Spring has kicked me into high gear. I spent the entire weekend outside doing all the garden projects I have been meaning to do since we bought the house. That was four years ago. In those four years, weeds reclaimed pretty much everything. My back lawn is one big dandelion patch and since I'm one of those darn tree huggers, I refuse to spray anything nasty on them. So I have bequeathed the yard to those lovely yellow weeds. Go ahead dandelions. It's all yours.
This weekend I laid weed barrier in the weed infested planter beds. I could no longer stand for the weeds threatening my tulips and irises. I also pulled up old mummified tomato plants from days of yore. Peas and carrots are successfully in the ground. I stained the deck. I gave myself a high five.
After all the backbreaking work, I even manage to make dinner. These hoisin pork rice bowls are like the homemade version of Tokyo Joe's. They are simple to make. The hoisin sauce with peanut butter, and sweet red chili sauce is the best part. It coats the pork and vegetables in a sticky sweet delight. The pork does need to sit for an hour in the dry brine or overnight, if you want to plan ahead. After letting the pork marinate, the recipe comes together in less than 30 minutes.
Hoisin pork rice bowls
Adapted from Half Baked Harvest, serves 4
1 lb pork chops, cubed
3 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar (can sub white wine vinegar)
1 red bell pepper, sliced
6 green onion, chopped
1 small head of green cabbage, rough chopped
1/4 cup hoisin (found in the Asian aisle of the grocery store)
2 tablespoons peanut butter, melted
2 tablespoons sweet thai chili sauce
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 cups steamed white rice
2 large carrots, cut in to matchsticks
1 cup cilantro, chopped
1/3 cup crushed peanuts
In a large tupperware, stir pork together with garlic, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Let marinade in the refrigerator for an hour to overnight.
While pork in marinating prepare your hoisin sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together hoisin, peanut butter, sweet thai chili sauce, and crushed red pepper flakes. Set aside.
In another small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon brown sugar, soy sauce, fish sauce, and rice vinegar.
Right before you are ready to cook the pork prepare the rice according to the package directions.
In a large saute pan over high heat, add olive oil until it's almost smoking hot. Add the pork and brown on all sides, 4-5 minutes a side. Add your bell pepper and cook for a minute. Add the cabbage and green onions and cook until the cabbage is slightly wilted, 3-4 minutes. Pour the soy sauce mixture over the top and stir for 3-4 minutes until everything is coated. Squeeze half the lime over the top, stir, and remove from the heat.
Over the rice layer pork and vegetables, carrots, cilantro, peanuts, and a dollop of hoisin sauce.