Pork with Water ChestnutJump to Recipe
Juicy slices of pork stir-fried with crunchy water chestnuts in a savoury soy-based sauce. This Pork with Water Chestnut recipe features a popular ingredient in Chinese cuisine and is super easy to make!
What are Water Chestnuts?
More commonly seen in Chinese and eastern cuisines, water chestnuts are a delicious grass-like sedge. Surprisingly, the water chestnut is not a nut at all. It’s actually an aquatic vegetable that grows in the marshes of Asia. Just like carrots and potatoes, it’s not what we see above ground that matters. Water chestnuts are grown for their edible bulb rather than its tall tubular leaves we can see above the water.
It gets its name from its appearance. The edible bulb is shaped like a chestnut and it has a papery dark brown skin covering its white flesh. They are also slightly sweet and have a very mild nutty flavour when cooked.
Why Are They So Popular?
This Pork with Water Chestnut recipe may be the first time you’ve heard of water chestnut. Yet they’re extremely common in Asian cooking.
So why are water chestnuts such a popular ingredient in Chinese cuisine? Well for starters, they are one of the few vegetables that stay crispy even after being cooked. Their texture, even after being cooked is similar to an Asian pear.
They’re also a very versatile ingredient. Water chestnuts are most often eaten raw but they can also be ground up into flour and then used to make water chestnut cake. In China, they are sweetened and then enjoyed as a dessert.
Water chestnuts are also a great ingredient for vegetable stir-fries, such as this Pork with Water Chestnut stir-fry recipe. You will also find them in steamed or sauteed vegetable dishes or in minced-meat fillings to add a crunchy texture.
Add in the water chestnuts, bok choy and red pepper. Cook for 2 minutes stirring occasionally.
Pork with Water Chestnut
- 1 ½ lb pork loin
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 cup water chestnuts
- 2-3 heads bok choy
- ½ medium red pepper
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Begin by preparing all your ingredients. Cut your pork loin into slices and put them into a bowl. Add 2 teaspoons of cornstarch and mix to evenly coat. This will help keep the pork stay tender while cooking. Let it sit for about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Now get your water chestnuts ready. If you are using canned water chestnuts, drain and rinse with cold water before patting them dry. If you are using fresh water chestnuts, slice off the top and bottom to make removing the peel easier. Rinse with cool running water and pat dry. Then, slice your water chestnuts.
- Wash your remaining vegetables and dry them. Remove the hard bottom stem of the bok choy and then chop it into bite-sized pieces. Slice the red pepper into long strips.
- Peel and mince the garlic cloves.
- After all your ingredients are ready, heat the vegetable oil in a wok or pan over medium-high heat.
- Add the pork strips in and stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes or until it begins to brown.
- Then add in the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add in the water chestnuts, bok choy and red pepper. Cook for 2 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Season everything with rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce and salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook everything for another 2 minutes. Mix everything together and make sure the sauce evenly coats everything.
- Pork with Water Chestnuts is best served with a side of steamed white rice. Serve while hot. Enjoy!