Emeril’s One Pot Cooking Party: Stir-Fried Pork Salad

So…here I go again changing Emeril’s recipes. I do not think I am a better or more knowledgeable chef than Emeril Lagasse. In fact, that idea is laughable. I just know what my husband and I like. This is the fifth installment of the Emeril series–here are parts 1, 2, 3 and 4.

This recipe started off as Wok-Seared Duck Salad. It’s from Emeril’s new cookbook Sizzling Skillets and Other One Pot WondersFirst problem: I don’t have a wok–but I do have plenty of large frying pans. Second problem: Hubs doesn’t like duck. Third problem: It has a Thai bird chile in it and fish sauce and both of those ingredients scare me. Go ahead and judge me. I’m all about transparency–just telling you like it is.

But did I toss the recipe out and say forget it? No way! Especially since this was one of the select few recipes I am allowed to share with you. In fact, it is even better for you because you get two recipes for the price of one! (Free.) I would just give you his recipe and tell you what I did to “tweak” it, but I’m not going to lie…my version is almost unrecognizable. Sorry Emeril. Let’s just say you inspired me. You did! (I’m assuming he is reading this…ha!)

I also added veggies. Are you surprised? I added orange bell peppers and snow peas.

It already had bean sprouts, red leaf lettuce and tons of fresh herbs. I gave the herbs a quick mince, but I believe Emeril leaves them whole in his recipe. Do whatever you prefer–I like the smaller pieces running throughout the salad. They actually kind of adhered to the pork slices–delicious!

Wok-Seared Duck Salad (Emeril’s Recipe)

2 tablespoons uncooked jasmine rice
1 tablespoon minced fresh red Thai bird chile
2 magret duck breasts (about 12 ounces each) or 1 ½ pounds other domestic duck breasts
1/3 cup minced shallot
1 ½ tablespoons peeled and minced fresh ginger
¼ cup fish sauce (see page 213)
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 ½ teaspoons palm sugar or light brown sugar
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
½ cup fresh mint leaves
½ cup fresh basil leaves
1 medium head of red leaf lettuce, washed and torn into bite-sized pieces
2 cups bean sprouts
1 cup julienned red bell pepper

1. Heat a wok over medium-high heat and add the rice. Toast the rice, shaking the wok constantly, until all the grains have turned golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the rice to a mortar and set aside to cool. Once the rice has cooled, grind it using a pestle until it reaches a sandy consistency. Alternatively, grind the toasted rice in a clean spice grinder. Place the rice in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
2. Place the chile in the wok over medium-high heat and cook, shaking the wok, until lightly colored and fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds. Remove the chile from the pan and add to the bowl with the rice.
3. Using a paring knife, score the fatty side of the duck breasts by making shallow cuts in a diamond pattern; this allows the fat to render more easily. Place the duck breasts in the wok, fatty side down, and cook over medium heat until the skin is golden brown and slightly crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the duck breasts to a cutting board, slice them into thin strips, and return the strips to the wok. Add the shallot and ginger and stir-fry over medium-high heat until the duck is just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer the duck from the wok to the bowl with the rice and chile and set aside.
4. In a small bowl, combine the fish sauce, lime juice, orange juice, and palm sugar and mix well. Pour the mixture over the duck and toss until well coated. Add the cilantro, mint, basil, lettuce, bean sprouts, and julienned red pepper and toss to combine.
5. Serve the salad immediately.

Stir-Fried Pork Salad (My Version)

1 ½ pounds boneless pork chops, thinly sliced into small pieces
1/3 cup minced shallot
1 ½ tablespoons peeled and minced fresh ginger
¼ cup hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 ½ teaspoons light brown sugar
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, minced
½ cup fresh mint leaves, minced
½ cup fresh basil leaves, minced
1 medium head of red leaf lettuce, washed and torn into bite-sized pieces
2 cups bean sprouts
1 cup julienned red bell pepper
1 cup julienned orange bell pepper
1 cup snow peas

1. Using a sharp knife slice the pork chops into thin strips, and place in a frying pan with 1 Tbsp olive oil, heated over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and ginger and stir-fry over medium-high heat until the pork is just cooked through.
4. In a small bowl, combine the fish sauce, lime juice, orange juice, and palm sugar and mix well. Pour the mixture over the pork and toss until well coated. Add the cilantro, mint, basil, lettuce, bean sprouts, and julienned red pepper and toss to combine–I stir-fried this whole mix for about 2 minutes to get the veggies softened up a little bit. That is completely optional.
5. Pour this mixture over the lettuce and serve immediately.

Verdict:  At first I was skeptical, but I ended up really enjoying this salad. My version was kind of half stir-fry, half salad. I loved all the fresh flavors of the herbs and the vegetables. The mild flavor of the pork soaked up the dressing and was really delicious. I loved how I felt satisfied after this meal but I didn’t have that heavy, over-full feeling you get after eating…say a pizza dinner.
Husband’s take:  I told a white lie and told him this was a stir-fry (he says eating salad for dinner isn’t manly). I guess it isn’t really a lie–it was a stir-fry, it was just served over lettuce instead of rice. Long story short, he loved this. He went back for seconds, and I think even maybe thirds.
Changes I would make:  I might go a little lighter on the dressing–there was a lot sitting at the bottom of the bowl.
Difficulty: Easy!

Also, we have a winner for the Zak! giveaway–check and see if it is you!

Full disclosure: For my commitment to this blogger cooking party, I received a copy of this cookbook, as well as a set of Emeril – by zak! Table Art 7-piece Flame-Shaped Serving Bowls, and Emeril Seasoning; a $50 grocery reimbursement and Emeril cookbooks upon completion of the party. The top performing blogger, as selected by T-Fal, will be awarded an Emeril by T-Fal Slow Cooker. You will be eligible to win a copy of the cookbook, as well as the 7-piece zak! set (stick around to hear more about those two things). All opinions about the book and recipes, as always, are my own.

   
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25 comments

  1. Love your version (Emeril, yours looks good too!). Especially all the veggies you added, and serving it on lettuce. Rachel tells me “salad isn’t dinner” so I’d probably have to tell a white lie like you, but I bet she’d go up for seconds as well heheh 🙂

  2. I love the original salad – fish sauce and all – but your modifications look great. Adding more veggies is always a good thing. And for those who don’t think salad can be dinner, I highly recommend “Salad as a Meal” by Patricia Wells. It will change your mind about salad!

  3. I like your variation on the salad Rachel. I made the duck salad yesterday and although it was great, my kitchen was a WRECK afterward from all of the duck fat splatters everywhere. I would’ve much preferred pork. 🙂 Great post!!

  4. Great job on this dish! Wish I could just reach in and eat it!

  5. I actually like the sound of your version more! Extra veggies are always welcome.

  6. I LOVE your version and although my husband and I both enjoy duck at restaurants I think I would be hesitant to cook it at home. THAT scares me…full disclosure. I would be alot more apt to make the lovely stir-fry esque salad the way you have done it! Happy Thursday…I almost said Friday…guess I am just dreaming.

  7. I actually don’t even know where I can buy duck – I love your version! But, I do have to say that you shouldn’t be afraid of fish sauce. It’s amazing how it will change dishes!!

    • I know–I’m a huge chicken. Does it taste really…fishy? I’m not a big seafood fan so I think that is why it scares me. I’m sure I’ve had it (unknowingly) in other dishes and probably loved it 🙂

  8. Love this pork version. I never really cook with duck so I love your adaptation.

  9. Your pork version looks great! I wouldn’t have used duck either. I don’t know what kind of chili that is, so wouldn’t have used that either. Fish sauce though – I can use in moderation ok, kind of just sour and salty. But 1/4 cup is a lot, that would have SCARED me!

  10. Good job! Love your take, and all the fresh herbs and veggies! I love thai sauce and fish sauce, but I too am more of a pork person! I plan to give Emeril’s a go, as I fortunately have a great health and gourmet grocery on 30A that sells duck.

  11. Haha, my husband refuses to think of salad as dinner, too! With a little clever trickery, though, like in this beautiful stir fry salad, I think we can get them to eat anything 😉 Thanks for sharing this delicious and creative take on a stir fry… It looks so yummy!

  12. YUM – This is my type of salad – looks so good 🙂

  13. I love that you add veggies to everything. Great job Rachel!

  14. Looks fantastic, Rachel!!! Great job tweaking it to fit your family, that’s what it’s all about. I love that you captured the steam in the last picture, so great!

  15. I love stir fry and almost always put mine over lettuce as well. I’ve never made mine with pork but this sounds quite tasty. Thanks for sharing.

  16. I’m so glad I found your blog! I love the feel of it.. the layout, pictures, simplicity, idea behind the blog.. love it all! You have a new regular reader 🙂
    Sarah

  17. Pork salad sounds really good to me! Good substitution!

  18. Oh you KNOW pork is my love! Love your take on this salad!

  19. This looks fabulous and fresh!

  20. Pingback: Emeril’s One Pot Cooking Party: Slow Cooker Mushroom and Fall Squash Barley Risotto + GIVEAWAY | Not Rachael Ray

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