This recipe was born out of frustration. What do you do with mince when you can't face shaping meatballs, stirring a Bolognese, or waiting for the oven to heat up? Chinese pork is the answer!
Fried with a range of delicious Chinesey (err, yes it's a technical term) store cupboard ingredients, the pork mince is transformed into a salty, sweet, spicy, crunchy mass of deliciousness. Cucumber is often sidelined to salad only but it's SO good fried. It breaks down a little in the heat so the texture becomes more gherkin-like. It's nice because it doesn't overpower. Same goes for radishes.
This is really good over brown rice or with noodles, or with pancakes. Now I know that yesterday was Pancake Day but in my house we celebrate for the entire week, so I served my pork with spring onion pancakes, and amen, it was a good decision. Or equally tasty would be Caleigh's amazing gluten free chive pancakes.
Chinese Pork with Sautéed Cucumber (serves 2 as a main)
- 300g lean pork mince
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 thumb sized piece of root ginger, peeled and grated
- 3 tbsp of dark soy sauce
- 2 tbsp of brown sugar
- 2 tsp Chinese 5-Spice
- half a cucumber, deseeded and diced
- 1 tbsp veg/sunflower oil
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 red chilli, frozen (optional)
For the spring onion pancakes:
- 110g plain flour
- a pinch of salt
- 2 eggs
- 200ml milk mixed with 75ml water
- 2 spring onions, finely sliced/shredded
- Heat a frying pan, add a little sunflower/veg. oil and add the ginger. Fry for a few minutes.
- Add the pork mince and cook for a further 5 minutes until starting to colour.
- Add the garlic, a big pinch of salt, the sugar and the Chinese 5-spice. Cook for a further 10 minutes on a fairly low heat. The meat will start to darken and caramelise with the sugar, you want to pork to become almost crunchy.
- In the meantime, heat another pan and add the cucumber, dry. This just needs to cook fairly quickly for a few minutes or until it starts to colour.
- Add the cucumber to the pork and cook for a final minute, finally adding the sesame oil and soy sauce for flavour. Now it's ready to be eaten. I grated frozen chilli over mine. Leftover chillis freeze in no time at all and taste amazing grated over most things.
- If you want to join me in celebrating pancake 'week' then see below.
- Sift the flour and salt together in a mixing bowl.
- Make a well in the centre and crack in the eggs.
- Whisk the eggs and slowly incorporate the flour until smooth.
- Whisk in the milk and water in slowly, whisking out any lumps.
- When ready to cook, heat a fairly small non-stick pan with a little oil and get it really nice and hot.
- Ladle out a spoonful of batter, then add a few spring onions before flipping to cook the other side.