On The Menu Next Week: Thai-Spiced Pork and Rice Noodle Stir-Fry March 13, 2017
A meal that’s colorful, balanced, and bursting with flavor? Count us in. Get the lowdown on this Thai-inspired stir-fry straight from our chefs and dietitians themselves.
WARNING: Reading all about this recipe may cause hunger. If stomach grumbling occurs, immediately choose the meal and get the simple recipe and delicious ingredients in your box as early as next week!
Can you describe the process of developing the recipe? What was your inspiration?
Chef Nate: This is one of the few recipes that I have developed using the pork ramen stock concentrate. As such, I wanted to create a dish that would highlight the flavors of the pork ramen but in a slightly unexpected way. Stir-fries are ubiquitous in many Asian cuisines, so I thought that would be a great way to utilize those flavors with a slight twist.
How would you describe traditional Thai flavors?
Chef Freida: In Thailand, almost every meal is served with a platter of condiments which hit all the flavor notes – chile peppers for heat, coconut sugar for sweetness, lime for tartness, and fish sauce for salt and umami. Thai cooking is all about the balance of these flavors. They also utilize tons of fresh herbs for brightness.
Do you have any tips or suggestions for cooking with pork?
Chef Freida: For maximum flavor, really let the pork brown. Make an even layer in the bottom of the pan and leave it alone until fully browned. No stirring or breaking it up until it’s nice and crispy.
What is the secret to the perfect stir-fry?
Chef Freida: Try not to crowd the pan with ingredients so that they can brown and caramelize rather than steam. This could mean working in batches if you have a ton of veggies to sauté.
What can home cooks expect to learn from making this recipe?
Chef Nate: The technique of soaking rice noodles may be unfamiliar to some people. Soaking them in hot water is a way to better control the rate of water absorption and help achieve that perfect al dente texture. Just be sure to check them occasionally as they soak so they don’t get too soft.
What are the nutritional benefits of this recipe?
Rebecca, RD: I am an avid fan of nuts (my family grows them in California)! They are my go-to snack choice and can add a lot of flavor to savory dishes like this one. Peanuts are an excellent source of plant-based protein (more than any other nut) and healthy unsaturated fats — not to mention the fact that they contain more than 30 vitamins and minerals.
Sarah, RD: I love a couple things about this dish. First, it’s a great example of how delicious flavor doesn’t have to come from salt, sugar, and fat. The Thai seasoning, soy sauce, pork ramen stock concentrate, and sesame oil all meld together to give great flavor while being low enough in sodium to be a heart healthier Asian fusion dish. I also love how vibrant this dish is from all the veggies. You’ve got yellow, green, purple, and red all on one plate, which means tons of different antioxidants at play here. The combination of veggies gives you that variety to help you eat the rainbow.
Enough with the talking — time to cook! Head straight to next week’s menu and make your meal choice today.