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It is the most beautiful, sunny day in Seattle! I am inside with allergies and a grant to help write, but enjoying the sun streaming through my office window and dreaming about spring vegetables. I saw a post this morning from my local farmers’ market blog about the beginning of spring greens season– here come the rabes! I learned about a hybrid called brokale that I must seek out; the picture looks like broccolini or gai lan. I imagine that asparagus is not too far behind…! I am ready for variety.

When the spring greens arrive, I must temper my excitement with the knowledge that my husband doesn’t like the bitter, sometimes woody plants that I do. My compromise tends to be presenting greens in a stir fry or other saute with punchy sauces and a variety of other textures and flavors, and this recipe is one of my favorites. We use a small amount of meat and lots of veggies, but the beauty of the “recipe” is that it can be easily manipulated to account for different tastes, or what you have on hand. The picture shows baby bok choy and mushrooms for the vegetable component, though I also make it with gai lan, snow peas, bell peppers, broccoli, carrots and/or the spring vegetables mentioned above. Mix and match! Clean out the fridge. Try new combinations and use this as a way to experiment with a vegetable you haven’t tried before. It’s a forgiving recipe.

ingredient prep

Of course the best part of making stir fry is that it’s a very quick process– if today is as beautiful at your house as it is here, head outside and play while the sun shines, knowing you can whip this up for dinner in a snap. Spring is almost here!

pork stir-fry

Pork Stir-Fry with Bok Choy and Mushrooms

  • 1 – 2 T. canola or grapeseed oil
  • 4 oz. pork loin, cut into thin strips or medallions
  • 2 – 3 c. baby bok choy, chopped
  • 1 – 2 c. sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 – 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T. fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • 1 T. cold water
  • 1 T. cornstarch
  • 2 T. soy sauce
  • 1 T. rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 T. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • cooked rice to serve

Before you begin cooking, have all your ingredients prepped and the sauce made. To make the sauce, dissolve the cornstarch in the cold water thoroughly; whisk in the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, red pepper if using, brown sugar and sesame oil. Set aside.

In a wok or heavy skillet, heat 1 T. oil over medium-high heat and add the pork. Stir fry until you can’t see any more pink, about 2-3 mins. Remove from pan. Add more oil if necessary; when hot, add the bok choy and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 mins. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking on medium-high or high heat for 2 mins. The vegetables should be wilting or softening but still firm. Remove them to the plate/bowl with the pork. Add the garlic and ginger to the pan and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly to prevent sticking. Add the reserved pork and vegetables back to the pan along with the green onions; stir to combine. Pour the sauce over the top and cook in a hot pan, continuing to stir, until the pork is cooked through and the sauce begins to thicken, about 2-3 mins. Serve hot on a bed of rice.