Stir-fried Pork & Petchay

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The city has been enveloped by fog for several days, and then fog turned into rain showers and today its snowy here in Beijing. No wonder I’m down with a nasty cold. I thank the Chinese gods for the blessed stir-fry vegetable recipes that have already proven to be dependable during busy days… and most especially today.


1/4 kilo lean pork, sliced into thin strips
bunches of petchay (or pe-tsai, a type of Chinese cabbage)
4 tbsps of crushed garlic
1 large onion, sliced
1 large tomato, chopped
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp corn starch
salt & pepper

Marinate the pork with about 5 tbsp of soy sauce while you are preparing all the other ingredients.

In a bowl, mix salt, pepper, cornstarch and the remaining soy sauce with half a cup of water. Mix well and set aside.

Heat a tbsp or 2 of oil in a wok over moderate heat. Add the garlic and cook until golden brown and aromatic. Set aside a tablespoonful of fried garlic. Add the tomatoes to the wok and cook until crushed. Add in petchay and onions and stir-fry for a minute or two until cooked al-dente. Remove from the wok and set aside.

Add about 2-3 tbsps of oil to wok. Throw in the pork strips and stir-fry over high heat for about 5 minutes. Scoop out more than half of the cooked pork and set aside. Add the cooked vegetables and reserved marinade mixture to the wok and mix thoroughly with the remaining pork strips. Stir-fry for a minute or until the sauce thickens. Transfer to a serving platter and top it with the pork strips and fried garlic. Serve immediately.

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I am not a professional cook. My only claim to having a culinary background is a short stint as my dad’s teen ‘sous chef’ in his carinderia ages ago. Dad ran small eateries since I was a young kid - serving standard ‘turo-turo’ food ranging from the likes of menudo, adobo, pritong isda, dinuguan, binagoongan, bopis, munggo, pinakbet and giniling to merienda fares like goto, ginataan, pancit bihon, halu-halo and saging con yelo.

My father, a farmer in his hometown before working his way to becoming an accountant, definitely influenced my cooking in a lot of ways than I thought. My siblings and I were raised in a backyard full of fruit trees and vegetable garden. We spent weekends and the summer breaks running around with ducks, chickens, goats and pigs. I had wonderful memories of gathering eggs, butchering chickens, selling vegetables and the sweet aroma of preserved fruits. But my love for art led me to a degree in Architecture. Just few months after getting my license, I went abroad and lived independently at age 23. Definitely no maid, no cook, and a totally different food culture. Along the way I met lots of friends and spent what seemed a lifetime learning new tricks and recipes.

Now living in Auckland, I am a work-from-home mum who juggles time between work, fun and family - in pursuit of work-life balance. No matter how busy I am, I love the idea of cooking for my family. My blog chronicles home cooking greatly influenced by life outside my home country from Southeast Asia to Beijing and Auckland. And most of the time, being busy also means easy (sometimes quick), affordable meals.

5 thoughts on “Stir-fried Pork & Petchay

  1. Sorry to hear you’ve got the nasty cold. Good thing you have this for comfort! Stir fried pechay with pork looks great. I wish i had this for dinner tonight…

    We’re having take outs as i’m feeling a little lazy.

  2. hello iska,

    u have a new URL na wonder i can’t access your blog from my own blog.anyway i change ko na.
    hi lang

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