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Lemongrass Pork Stir-Fry

Lemongrass is available at Asian markets and well-stocked grocery stores, but if you cannot find it, you can substitute lemon zest and juice. Add the finely grated zest and fresh juice from 1 lemon to the ingredients in the blender.

Ingredients:

  • 4 lemongrass stalks
  • 10 Tbs. water
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 3 lb. pork loin, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbs. Asian fish sauce
  • 2 tsp. firmly packed brown sugar
  • 4 Tbs. corn or peanut oil
  • 6 thinly sliced shallots
  • 4 thinly sliced green onions
  • Steamed rice for serving

Directions:

Cut off and discard the leafy tops from each lemongrass stalk. Trim off the base of the pale, bulblike bottom part and slice very thinly.

In a blender, combine the lemongrass, 4 Tbs. of the water, the garlic, cilantro and pepper and process until a thick paste forms. Place the pork in a bowl, add the lemongrass mixture and stir to coat the pork evenly. Set aside for 20 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining 6 Tbs. water, the lemon juice, fish sauce and brown sugar and stir to dissolve the sugar. Set the sauce aside.

Heat a wok or large nonstick fry pan over high heat until very hot and add 2 Tbs. of the oil. Add the pork and cook until browned on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a bowl.

Return the pan to medium heat and add the remaining 2 Tbs. oil. Add the shallots and stir-fry until translucent, about 2 minutes. Pour the sauce into the pan, bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Return the pork to the pan and stir-fry until heated through, about 1 minute more. Garnish with the green onions, transfer to a platter and serve with steamed rice. Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Asian, by Farina Wong Kingsley (Oxmoor House, 2007).