husband – a quiet and tired looking little Chinese man. I understood what she was saying, and it didn’t even remotely qualify as happy shouting. So, I don’t know if Claire ever went home and tried that combination, I mean – she practically purchased the contents of the entire store that day… But on my weekly shopping trip, I did grab a bag and I did try the shouting lady’s suggestion. Fantastic and so simple to make.

first sauté the pork

then add the soybeans

You can play with this recipe ad nauseum. Add shredded bamboo shoots or pickled mustard greens for more texture and punch to the flavor. I like to serve it with steamed rice, but it is also terrific in a hot bowl of noodles and broth. This is more pedestrian than the stir-fried flank steak, but it is incredibly satisfying.

stir-fried pork and soybeans

Stir-Fried Pork and Soybeans
[print recipe]

1/2 lb. pork meat, cut into strips (I prefer dark meat)
1 lb. shelled soybeans (edamame), thawed
3 stalks green onions, cut into 1-inch strips
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3 tbsps soy sauce
2 tbsps sesame oil
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsps vegetable oil

Mix the pork meat with the cornstarch, soy sauce, and sesame oil until the pork is evenly coated. Heat vegetable oil over high heat in a large sauté pan (frying pan, wok, whatever). When oil is hot, add garlic and green onions and sauté until fragrant. Add the pork to the pan and stir-fry until pork is nearly cooked. Add the soybeans and sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Serve hot.

26 nibbles at “weekend wanderings”

  1. Laura @ HungryAndFrozen says:

    That pork and soybeans looks incredibly delicious! I always want to make whatever you’ve got photographed. I have to be honest and say that I frigging hate hiking (literally had a panic attack last time I was forced up a mountain on a school trip years ago) but…I think if I lived with such gorgeous scenery around me like you do I couldn’t help but want to get in amongst it. Amazing photos, and good luck on your road to feeling “all guuuuud” :)

  2. manggy says:

    Woah, great landscapes, but you knew I was gonna say that already ;) Your friend looks like she’s standing in a painting. Kaweah is just winning me over with every post.
    Please, please share with us what she was shouting at her husband! Kidding, I’m not that much of a gossip that I’d pry into the lives of people I’m not ever even likely to meet or hear about ever again :P
    We have local production of both soy sauce and tofu, but I have absolutely no idea where the soybeans come from– I’ve never seen one except the dry ones in the health food store (and they were imported from the States, I think, of all places!). I really have to go into the shady alleys and see where all this processed stuff comes from. Maybe they just don’t think the public is too interested in “raw material” (unpopular by-products, including celery root, chard, pea shoots/tendrils, cocoa nibs). Your dish looks great, the stir-fries that remind me of home– but probably something I’ll have to substitute or try out in the (distant?) future, sigh.

  3. Collette says:

    Oh that looks great! I love it when you can get the fresh ones at the farmers market in giant bags for cheap but lately I’ve been using the frozen shelled ones to make baby food for my son. (Crazy huh but I’m glad he likes them.) I may just have to steal some…did I just suggest stealing food out of my baby’s mouth? Nope, not me.

  4. Rosa says:

    What gorgeous pictures! Those landscapes are breathtakingly beautiful!
    Your dish looks scrumptious! Yummy!



  5. peabody says:

    Beautiful pictures.
    I had to laugh though because our Asian grocery store owner is a little old lady who shouts all the time as well….hmmm. :)
    The stir fry is bursting with color from those soy beans…gorgeous.

  6. EAT! says:

    Isn’t it great to have a few meals that you don’t even need to think about to make? Your stir fry looks great.

  7. industrial poppy says:

    Wow. This is exactly what I have been craving lately….a diet of simple food that looks as good as it tastes. I have been thinking lately about how we nourish ourselves-our minds and bodies-and know that I have a long way to go.
    This however is a step in a fantastic direction!

  8. Meg says:

    This looks great; I may give it a run this week, since it looks plenty warming, too. Hopefully the return of your strength will accelerate; it’s hard to be patient, though.

  9. Mrs Ergul says:

    This looks good and healthy with all that green! Do take care and you’re only going to get better ;)

  10. Diana Banana says:

    Your dog is insane…can’t she feel cold at all??

    My mom always makes a stir fry with shelled edamame, minced pork, a bit of garlic and “dofu gaan.” (“dry tofu”? Even though it’s not really dry, it’s that stuff that’s tan in the middle and dark brown on the outside, comes in a square shape, usually in packages of 4….you know what I mean) That’s my comfort food, just on top of rice, or better yet in the morning on some plain “see-fan.” (“Congee”?)

  11. Susan at Stickygooeycreamychewy says:

    I’m cracking up here because the little old lady at my Asian store shouts all the time too! And, her cute little husband never says a word. He just nods and smiles a lot at everyone.

    I love this dish! I always keep a few bags of edamame in the freezer (shelled and unshelled) for quick snacks. I never thought of using them in a stir fry, but it looks great. I love when you post recipes like this (and the eggplant dish). They are not intimidating for someone like me just learning about Asian cooking.

    I’m glad you’re feeling a little stonger. Pretty soon, you’ll be back to your old self again!

    BTW, I am in awe of your photos. What spectacular raw material you have to work with!

  12. bee says:

    you’re talking of shouting chinese ladies? have you been to the indian grocery store, jen? everyone’s shouting – the proprietors, customers, everyone. and people are busy breaking the tips of the okra to see if they are fresh. drives me apesh!t.

  13. Rachel says:

    This looks incredibly tasty and your nature photos are too gorgeous!

    I’m lmao at the shouting lady in the store.

  14. Tartelette says:

    I guess here they got southerned : they speak so softly I have to make them shout….and don’t say that is because I am getting older :)
    The pics are wonderful Jen! I just had a 20 minute mini trip away thanks to you!
    …and that dish…I know I would eat more than my share!!

  15. cindy says:

    That looks like a great, quick weeknight meal.

    I had quite an adventure in Oakland’s Chinatown last weekend. I got one of those bbqed ducks they have hanging in windows. I’ve always wanted to try one and just didn’t feel like cooking dinner. I would have taken pictures, but I was up to my elbows in GREASE. Tons of it. Insane. Will never do that again. I’m back to roasting my own.

    Glad you’re starting to feel better.

  16. Sindy says:

    My best friend in High school was chinese and I was always asking her “is your Mom mad?” To me just the language itself sounds mad. I would hate all the cold weather and snow there(Southerner here) but gosh your pictures are just AMAZING!

  17. Kevin says:

    I like the sound of this stir-fry. It looks nice an green!

  18. Christine says:

    Jen – your photos always take me right there – just so lovely.

    I love snacking on edamame but I haven’t thought of using them in a dish. They have such a vibrant green color – the whole dish looks delicious.

  19. Rebecca (Foodie With Family) says:

    That stir fry looks out of this world- and the world looked pretty inviting through your lens, too! Thank you for the great idea. I think my kids will gobble this up.

    We’re lucky enough to have 4 major Asian groceries in the area where my husband’s office is. I get to go shopping and visit him at work occasionally. In my favorite grocery, the owner is always yelling in a happy way, too. When I was pregnant for my youngest son (with the 4 other sons in tow) she yelled, “You pregnant AGAIN? Is it another boy?” When I said it was she yelled, “You CRAZY! You need a discount. Here’s some candy.” And gave all my sons a lychee candy. I love her. If I didn’t have a Mom I’d ask her to adopt me. Her fresh noodles are soooooo good.

  20. jenyu says:

    Laura – I can’t believe you!! You DO live near some really gorgeous scenery, my dear. New Zealand is one of the most gorgeous places on Earth. Just get yourself out there and start tramping. I could give you a list of 20 beautiful places in your own country to go and see before you die :)

    Mark – Kaweah is good in pictures (meaning she’s adorable and not ill-behaved usually because when she’s bad I am not photographing her but yelling at her and walking over to remove her from whatever dead and/or disgusting substance she’s discovered). I can’t wait until you get to the States and I’m going to personally take you around to the stores so you can see where your foodstuffs originate from :)

    Collette – I’ve never tried the uber fresh soybeans before… sounds really good though. No – you’d NEVER steal soybeans from your own babe!! ;)

    Rosa – thank you!

    Peabody – if it’s any consolation, my mom shouts at me the same way – ha ha ha.

    EAT! – thanks!

    Industrial Poppy – great, I hope you find it satisfying and easy to make :)

    Meg – thank you so much, you’re very sweet.

    Mrs. Ergul – thanks, hon :)

    Diana Banana – apparently she doesn’t feel cold or pain (she clocks her head on all sorts of things and just keeps going!). Labs were bred to withstand some pretty cold temps. But she *is* crazy. Yes, dofu gan is dried tofu even though it’s more like a pressed and marinated tofu – I love it! I love the stuff and your mom’s way of making the stir fry is awesome too.

    Susan – honey, I don’t know how you could possibly feel a recipe was intimidating – you are such a phenomenal and accomplished cook! Thanks for the kinds words, my dear friend. xxoo

    Bee – I haven’t been to one, although I’ve been in Asian markets where many Indians frequent. It’s great! I think all of the different cultures and their “annoying” habits are fascinating. Just that the Chinese behavior rubs me the wrong way more than others because I can actually understand what they are saying! :)

    Rachel – thanks :)

    Tartelette – ha ha ha, you’re not older. You’re getting YOUNGER with all of that heat and humidity bathing your skin like a sauna in summer ;)

    Cindy – it’s supah quick, babe. Oh yeah, I only order that stuff in restaurants because the realization that it’s a hanging cardiac arrest is too much to bear when serving it at home – *snort*. Thanks, I *am* geting better slowly. Maybe some day I’ll come and drag you out to tele!

    Sindy – I’d hazard to guess that her mom was mad about 70% of the time, but yeah, the language sounds like “Why can’t you get perfect SAT scores?!?” Thanks!

    Kevin – thanks, sweetie.

    Christine – well, the photos are to entice you and Pierre to consider coming out to visit so I can show you these places FOR REAL! :)

    Rebecca – thanks! Wow, I can’t believe you have 5 boys!? You deserve more than just free lychee candies ;) Hope you like the recipe!

  21. White On Rice Couple says:

    Kaweah!!! OMG! That water must be so cold! You’re such a good puppy, loving water like that. Dante would NEVER, EVER, EVER dive into a lake, even if there was a prime steak floating in the middle of it. He really hates water. We have to show him how good you are, swimming , fetching and doing your doggie paddles! Sierra just might try the swim, but she’s a So Cal puppy and not sure if she would dare the colder higher elevation waters.
    Back to your Mom now..
    You’re looking great Jen, strong and happy. Seeing you and Jeremy in this beautiful scenery certainly shows you guys in your element!

  22. jenyu says:

    WoRC – thanks sweetie, but that’s my pal Marianne and not me in the photo… who do you think takes all the pics?!?! :) And yeah, Marianne does look great, she’s in super awesome shape! Kaweah wants to teach Dante how to swim :)

  23. Andrea says:

    I’ve got that exact same brand of edamame in my freezer (bought from a Chinese supermarket in Glasgow, Scotland), and I am no cook, so was trying to work out what to do with it. Thanks for this. Do you think it would work with minced beef (also in the freezer, needs to find its way into my belly)?

  24. jenyu says:

    Andrea – sure, I think it would definitely work with beef. Give it a go!

  25. Thank you for real butter, FishPretzel! « Tortfeeder says:

    […] Pad Thai Sauteed Kong Xing Tsai Chinese Stir-Fried Pork and Soy Beans […]

  26. Pamela says:

    Thanks for this recipe. We grow soybeans on our roof (!) and were left with many pounds in the Fall, so I froze them and have been snacking on them all winter. Tonight though I want to deshell them and have them with a dish – this will be the dish. Thanks again!

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