Dollar Meals: Pork and Collard Greens Stir-FryElizabeth Stark
Now that the holidays have officially wrapped up, home cooks everywhere are in search of great ideas for inexpensive, wholesome family recipes to get everyone back into the swing of things. And that’s why I am so thrilled to share a new “Dollar Meals” video series featuring simple and incredibly affordable recipes from Babble’s own Jack Murnighan. Blending great flavor and nearly effortless technique, these helpful videos have a host of fresh takes on family cooking!
This simple pork and collard greens stir-fry comes together in about 20 minutes, and features flavorful pork, seasonal collards, and a crisp, sweet bell pepper cooked to perfection in a simple, Asian-inspired sauce. Served over rice, this is an exceptionally satisfying family meal.
Pork & Collard Greens Stir-Fry
Recipe by Jack Murnighan
Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 10 minutes
When I first moved to New York, I knew I had to live in Chinatown. Nowhere else would I be able to get the crazy prices on a lot of the ingredients you see below (though Los Angeles’ dollar stores, Latino and Thai groceries, and Armenian supermarkets are pretty great too) — and I love the crazy traffic, the cacophony of effluvia wafting up every street, and the dried pigs’ faces hanging in butcher windows.
I also adore my neighbors, like the 100-something-year-old woman in my building who starts giggling hysterically every time I see her or the metal-toothed lady selling sticky rice on my corner, whom I insist on tipping $.25 every time I buy her wares, which causes her to point at me when I’m walking up the block and start whispering to her friend. (Note to self: look up Cantonese word for “lunatic White guy.”)
But I especially love the surprised-but-genuinely-impressed looks I get from my Chinatown neighbors when I’m walking home with a 12-pound, boneless whole pork loin slung over my shoulder like a hobo’s broomstick. Their glances say, “Yes, you know how to buy meat; you know that when that thing is on sale for $1.99 a pound, it’s the best deal going.” The bottom line is that when your shopping gets the seal of approval from a Chinese grandmother, you know you’re doing the right thing.
So here’s a simple recipe to take full advantage of the splendors of boneless pork loin. Hopefully one day soon you, too, will be fireman-carrying a giant chunk of pork on your shoulder to the endless admiration of local bystanders.
What you’ll need
- 16 oz. boneless pork loin ($2.00)
- 1.5 cups rice ($.60)
- 1 bunch collard greens ($.99)
- 1 tablespoon canola or peanut oil ($.05)
- 2 cloves garlic ($.05)
- small piece of ginger ($.20)
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 teaspoon chili paste
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil (total sauce cost: $.50)
- Optional: 1 oz. sesame seeds (bulk) to be toasted ($.25) and/or 4 sprigs cilantro ($.25)
Serves 4. Prices are approximations and assume all purchases are made on-sale, at ethnic or farmers markets, online, or by bulk. Actual costs will vary depending on your locale and assiduousness.
How to make it
- Cut pork loin and collard greens into thin strips.
- Toast sesame seeds in dry pan on low heat until medium-brown (optional). Set aside.
- Clean and mince cilantro (optional).
- Mince garlic and ginger.
- Pour oil into wok or high-sided frying pan, add half the garlic. Fry for 15 seconds and add the collard greens. Stir-fry on high heat until tender (approx. 3 mins). Set aside.
- Put pepper in wok, stir-fry until soft, approx. 2 min. Set aside.
- Finally, put remaining garlic in pan; stir-fry 15 seconds and add ginger and meat. Stir-fry approximately 4 minutes until meat is just cooked through. Add sauce, stir for one minute, then add greens and peppers and turn off heat.
- Serve sprinkled with sesame seeds and/or minced cilantro.
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