Pork with Ginger, Spring Onion & Eggplant

When I have leftover pork roast I can pull into thin shreds, it's easy enough to add BBQ sauce and put it on a bun. But sometimes I like mixing it up and turning it into a vehicle for an Asian-style meal that packed a lot of flavor and texture into one pan. What's more, I can usually make it with the aforementioned leftovers, some flavor giants for sauce purposes, and a variety of goodies from my most recent CSA box.

The recipe as written is what I did, although I did toss in a suggested swap for the raw turnips if you don't have them on hand. But let me take a moment to toss out a few more ideas. If you don't have eggplant, opt for zucchini or other summer squash. You can steam it or just add it with the pork and make it a giant stir-fry. You can use any number of onion options - make sure you cut them to minimal cooking renders them to your liking. You can also add some bok choy, cherry tomatoes, hon tsai tai or other Asian greens, and even swap the peanuts for sesame seeds. As for the pork, it might become chicken if that's what you have on hand. You get the idea.

You can serve this over rice or rice noodles. If you have rice wrappers on hand, it might work after being wrapped in a leaf of lettuce. It's a creative meal that asks you to use what you have on hand, so be creative and enjoy!

Pork with Ginger, Spring Onion & Eggplant

  • 1 small eggplant
  • 4 tsp. toasted sesame oil, divided
  • 1 T. grated fresh ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 T. chili crisp
  • 8 oz. shredded roasted pork - loads of leftovers work for this
  • 4 tsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 2 tsp. rice vinegar
  • 3 spring onions, cut into 1" pieces
  • 2 oz. water chestnuts, drained and sliced thin (I used raw sliced turnips from my CSA box)
  • ½ c. salted peanuts

Cut the eggplant into ½” cubes. Stack evenly onto a plate that can fit into your steamer.

Set up your steamer by adding water to the pan and stacking the steaming rack on top. Place the plate of eggplant onto the steaming rack. Heat over medium-high heat, covered, until the steam comes out of the steamer. Reduce the heat to medium. Let the eggplant steam until it reaches desired doneness, about 10 minutes for a chewy texture, and 15 minutes for a very tender texture.

Meanwhile, pour half of the oil (2 teaspoons) into a large skillet over high heat. Add the ginger, garlic, and chili crisp and fry for 5 minutes, stirring often, until the garlic starts to brown lightly. Transfer to a bowl. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil to the pan, add the shredded pork and fry, breaking up lumps, for 3 minutes. Add the soy sauce, honey, and vinegar. Cook for 2 minutes, then return the ginger-garlic mixture to the pan. Add the spring onions, water chestnuts, and salted peanuts. Add the steamed eggplant and stir well to evenly coat everything with the sauce. Heat for 3 minutes or until evenly heated. Serve hot.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 45 minutes

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