Are you ready to get woking? This easy Pork Stir Fry will have dinner on the table in a flash! It’s loaded with fresh veggies and has a great homemade stir fry sauce.
This one is also customizable. You can use any cut of pork you have handy, plus any veggies you fancy that day.
There’s just one thing though. To get that super tender, melt in your mouth meat you get at Chinese take out places, you need one special little technique. Come, I’ll teach you…
Have you ever noticed how soft the meat is at Chinese restaurants? I mean, that’s surely chicken breast meat, but a newborn could chew it. So how come when I try to stir fry with the stuff it turns out hard and rubbery?
I mean, I cut it thinly against the grain, make sure not to overcrowd, etc, etc… So what’s going wrong? That my friends, is the secret to this recipe, and is something you’ll want to incorporate into all your future stir fry dishes: velveting.
Velveting is a Chinese cooking technique that involves a marinade containing certain ingredients (I won’t go into the science here), that preserves the moisture in the meat and keeps the fibers tender.
As my husband recently bought a very large piece of pork loin that was on sale, I decided to experiment. I must say, it was a big success!
How to Velvet Pork
First, you want to cut it very thinly (about 1/8 inch), against the grain. If you are having problems cutting it that thin, first freeze it slightly. This makes it much easier to cut.
Next, you’re going to marinate it in a mixture of water, Chinese cooking wine, oyster sauce and baking soda. Mix it nicely and allow the liquids to absorb into the meat.
Finally, you’ll stir in oil and corn starch. Allow the meat to marinate while you prep the other ingredients.
This same technique works great on chicken breast!
So, that’s the big secret to that tender, velvety meat texture Chinese restaurant stir fry dishes have. Shhh…
Ingredients for our Easy Pork Stir Fry
As mentioned above, this is very versatile. Feel free to use whatever veggies you like. This is what we used today:
- Pork – This time we used loin, which worked perfectly after velveting. Shoulder would also work well.
- Bell Peppers
- Snow Peas
- Aromatics – Ginger and garlic.
- Sauces – Soy, oyster, hoisin and honey.
How to make Easy Pork Stir Fry
Once your meat is velveted and the veggies cut, this goes together really fast!
Heat up some oil in a wok (or in it’s absence, a large cast iron or non-stick skillet) over high heat.
Once hot, add in the pork in a single layer. Leave it undisturbed for 30 seconds, then give it a stir. Cook just until opaque, them remove to a plate. It will cook more once it’s added to the stir fry.
Check out our collection of favorite Stir Fry Recipes!
Reduce heat to medium high and add a little additional oil to the wok, then add in onion, mushrooms, bell peppers, carrots and cashews. Stir fry about 5 minutes, then add in aromatics. Cook for a minute, then add in sauce.
Cook for a few minutes, till the sauce starts simmering. Stir in the snow peas and pork, cook for about another minute, then serve with your favorite rice or our easy Spicy Asian Noodles.
So there you go friends, a quick weeknight dinner and a secret Chinese restaurant cooking technique in one post… how cool!
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Easy Pork Stir Fry, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
Try these other popular Asian recipes!
Bun Cha (Vietnamese Meatballs)
Kung Pao Chicken
Thai Basil Chicken
Pork Stir Fry (How to Velvet Pork)
This easy Pork Stir Fry whips up in no time. Loaded with fresh veggies and tender pork, it's a perfect weeknight dinner idea!
For the Pork
- 1 pound pork (we used loin)
- 1.5 Tbsp water
- 2 tsp Chinese wine
- 2 tsp oyster sauce
- 2 tsp corn starch
- 1.5 tsp cooking oil
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
For Stir Fry Sauce
- 3 Tbsp water
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 Tbsp hoisin sauce
For Stir Fry
- 2 Tbsp cooking oil, divided
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 bell peppers, chopped (we used red, yellow and green)
- 3 carrots, sliced
- 6oz mushrooms, sliced
- 1/3 cup cashews
- 1 tsp red chili flakes
- 4-5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 6oz snow peas
To Velvet Pork
- Slice pork very thinly (about 1/8 inch) against the grain, and place in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, mix water, Chinese cooking wine, oyster sauce and baking soda. Pour over pork and mix together well with hands. Allow the liquids to absorb into meat.
- Stir in corn starch and 1.5 tablespoons of oil. Allow the meat to marinate while you prep the other ingredients
- Heat one tablespoon of oil in a wok over high heat.
- Once hot, add in the pork in a single layer. Leave it undisturbed for 30 seconds, then give it a stir. Cook just until opaque, them remove to a plate.
- Reduce heat to medium high. Add remaining tablespoon of oil, then add in onion, peppers, carrots, mushrooms, cashews and red chili flakes. Stir fry about 5 minutes.
- Add in aromatics (ginger and garlic). Cook for a minute, then add in sauce.
- Cook for a few minutes, till the sauce starts simmering. Stir in the snow peas and pork, cook for about another minute, then serve with your favorite rice or noodles.
Nutrition InformationYield 5 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 439Total Fat 25gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 17gCholesterol 80mgSodium 824mgCarbohydrates 27gFiber 4gSugar 14gProtein 29g
Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.
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2 thoughts on “Pork Stir Fry (How to Velvet Pork)”
This is the first time that I encountered a recipe adding baking soda to the marinade. All this time, I’ve only been using the cornstarch slurry. I gotta try this, nothing beats having soft textured meat in a dish.
It really makes a difference!