As you may have deduced by now, we often gravitate toward stir-fries and other Asian cuisines. They tend to be easy to make, quick to cook and full of heart-healthy veggies. This one from Bon Appétit caught my eye because it was a bit different than most, in that I’d never used collard greens in one before. In fact, I don’t recall ever cooking collard greens at all, even though I’ve eaten my fair share.
This recipe uses pork tenderloin which is inexpensive and widely available. Giving it a bulgogi-influenced makeover makes it flavorful, fast-cooking, and weeknight-friendly. Cheers to that! In Step 1 it directs you to freeze the meat for 30-45 minutes for easier slicing. I omitted that step and had absolutely no issue cutting the tenderloin into thin strips.
Two takeaways from this dinner. First, we came to realize our large nonstick skillet had lost most of its “nonstick” properties, so after the meal, it was tossed in the garbage and a new one was ordered pronto.
Second, the gochujang, even though the use-by-date had not expired, was hard as a rock. When I went to scoop out some of the paste with my fork, it almost bent the tines. I’m not sure a jackhammer could have penetrated it! Note-to-self: next batch, seal with some plastic wrap when not in use.
I had planned on doubling the sauce (Step 8) as per some reviewers comments, but then totally forgot to do so (next time for sure). Because we served white rice the previous night, we paired ours with tricolored couscous. In no time, we devoured our portions; then made sure to save this recipe in the “make again” file—using a wok instead of a skillet, and some fresh gochujang, of course.
Make sure to rinse your greens well under cold water and spin dry. The carrots cook best when thinly sliced at an angle.
Spicy Pork Bowl with Greens and Carrots
1 1¼-lb. pork tenderloin
3 Tbsp. hot chili paste (such as sambal oelek)
2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
1 1″ piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
1 garlic clove, finely grated
3 Tbsp. soy sauce, divided
2¼ tsp. toasted sesame oil, divided
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
2 medium carrots, peeled, thinly sliced
1 bunch collard greens or Tuscan kale, ribs and stems removed, leaves sliced
1 Tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar
Steamed white rice, thinly sliced scallions, and gochujang* (Korean hot pepper paste; for serving)
- Freeze pork tenderloin until firm around the edges, 30–45 minutes.
- Combine chili paste, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, 2 Tbsp. soy sauce, and 2 tsp. sesame oil in a resealable plastic bag.
- Thinly slice pork with a long sharp knife. Add to marinade, seal bag, and knead to thoroughly coat. Let sit at least 10 minutes and up to 2 hours.
- Heat 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. When oil is very hot, add half of pork in a single layer; season very lightly with salt. Cook, undisturbed, increasing heat to high if needed, until dark brown underneath, about 1 minute.
- Toss pork, breaking up with tongs or a wooden spoon, and continue to cook, tossing, until cooked through, about 1 minute more. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with another 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil and remaining pork (you may want to briefly remove skillet from heat when adding more oil so it doesn’t spatter). Wipe out skillet.
- Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil in skillet over medium-high. Add carrots and cook in a single layer, undisturbed, until beginning to soften and brown underneath, about 2 minutes.
- Add collard greens and toss to wilt. Cook, tossing occasionally, until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 2 minutes.
- Combine vinegar and remaining 1 Tbsp. soy sauce and ¼ tsp. sesame oil in a small bowl.
- To serve, divide rice (or couscous) among bowls and arrange pork and vegetables over. Top each with some scallions and a spoonful of gochujang; drizzle with dressing.
*Gochujang, a mixture of miso and hot chiles, is available at Korean markets and online.