The succulent green spears of asparagus are always welcome, appearing in May and June to herald the beginning of the summer vegetable season. Asparagus is usually cooked by boiling for a few minutes or steaming. You can also cook it in a stir fry, especially if using fairly young shoots.
Bean sprouts work well in stir fries, and are especially useful in spring when many vegetables are not yet in season. You can grow your own in a jam jar in a warm place, like the airing cupboard. They take about a week, and a tablespoon of seeds will produce about 4 oz of bean sprouts. If you haven’t planned that far in advance (!), some shops sell bean sprouts in packets, or you could use mushrooms instead.
Stir-fried pork with asparagus and bean sprouts
7 oz (approx 200 g) boneless pork steak
7 oz (approx 200 g) asparagus
Half a red pepper
Half a small onion
4 oz (approx 100 g) bean sprouts*
1 piece root ginger, approx 1” cube (approx 2.5 cm cube)
1 large clove garlic
2 Tblsp (2 x 15 ml spoon) light soy sauce
1 Tblsp (1 x 15 ml spoon) dry sherry or rice wine
Cut the pork into thin slices.
Wash and trim the asparagus, and cut into sections about 2” (about 5 cm) long. Halve the stalk sections lengthwise, leave the tip sections whole.
Remove the seeds from the red pepper and cut into strips. Wash the bean sprouts.
Peel and chop the onion. Peel the root ginger and shred into fine strips. Peel the garlic
Heat approx 1 Tblsp cooking oil in a wok or large frying pan.
Add the pork strips and stir-fry over a medium heat for approx 1 minute.
Add the chopped onion, ginger and asparagus stalks and stir-fry another minute.
Add the asparagus tips and chopped pepper. Crush the garlic and stir in. Stir-fry another 1-2 minutes until the meat is cooked and the vegetables soft and starting to colour.
Add the bean sprouts and stir-fry for about half a minute. Stir in the soy sauce and sherry and mix well.
Serve immediately with rice or noodles.
*If you can’t get or don’t like bean sprouts, you can substitute mushrooms. Peel and slice the mushrooms and add them along with the red pepper.