Thursday, September 9, 2010

Joyful Bok Choy and Pork Medallion Rebellion

Chaos in the kitchen is never good, but listening to K-OS while cooking can provide an uplifting and vibrant cooking experience! In case you’re wondering K-OS is a Toronto based rapper who has put out some good music over the last few years. I had his 2004 CD Joyful Rebellion playing while I preparing this saucy pork medallion dish. I would have preferred to have had his hip-hop lyrical style pumping out of my iPod but the CD was secured with annoying copying restrictions so that wasn’t possible. I like the guy’s music and everything…but not enough to buy it twice.

Back to the cooking. I found the original recipe for this pork dish in a 2006 issue of Canadian Living magazine. I was down with the concept of the original recipe but I wanted to put my own flavorful spin on it by adding a few substitutions.

For instance, instead of bland water being used as the base for the sauce I went with the sweetness of pineapple juice. I also used 1 tbsp of chili garlic sauce in place of the garlic, red chili flakes, hoisin sauce and 5 spice powder. Using one ingredient instead of four is always welcome in my kitchen.

After whisking together the sauce while bobbing back and forth to the K-OS beat, all I had to do was cook the tenderloin and bok choy in the wok. Why use bok choy? Well because it’s different and different can break the spell of always using the same boring ingredients over and over again! Plus it’s slightly bitter taste combines nicely with the sweet and spicy sauce to make this dish joyful…in a rebellion sort of way!

Bok Choy and Pork Medallions

1 pork tenderloin (about 12 oz / 375 g)
¾ cup pineapple juice
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp chili garlic sauce (international aisle of grocery store)
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 tsp vegetable oil, divided
6 bok choy leafs, halved lengthwise (baby bok choy, swiss chard or spinach would also work)
3 green onions, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Slice pork tenderloin into ¼-inch thick medallions and place in a medium bowl.

In a large measuring cup, whisk together pineapple juice, cornstarch, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce and ginger. Add ¼ cup of sauce mixture to pork and mix well. Let sit for 5 minutes. Reserve remaining sauce.

Heat 1 tsp oil in a non-stick wok over high heat. Add half the pork. Cook and stir until brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat the process with remaining oil and pork.

Add bok choy and 3 tbsp of water to wok. Cover wok with lid (or a baking sheet if you don’t have a lid) and cook until greens are wilted, about 3 minutes.

Return cooked pork and accumulated juices to wok. Add remaining pineapple juice mixture to the middle of wok. Cook and stir until sauce is thickened, about 1 minute. Season with a pinch or two of salt and pepper. Garnish with green onions and serve over a bed of cooked rice.

Volume: Makes 4 servings

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Brent Garell
The Kitchen Roadie

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