Let’s just get something out of the way right at the top. This is not an authentic kung pao recipe.
If, however, you are looking for a crazy delicious weeknight-friendly recipe for stir-fried pork that tastes very much like really good kung pao … and if you are looking for a quick and easy dinner your kids will love as they try to get back into their school routines … and if you really like recipes you can toss in to marinate in the morning and have on the table within 20 minutes of getting home … then this is the kung pao you were looking for.
This recipe makes a tangy, mildly spicy sauce that begs for carbs to sop it up. I call for udon noodles, which boil up tender in just minutes, then can go straight from the water into the skillet of pork. But if you’d rather have rice, just skip that step. Cook rice as you see fit, mound it onto serving plates, then spoon the pork and sauce over it.
The peanuts add a delicious crunch, but you could substitute cashews or
not use any nuts. The scallions add a fresh, oniony contrast to the savory-spicy sauce. If you think the kids will object, just skip them. But my green vegetable-phobic 9-year-old son wasn’t bothered by them. He actually requested thirds of this dinner.
This recipe is easily prepped ahead of time: either the night before or morning of. Assemble the pork and marinade in one bowl, and the sauce in another. Refrigerate both, then proceed with the recipe when ready to serve. The noodles will cook in just minutes.
KUNG PAO PORK WITH PEANUTS AND SCALLIONS
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice or cider
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
11/4 pounds pork tenderloin, cut into 1-inch chunks
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice or cider vinegar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon grated fresh
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 cloves garlic, minced
Hot sauce, to taste
8-ounce package udon noodles
1/2 cup roasted shelled peanuts
6 scallions, chopped
Nutrition information per serving: 600 calories; 220 calories from fat (37 percent of total calories); 25 g fat (3 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 90 mg cholesterol; 54 g carbohydrates; 5 g fiber; 5 g sugar; 45 g protein; 690 mg sodium.