I joined this fun food Improv group a few months ago but with the craziness of the last months of school never got the chance to take part.
Well I finally have a bit more free time and September’s challenge was to use both zucchini and brown sugar. I wanted to skip the baked goods because I honestly don’t bake that much. Unfortunately I misunderstood the cut-off date (oops it’s supposed to be the third Thursday of the month!) but I still wanted to post what I came up with simply because it ended up being super yum. To see some of the other entries go here.
I know, I know, so I did a stir-fry, my old standby. But remember why stir fries are great? Quick, easy and they usually turn out well equals me making stir fries often. Plus I just got a new 16 inch carbon steel wok (woot woot!) so I’ve been taking advantage of every opportunity to use it and build up that awesome nonstickyness (not a real word but you get the idea).
What’s even better is that this totally fit into my cut grocery spending goal. I stick to a set grocery budget every week, but I’ve been trying to reduce it even more to save up some extra money for the upcoming holiday season. So I’m basically doing a pantry challenge without the super stringent rules.
This dinner was born out of trying to use as many pantry ingredients as possible so zucchini and peppers from my weekly CSA and then I threw in some pork I had in the freezer. Add in some standard pantry staples – soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, ginger and onion and dinner is on the table in a flash.
The sauce for this ended up being really tasty; my husband even commented that he could drink it straight. So make sure to serve this with rice to soak it all up.
- 12 oz pork loin, cut into ¼ inch strips
- 4 Tbsp dark brown sugar
- 4 Tbsp fish sauce
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 - 2 tsp crushed red pepper (add more for more heat)
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1 large onion, diced
- 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 large red bell pepper, diced
- 1 lb zucchini, cut in half then sliced into half moons
- 2 Tbsp freshly sliced Thai basil, green onion, or cilantro, to garnish (optional)
- Pepper, to taste
- 1 Tbsp high heat oil
- In a small bowl, mix together sugar through crushed red pepper and stir well. Mix pork with half of sauce mix along with 1 tsp cornstarch, until well combined. Allow to marinate while you prep all of the other ingredients.
- Heat ½ Tbsp oil over high heat (if you're using a nonstick pan use medium high heat and increase the times slightly). Add pork in a single layer and cook for 1 minute. Flip and cook another minute. Remove pork to a plate.
- Heat remaining ½ Tbsp oil in wok. Add in onion, garlic and bell pepper, stir fry for 1 – 2 minutes or until softened. Add in zucchini, stir fry 1 more minute. Add in pork and remaining sauce and continue to cook another 1 – 2 minutes or until zucchini is tender and pork is cooked through.
- Garnish with sliced green onions and basil or cilantro. Serve with rice.
Nutritional info is approximate