Yes indeed, the flavors in this colorful stir-fry from Milk Street are a fantastic combination of savory, sweet, tangy, garlicky, spicy and nutty. The chili-garlic sauce can be moderated depending on your tolerance for spicy, and those peanuts add just the right amount of crunch.
Briefly marinating the sliced tenderloin means that the meat browns beautifully in the skillet and also adds flavor and moisture to an otherwise lean and mild cut. Balsamic vinegar may seem like an odd ingredient in a stir-fry, but it mimics the subtle sweetness, moderate acidity and maltiness of Chinese black vinegar and probably already is in your pantry. Serve with steamed white rice.
Instead of a nonstick skillet, we used a well-seasoned wok. The Hubs swears you get a hotter heat with the added benefit of pushing ingredients up the sides.
Warning: Don’t use a conventional (that is not nonstick) skillet. The pork will char and stick to the skillet instead of nicely browning.
Stir-Fried Pork and Sweet Peppers with Peanuts
- 1 1/4 lb. pork tenderloin, trimmed of silver skin and sliced crosswise ⅛ to ¼ inch thick
- 3 Tbsp. grapeseed or other neutral oil, divided
- 3 Tbsp. dry sherry, divided
- 2 Tbsp. soy sauce, divided
- 3 garlic cloves, 1 minced, 2 thinly sliced
- 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 2-3 Tbsp. chili-garlic sauce
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 2 medium red, yellow or orange bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and cut into 1- to 1½-inch pieces
- 1 bunch scallions, whites thinly sliced, greens cut into 1½-inch lengths, reserved separately
- 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
- In a medium bowl, stir together the pork, 1 tablespoon of the oil, 1 tablespoon of the sherry, 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce, the minced garlic and the cornstarch. Let stand for about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the remaining 2 tablespoons sherry, remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce, chili-garlic sauce and vinegar.
- In a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high, heat another 1 tablespoon oil until barely smoking. Add the pork in an even layer and cook, stirring once or twice, until well browned, 4 to 5 minutes; transfer to a plate.
- Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet and heat until shimmering. Add the bell peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender-crisp, 6 to 7 minutes.
- Add the scallion whites and sliced garlic; cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds.
- Add the pork and accumulated juices, sauce mixture and scallion greens; cook, stirring, until the sauce is lightly thickened, 30 to 60 seconds.
- Off heat, stir in half the peanuts. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with the remaining peanuts.
Adapted from a recipe by Calvin Cox for Milk Street