Trust us, we get how busy weeknights can be. While it would be lovely to dine on homemade lasagnas and slow-simmered stews every night, most of the time we feel pretty good just making it to the microwave. The best way to become a weeknight warrior, though? Bowls.
We're not talking about the serving vessels (though typically you do need them to put the food in). We're talking the Chipotle-esque, everything-in-one meal that piles together in one dish. Typically, this involves a grain, a protein, and some veggies. This bowl developed with Michelle McGlinn is a Thai-inspired version, highlighting the fresh flavors of lemongrass and ginger. Loaded up with fresh vegetables like carrots, cucumber, and chiles, this bowl is sweet, sour, and spicy all in one. The best part is the peanut sauce dressing that ties it all together; salty, sticky, nutty peanut butter compliments the ginger pork just as it would a chicken satay. Now that's how you make a bowl.
Read more: 11 Tips You Need When Cooking With Pork
Gather The Ingredients For Thai Ginger Pork Bowls
The pork is cooked stir-fry style, so you'll need fresh ginger, garlic, and scallions first. For the sauce that seasons the pork, you'll need lemongrass, soy sauce, sesame oil, and granulated sugar. For the pork itself, you'll just need a pound of ground pork. If pork isn't your thing, feel free to swap for beef or chicken.
For the peanut butter dressing, you'll also need smooth peanut butter, honey, water, and rice wine vinegar. In a pinch, white vinegar will work. From there, you'll just need rice (you can use your favorite), mint, carrot, cucumber, jalapeño, and red chiles. Of course, you can add your favorite herbs and veggies not listed here, like Thai basil, bell peppers, or even sautéed kale.
Prep The Sauces
Take out a few small bowls and a whisk. First, prepare the sauce for the pork by whisking together the grated lemongrass, soy sauce, sesame oil, and sugar. Set this aside to use later.
In another bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, soy sauce, ginger, honey, vinegar, and water. Mix slowly at first, then more vigorously as the dressing breaks and then comes back together. After a minute, the peanut butter should be smooth and thinned to a dressing consistency.
Cook The Pork
Like in a stir fry, we are going to cook the aromatics first, then add the meat and sauce. In a wok or skillet, heat a thin layer of oil, then add the garlic, ginger, and the whites of the scallions. Want it extra spicy? Throw in a few Thai chiles.
With the vegetables softened, add in the pork and crumble as it browns. Once cooked through, add in your prepared sauce and bring to a simmer. Let the mixture simmer until the sauce is reduced and coats the pork, then remove from the heat.
Assemble The Bowl And Serve
Just like that, the pork bowls are ready to assemble. Fill bowls with rice, then divide the pork mixture between each dish. After that, load up each bowl with veggies and give each a dollop of peanut sauce. If serving a crowd, you can offer other topping options so each guest can customize their bowl further, such as chili crisp, sesame seeds, fried onions, or pickled ginger.
If you're making these for meal prep, store the rice and pork together, then prep the vegetables in a separate container for easy reheating and assembly. Want to make a feast out of it? These Thai pork bowls go well with fresh spring rolls and crispy, fried fish cakes.
Thai Ginger Pork Bowls Recipe
Prep Time: 15mCook Time: 8mYield: 4 ServingsIngredients
1 teaspoon grated lemongrass
5 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
½ cup peanut butter
2 inches fresh ginger, divided
2 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
¼ cup warm water
2 scallions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground pork
4 cups cooked white rice
1 large carrot, peeled into strips
1 ½ ounces mint sprigs
1 jalapeño, sliced
1 red chile, sliced
1 cucumber, sliced
In a small bowl, combine the lemongrass, 4 tablespoons of soy sauce, sesame oil, and sugar until well combined. Set aside.
In another bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 inch grated ginger, honey, vinegar, and water. Whisk slowly, then faster as the mixture comes together. Mix until very smooth.
In a wok or skillet, heat a thin layer of oil over medium heat. Mince 1 inch of ginger and add it to the skillet with the white parts of the scallions and the garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
Add the pork and cook until browned, crumbling until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the prepared soy sauce mixture and stir. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced completely.
To assemble, first divide the rice between bowls, then divide the pork over the rice. Add the shaved carrots, mint, scallion greens, jalapeño, chiles, and cucumbers. Serve with prepared peanut sauce.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.