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The Perks of Pork

Healthy, tasty, cheap — from chops to roasts, this little piggy is surprisingly lean

Thai-Style Pork With Bell Peppers, Cucumbers and Tomatoes

Adapted from Real Thai: The Best of Thailand's Regional Cooking by Nancie McDermott (Chronicle Books).

This could be served Asian-style as part of a rice-centered meal, as a one-dish supper over rice or couscous, or with noodles, tortillas or pita bread.

Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped garlic
  • 1/4 pound pork, thinly sliced across the grain
  • 1 cup small cauliflower florets
  • 1/2 cup diced colored bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup water or chicken stock
  • 1 small onion, sliced lengthwise into thick wedges
  • 3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • About 3/4 cup cucumber slices*
  • 6 to 8 cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise

1. Place a large, deep skillet or a wok over medium-high heat. Add the oil and swirl to cover the pan. When a bit of garlic sizzles, add the rest of the garlic and toss until it is fragrant and just beginning to turn golden (15 seconds). Add the pork and spread it out into a single layer. Let it cook until the edges change color, and then toss it well.

2. Add the cauliflower florets and bell peppers and toss until they are shiny and beginning to soften. Add the water and let it cook away, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the onion, fish sauce, sugar and salt and toss to combine. Add the cucumber and toss again until the meat is cooked and the vegetables are tender but still crisp. Add the tomatoes, toss once, and transfer to a serving plate. Serve hot or warm.

*Peel cucumber, scooping out seeds if they are large. Slice crosswise on the diagonal into big-bite-size pieces.

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