Ginger Pork Stir-fry with Bok Choy
This 15 minute Ginger Pork Stir-fry with Bok Choy is a easy dinner recipe. Serve it over cauliflower rice to keep it grain-free, or serve with Chinese egg noodles for a family friendly meal.
This post contains affiliate links. I originally shared this recipe on February 13th, 2015. I have updated the content and recipe to share it again with you today.
Cooking With Ground Pork
I love cooking with ground pork because it is readily available from local farms here in Vermont. It cooks very quickly so it works great for a stir-fry or you can also us it in place of ground turkey because it has mild flavor and is light in color. It can be used mixed with other meats for meatballs, meatloaf and on its own like in this recipe today or my Ground Pork and Pepper Stir-fry.
I recommend avoiding ground pork from large conventional industrial farms or those without certified humane verification. I like Niman Ranch which is available nationally. To read more about why it is important to source pork from smaller, organic and sustainable sources read this excellent book from Barry Estabrook.
Farm fresh ground pork can be high in fat, and it varies depending on the farm and butcher. After browning it, if there is a lot of fat in the skillet (or wok) you can drain it in a fine mesh sieve. Then simply add the pork back to the skillet or wok and continue cooking as directed.
Look for ground pork in health food stores or in the natural and organic meat section of well stocked grocery stores. It can also be purchased on one pound cryovaced frozen portions directly from farms and at farmers markets around the country.
Thawing Instructions For Ground Pork
To thaw out frozen ground pork, place the package of ground pork in the a baking dish or on a plate in the refrigerator 48 hours before you want to cook with it.
To thaw it quickly (for immediate use) place cryovaced package in a bowl of warm water and let sit. Refresh water if it cools down. It should thaw in about 45 minutes with this method. Do not leave at room temperature or in the water bath for more than 1 hour. Use immediately and do not re-freeze.
Note that this warm water method doesn’t work well with packaging with air between the plastic and the meat (like plastic wrapped styrofoam trays.) In this case, it is better to transfer the pork to a resealable plastic bag. Press the air out of the bag and set it in the warm water.
What Is Bok Choy?
I haven’t used bok choy much here on Healthy Seasonal Recipes yet, but it is a great veggie to add to your cooking repertoire. We find it in our CSA shares regularly and it adds fresh crunchy texture to stir-frys.
It has thick white walled stalks that are crispy and full of water content. The leaves are delicate and have a slightly sweet and peppery taste similar to daikon radish.
Baby Bok Choy has less white ribs to leaf ratio, so I like to use them to add crunch and color to stir-frys without making them too watery. You can use full-size bok choy instead but note that the ribs may give off excess water, so err on cooking it a little less.
How To Cut Bok Choy
Cut the cabbage in half lengthwise through the core.
Cut the core out of the base of the halves using a triangle shaped cut.
For baby bok choy it is not necessary to cut the leaves lengthwise again, but for regular bok choy, I recommend slicing them a couple times
Cut the bok choy crosswise into bite-sized pieces.
Ingredient Notes For This Recipe
I love the flavor that coconut oil adds to this recipe. If you prefer to use another oil, I recommend organic canola oil or avocado oil for their high smoke points.
Scallions, chopped, whites and green parts divided
The sliced scallion greens and the white and light green parts are used separately in this stir-fry. To prevent the greens from wilting and becoming slimy, I hold off and add them at the end. Chop them up and put them into two separate mis en place bowls next to your stove.
I prefer to grate my ginger with a microplane grater. If you do not have one, you can mince it by hand.
Look for Certified Humane or organic ground pork. Make sure it is thawed in advance if frozen. If there is excess liquid in your packaging, make sure to drain it before adding the pork to the skillet or wok.
Chinese 5-spice powder
Chinese 5-spice powder is a blend of warm sweet spices including Star Anise, fennel, szechuan peppercorns, cinnamon and cloves. I like to add it to recipes such as 5-spice meatloaf, Chinese 5-spice beef stew and Clean Eating beef and broccoli Stir-fry for natural sweetness.
Sambal Oelek or Sriracha
To give this stir-fry a little spicy kick I added in Sambal Oelek, which is made by the same company that makes the famed sriracha sauce we all know and love. You can use either in it. I only added a teaspoon so the overall amount of heat is very slight. If you like spicy food, add more or serve additional hot sauce at the table.
I used a little regular table salt in this recipe. I used a light hand because I didn’t want it to get too salty when I serve soy sauce at the table which adds rich umami fermented flavor in addition to the sodium.
Baby Bok choy, cores cut out, chopped into bite-sized pieces
This recipe uses two baby bok choy, but you can use a half of a regular sized bok choy. Note that you may want to slightly undercook the regular bok choy in step three below so that it doesn’t become watery.
Water chestnuts, drained and chopped
To add crunch to the pork, I like to add in a can of drained chopped water chestnuts. They add great texture!
For acidity, I like the flavor of lime in this stir-fry. Substitute unseasoned rice vinegar if you prefer an easier alternative.
I use maple for sweetness, but you can use sugar instead.
Soy Sauce, tamari or coconut aminos
I like to pass the soy sauce to taste at the table. If you are following a gluten-free diet use tamari, and if you are following a legume free diet, use coconut aminos.
How To Make Ginger Pork Stir-fry with Bok Choy
Here are the details about this recipe. The full printable recipe is below. The cooking is very fast, so make sure that you have your ingredients prepped, measured and at the stove before you start cooking!
Skillet Or Wok
I have a wok, and if you have one, I recommend it for this recipe. It has the best amount of surface area to sear the ingreidents without them becoming soggy.
I realize not everyone has a wok at home. This recipe fits into a large skillet too. Note that in step three when you add your veggies, the skillet will be very full at first. As you stir the bok choy will wilt down and it will be a more manageable amount of ingredients very quickly.
Use high heat to stir-fry so that the ingredients sear well. If you use a lower heat (or do not fully preheat your skillet) the ingredients will let off juices as they cook and they will not brown as nicely.
Cook the Aromatics First
I used the scallion whites (and light green parts) and the ginger to season the oil before adding the pork. This will help spread their flavors through the stir-fry. This only takes a few seconds! Keep them moving with your spatula so they don’t burn.
Cook The Pork with the Stir-fried Aromatics
To cook the pork through and to brown it well, I add it to the aromatics and immediately start breaking it up with a spatula. It will prevent the aromatics from getting too dark. Break it up and let it brown for several minutes. Note that this step will be faster in a wok.
The spices will bloom in the hot oil when you add it before the veggies and liquid ingredients. I sprinkle the five spice, salt and hot sauce into the meat and stir it well before continuing. It will smell amazing!
Add In bok Choy And Remaining Stir-fry Ingredients
Once the spices are stirred in and fragrant, stir in the bok choy, scallion greens, water chestnuts and the lime and maple syrup. Stir-fry it until the bok choy is wilted but still has nice crisp texture. This takes 2 or 3 minutes. Do not overcook it as it will become watery.
To keep the calories in check, you can serve this with Cauliflower Rice. We also like it over Chinese Egg Noodles like I have shown in the photos here.
Serve with soy sauce (or tamari or coconut aminos) to give this great umami flavor. I also like a bit of spice so my husband and I added on Sambal Oelek at the table too.
More Stir-Fry Recipes
This Chicken and Broccoli Stir-fry has a sweet maple tahini sauce that soaks into the broccoli florets and is amazingly good!
This Chicken and Veggie Stir-fry is clean eating and paleo friendly.
This Tofu and Veggie Stir-fry with Cashews is great for tofu beginners and has great texture.
I adore this Chicken and Cabbage Stir-fry too. It also has a kick from Sriracha and honey to balance it out.
Thanks so much for reading! If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review.
This super speedy 15 minute ground pork stir-fry is mixed with fresh ginger, baby bok choy, scallions and Chinese Five Spice seasoning. Serve it over cauliflower rice for a paleo friendly meal, or toss with chinese egg noodles.
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1 bunch scallions, chopped, whites and green parts divided
- 1 tablespoon finely grated or minced ginger root
- 1 pound ground pork
- 2 teaspoons Chinese 5-spice powder
- 1 teaspoon Sambal Oelek or Sriracha, or more to taste
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 baby Bok choy, cores cut out, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 8-ounce can chopped sliced water chestnuts, drained and chopped
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup, preferably dark
- Soy Sauce, tamari or coconut aminos for serving
- Additional Sambal Oelek or Sriracha for serving
- Heat oil in a large heavy bottomed skillet or wok over high heat. Add scallion whites and ginger, and stir fry until fragrant, 30 to 90 seconds. Add pork, and cook, crumbling with a spatula until the pork is completely cooked through and crumbled, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Dust 5 spice, Sambal Oelek (or Sriracha) and salt over the pork and stir to coat.
- Add bok choy, water chestnuts, lime juice, maple and the reserved scallion greens and stir to combine. Cook, stirring until steaming hot and mixed together, 2 to 3 minutes.
Substitute one half of a medium Bok Choy for baby bok choy if unavailable.
- Serving Size: 1 1/2 cup
- Calories: 383
- Sugar: 5 g
- Sodium: 396 mg
- Fat: 26 g
- Saturated Fat: 12 g
- Carbohydrates: 15 g
- Fiber: 3 g
- Protein: 22 g