To cook Chinese-style pork liver and spring onions stir fry, it is essential to slice the liver thinly and marinate for at least two hours prior to cooking.
When sliced thinly, the liver soaks up the flavors of the marinade faster and better. The cooking time is much faster too. You just want to sear the surface of the liver slices and leave the center barely pink. If your liver slices are a quarter of an inch thick or thinner, cooking time should be no more than five minutes of furious stir frying. Overcook liver and it turns leathery.
This Chinese-style pork liver and spring onions stir fry is seriously good. I understand that liver — and all offal, for that matter — is considered “unclean” for human consumption in some cultures but this is the 21st century and there’s so much available information to UNLEARN all the wrong perceptions that we’ve inherited from previous generations’ food beliefs and eating habits.
When buying pork liver, avoid ones with grayish spots. Also avoid liver with a surface that looks wrinkled. Liver with with gray spots and those that look wrinkled have likely no longer as fresh as they should be for culinary reasons as well as for health and and sanitation considerations.
How liver is sold depends on the practice in your region. In the Philippines, we can buy liver by the gram so we don’t have to bring home an entire liver and then scratch our heads wondering how many liver meals we’re going to have in quick succession.
Unlike tougher cuts of meat that shrink with long cooking, liver shrinkage is minimal due to the short cooking time.
Like most organ meats (a.k.a. offal), pork liver has a strong smell. But you can easily neutralize that by adding the correct spices in the marinade. Ginger is my number one choice. Lemongrass is a close second. You may use one or both.
If you’re on keto diet, know that this dish is a keto dieter’s dream come true.
Chinese-style Pork Liver and Spring Onions Stir Fry
- 300 grams pork liver
- 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon grated garlic
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 tablespoon sesame seed oil
- 10 stalks spring onions (scallions may be substituted), cut into two-inch lengths
Rinse the liver and wipe dry with paper towels. Optionally, for easier slicing, freeze the pork liver for an hour or so or until partially firm.
Slice the liver into 1/4-inch slices.
In a mixing bowl, stir together the ginger, garlic, soy sauce, lime or lemon juice, oyster sauce, pepper and sugar.
Add the liver to the marinade and mix well.
Cover the bowl and marinate the liver slices in the fridge for at least two hours.
Drain the liver slices. Reserve the marinade.
Heat the cooking oil and sesame seed oil in a wok or frying pan. Swirl to coat as much of the cooking surface with oil.
When the oil starts to smoke, spread the liver slices on the cooking surface. Try to have all pieces in a single layer.
Cook without disturbing for about two minutes then flip them over. Cook for another minute.
Pour in the marinade and add half of the spring onions to the liver. Stir fry for a minute or just until the liver slices have soaked up the marinade.
Turn off the heat. Add the remaining spring onions and toss.