Because Sam is such a fan of eggplants, I try to prepare at least one dish with eggplants on weekends. And because I don’t want to resort to laziness and simply make tortang talong instead of discovering new ways to cook eggplants, I scour the web for recipes. Sometimes, I find something interesting; other times, I just wing it. Wing it? You know, I look in the fridge, see what can go with the eggplants and then I start cooking with no real recipe to follow. I add a bit of this and a bit of that, I make adjustments and, after a short while, I have a cooked dish.
That was how this pork, peas and eggplant stir fry came to be. I had cooked a vert tasty dish but, on a whim, I decided to try if it would taste even better with the addition of a little citrus juice. The result was amazing. Really, one should never underestimate what a little citrus juice can do.
And just what citrus juice did I use? Those are slices of native lemon that you see in the photo. You might mistake them for slices of lime but they really aren’t. Lime has thinner skin and a thinner layer of white pith. We used to have a supply of lime from a tree in the garden but, for some reason, it has turned shy on us and has been refusing to bear fruit for months. So, we buy native lemons which are way cheaper than the imported yellow ones.
Recipe: Pork, peas and eggplant stir fry
- 200 g. of pork belly or shoulder, cut into half-inch cubes (or thin slices, whichever cut you prefer, just make sure the pieces are small enough to cook within minutes)
- patis (fish sauce)
- freshly cracked black pepper
- lemon juice
- a handful of chicharo (snow peas)
- 2 eggplants (the long, thin Asian kind which is sweeter)
- 1 and 1/2 c. of vegetable cooking oil
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp. of minced garlic
- 1 tsp. of grated ginger
- 1 stalk of lemongrass, finely sliced (see how)
- 2 bird’s eye chilis, finely sliced
- lemon slices, to serve
- Place the pork in a bowl. Add 1 tbsp. of patis, 1/2 tsp. of pepper, 1 tbsp. of lemon juice and 1 tsp. of sugar. Mix well. Cover and set aside.
- Trim the ends and sides of the chicharo.
- Dice the eggplants.
- Heat the cooking oil in a wok or frying pan.
- Flash fry the eggplants and set aside.
- Pour off the oil from the pan, leaving only about two tablespoonfuls.
- Reheat the oil. Add the pork with whatever marinade there is. Over high heat, cook the pork until browned.
- Add the onion, garlic, ginger, lemongrass and chilis. Stir fry for about 30 seconds.
- Add the chicharo. Stir fry for another 30 seconds.
- Add the flash fried eggplants. Season with more patis, pepper and sugar. Continue stir frying just until the eggplants are heated through.
- Transfer the stir fry on a platter. Squeeze half a lemon over it. Serve with more lemon slices on the side.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 15 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 4