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Bean Sprouts With Pork And Steamed Rice

ingredients

14 oz (400 g) bean sprouts
4 thin spring onions
1 piece fresh ginger, approx. 3/8 in (1 cm) thick
5 oz (150 g) thinly sliced pork fillet
4 tbsp sunflower oil
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 dried chilli pepper
salt

for the sauce:

3 tbsp mirin, dry sherry or sweet white vermouth
2 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp meat stock
1 tbsp tomato puree
1/2 tsp caster sugar
1/4 stock cube mixed with 4 fl oz (120 ml) boiling water
freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp cornflour or potato flour

for the egg roll garnish:

2 eggs
1 tbsp sunflower oil pinch caster sugar
salt

serve with:

steamed rice (see method)

method

1. Cook the rice. Measure out the long-grain rice with a measuring cup or an ordinary cup; you will need exactly the same volume (i.e. number of cups) of cold water, plus one-quarter as much again.

2. Place the rice in a sieve and rinse under running cold water until the water draining out of the rice runs clear. Leave the rice to soak in a bowl of cold water for 20 minutes, then drain it, transfer to a heavy-bottomed saucepan with a tight-fitting lid and add your measured quantity of cold water.

3. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to very low, cover tightly and simmer gently for 18 minutes without lifting the lid. Check to see if the rice is done; all the water should have been absorbed and there should be little depressions in the surface of the rice.

4. Cover and cook for a further 2 minutes if necessary. Remove from the heat and leave to stand, with the lid on, for 10 minutes before serving. The rice will keep hot for about 30 minutes. No salt is added. Good-quality rice is needed for this absorption method to work well.

5. Rinse and trim the spring onions, remove the outer layer and slice the leaves and white part lengthwise in quarters and then into 1 1/2 in (4 cm) lengths. Peel and finely chop the ginger. Cut the pork into very thin short strips. Mix all the sauce ingredients in a bowl; mix the cornflour with 1 tbsp cold water then add to the sauce ingredients.

6. Mirin is a sweet Japanese rice wine used for cooking; you can substitute sweet white vermouth, or dry sherry mixed with a generous pinch of caster sugar. Make the egg roll garnish: beat the eggs lightly with a pinch each of salt and sugar and cook in a large, lightly oiled nonstick frying pan; the omelette must be very thin. Do not allow to brown at all. Spread out flat on a chopping board; roll up when cool and cut this roll into thin strips.

7. Heat 2 tbsp oil in the frying pan and when very hot, stir-fry the pork strips for 1 1/2 minutes. Stir the sauce well again before pouring all over the meat, reduce the heat and keep stirring for 30 seconds as the sauce thickens and coats all the meat. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

8. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large wok or very large frying pan, add the peeled, crushed garlic clove, the spring onions, ginger and crumbled chilli pepper. Stir-fry over a high heat for 30 seconds; add the bean sprouts and 1 tsp salt and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the meat and sauce, reduce the heat a little and continue stir-frying for 1 minute more. The bean sprouts should still be quite crisp. Serve immediately with the rice, garnished with the egg roll.

9. Serves 4 as part of an Oriental meal; 2 as a meal in itself.

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