Ginger, Chilli and Pork Stir Fry

And then it is time to do one of the things which I love the most; prepare a marinade for a stir fry; to allow the meat to soak and to bathe for hours before cooking

I am not given to using recipes, so there is always a fine balance between brilliance and disaster.

For this marinade, you will need the following:

A few sticks of Nag Chompa incense,
Some J.S.Bach, preferably by The English Concert on the original instruments led by Trevor Pinnock,
A glass or two of dry Sauvignon Blanc.

A good sized lump of ginger ~ 2″ long and 1″ in diameter
Three or four cloves of Garlic, according to mood,
Some diced pork
Half a bottle of sweet Chilli dipping source (blue dragon is the best)
Some Sicilian Lemon Juice
Some dark soy sauce
Some Amontillado sherry
A little sugar,
Some Salt
And a very small amount of tomato puree.

First gather your ingredients at the chopping board. Then light the incense; put on the Bach so that you can hear it in the kitchen; pour yourself a glass of wine. Then pause for a few moments to enjoy the smell and the music.

Then pick up the ginger, give it a quick sniff and feel its knotty being in your hands. Start to peel it and wait for that unguent cleanliness to escape and fill the room; with care and patience peel off its skin enjoying all the texture. Then place it on the chopping board and with a very good cook’s knife cut it into sections; as the knife goes down marvel at the grainy resistance and the sound of chopping, hear the squirt of juice into the air. Then cross cut until you have fine fingers of ginger. Place these into a Pyrex bowl; pause to smell the scent in the air and now on your fingers.

Next undress the bashful garlic and when you have the naked cloves on the board, cut them in sections and cross cut. Add these to the ginger. Smell again the air and the now changed scent on your hands…

Next take the pork and clean it of any gristly bits, chop it into bits so that it is all of the same size, feel the stringy texture of the meat in contrast to the crispness of before. Add this to the bowl.

Next pour on half a bottle of sweet chilli dipping sauce. Taste it….

Add a dash of soy sauce and of lemon juice; remember the smell of fresh Sicilian lemons on a summer’s day at Erice. Go with “it” for a while. Then add some of the sherry, making sure that you have a swig direct from the bottle; there is something of Bacchus in this.

Yes, it does need some sugar, to balance the lemon, so add it.

Next add the tomato puree, be careful here, not too much or it will be ruined. Stir it in and taste…

Perhaps a little more soy. Then add some salt taste it again.

Stir it.

Taste it again; the sherry has now started to mix the ginger and the garlic, at this stage, it still tastes a little harsh, but one knows that in a hour or so, it will have harmonised. And, adjustments can me made as one goes along.

Pause to listen to the music and sip your wine.

Now stir it all together, it should be quite thick and “gloopy”. It should make a satisfying noise as you raise it up from the bowl and drop it back.

If you have a blog, go and write something for about half an hour.

Next taste the mixture,…..

Uhmmm, something is missing.!.I know, it must be Galangal, add a teaspoon or two of chopped Galangal, stir..

Yes that is it.

Check the vegetables and the egg noodles in the fridge.

Then, in about two hours time, take your wok, the one you have had for 17 years now and place it on the stove. Sort the vegetables according to cooking time, (carrots take longest). Cut some spring onions saving the green bits for garnish. (A must).

When things are arranged according to cooking times add some vegetable oil and sesame oil to the wok and heat until the oil swirls and the middle eastern aroma of roasted sesame fills the room.

Take out the chopsticks and place them in their placings on the table.

Then chuck the contents of the marinade bowl into the wok, stirring like a Dervish. When the pork has sealed and started to brown, only very slightly, add the first of the vegetables; as they start to soften, check the liquid content and the heat.

If it is too hot add a splash of wine from your glass.

Add the rest of the vegetables.

Then as it nears completion add the egg noodles and a little hot water; check the chilli balance, if not “pokey” enough add some more sauce.

Serve and dress with the green bits of the spring onions and enjoy; especially that FIRST bite of ginger as it hits the palate and the nose; feel the chilli and sense the garlic; and, let the pork melt soft and expressive in the mouth.

Yum.. It is a shame there are two hours to go… 🙂