I used to get together with some friends for "themed" dinner nights once a month. We did a fondue night, Chinese Food, Japanese Food, Thai, Comfort Foods, Soups, Barbeque. It was fun stepping out of our comfort zones and discovering new recipes and trying others cooking too. The laughter and conversation was the best part of it.
When we had a Japanese night, one couple had lived in Japan for 1 1/2 years and they made some great cabbage pancake kind of stuff. This recipe was a big hit that I got from "About.com."
Pork and Vegetables Stir-Fry
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp mirin (I got this from an Asian grocery store. "Kikkoman Aji-Mirin" sweet cooking rice seasoning.)
2 Tbsp white sesame seeds (I leave these out because I'm allergic to them)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp finely chopped ginger (I buy minced garlic & ginger in jars)
4 thin boneless pork chops, cut into strips
1 carrot, cut into strips
1 negi, or 1/2 leek, sliced diagonally (I couldn't find these so I used an Asian cabbage like Napa)
salt & pepper to season
Mix mirin, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and sesame seeds in a bowl. Marinate pork in sauce for 15 minutes. Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in the skillet and fry pork on medium heat. When pork is cooked, remove from the skillet to a plate.
Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in the skillet and stir-fry carrot and negi/cabbage until softened. Season with salt & pepper and vegetable for a minute. Serves 4. Serve with rice.
The great thing with stir fries is you can exchange vegetables or meats. I'm not a huge fan of pork so when I find a good recipe like this one it's a good change from chicken and beef. The marinade is very yummy. I think you could almost classify this as a healthy dinner. Just make sure you have dessert ready or your family might think something is up.
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