A classic vegetable and pork stir fry that’s sure to please.
Stir up some fun with Sugar Snap Peas and Pork Stir Fry
Snap peas are a welcome vegetable to most meals; they’re light, crisp, and refreshing to eat. Right now (mid July) is the start of pea and bean season here in Michigan, so I wanted to share one of my favorite things to do with some slightly less than mature sugar snap peas.
Stir fry, and Sugar Snap Peas and Pork Stir fry really checks the boxes:
- Easy: This meal is a snap to prepare, and hard to mess up!
- Gratifying: The colorful array of ingredients, presentation, and technique make it feel like you’re cooking a meal more complex than it is.
- Satisfying: This stir fry tastes great, and is healthy so you’re left feeling great.
What other ingredients go in stir fry?
Stir fry is in its very nature a customizable dish, and you could probably eat a new variation of it every day of the year. This recipe will use sugar snap peas, thin sliced pork loin, water chestnuts, baby bella mushrooms, and onions.
If you want to add or subtract vegetables consider:
- Baby corn: They look like full ears of corn, but are tiny and fun to eat.
- Sliced peppers: You can do hot or mild peppers, they add fun color and flavor.
- Squash: If you garden like me, your summer squashes are probably coming in right now, and are an easy add.
- Cabbage: Cabbage can be pretty flavor neutral and add welcome volume to the meal. A lot of Asian cuisine will use cabbage in this application, so I recommend it.
You can also play with the protein in the meal:
- Tofu: Technically a vegetable, you can use tofu instead of pork to make this a vegetarian meal.
- Chicken or turkey: You can use the other white meat (chicken or turkey) for somewhat lower calories.
- Beef: Generally higher calorie but also higher protein. I would use a type of roast for this (such as thinly sliced chuck roast). Since this meal is cooked in sauce, you don’t need to break the bank on expensive cuts of beef.
- Shrimp: Shrimp will make this a sea-food stir fry, and be lower on calories.
How do I make sauce for stir fry?
With the broadest view, any protein and vegetable fried together with a bit of sauce makes a stir fry. The magic flavors of the stir fry come to life through its sauce. The recipe below details the specifics of making my sauce, but I wanted to say a few words on the elements that make up a good stir fry sauce.
- A savory base: This is the background of the sauce’s flavor. I use a mixture of soy sauce and hoisin sauce for this. You could go in other directions with oyster and worcestershire sauces.
- Tang: I like my stir fry to have a little bite, and that tends to come from acids. I use a mixture of rice vinegar and lemon juice. If you don’t have rice vinegar, you can use white vinegar in a pinch. The flavor will change slightly, but it will taste good. You could switch lemon juice for lime as a matter of preference or availability.
- Thickness: To make the sauce a little thicker and cling to the stir fry a bit more, I add corn starch. Any starch would probably be ok here.
- Sweetness: I use honey to balance out the tanginess, you could also use sugar. I like the extra flavor that honey leaves in the sauce.
- All the rest: These are spices that I like, you can mix and match to your preferences.
How can I adjust the spiciness in stir fry?
I made this recipe without a lot of spiciness. The only real heat comes from a half tsp of red pepper flakes. I would call this base recipe “mild” spiciness. If you want to change that here are some recommended options:
Remove the ½ tsp chili pepper flakes called out below
Follow recipe as written
Change the ½ tsp chili pepper flakes to 1 tsp -or- add ½ tsp cayenne pepper (more like medium-hot)
Change the ½ tsp chili pepper flakes to 1 tsp -AND- add ½ tsp cayenne pepper (more like medium-hot)
Other easy meals
Let’s stir up some Sugar Snap Peas and Pork Stir Fry
Sugar Snap Peas and Pork Stir Fry
- 1 Frying Pan with Lid
Stir Fry Ingredients
- ½ lb Pork Loin aka pork chops
- 1 cup Sugar Snap Peas fresh, in-pods
- ½ cup Sliced Baby Bella Mushrooms
- 1 Onion Sliced
- 1 jar Water Chestnuts
Stir Fry Sauce
- ¼ cup Hoisin Sauce
- ¼ cup Soy Sauce
- ½ tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- 2 tbsp Rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 2 tsp Honey
- 2 tsp Corn Starch
- ½ tsp Ginger
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- Start by slicing your pork loin into thin strips. I started with pork chops and thin sliced those.Heat a skillet to medium high heat, and drizzle a splash of oil into the pan. Then fry the pork until browned and cooked through. Remove the pork and set aside.
- Drizzle a bit more oil into the pan and add your onions. Cook for a couple minutes until they start to turn golden. Add in the mushrooms and cook for two minutes more. Add the water chestnuts and cook for two more minutes. Then add the sugar snap peas and cook for two more minutes.
- Add the pork back to the pan. Combine the sauce ingredients and pour the sauce over top. Stir the pan well, and allow it to reach a steady simmer. Then cover the pan and let it simmer for two more minutes. Serve with rice and enjoy 🙂