Now that North Carolina’s second summer is finally coming to an end, I can begin to enjoy all the comforting flavors of autumn without getting overheated. When it’s over 80 degrees outside I’m not too interested in eating something that doesn’t match the temperature. Eighty-seven degrees is tomato weather, not squash weather—unless it’s zucchini or yellow squash. Now that the temperature matches the season—it’s a lovely 43 degrees right now—I’m in the mood for butternut squash. Usually I kick off fall with butternut squash soup followed by butternut squash risotto. This year I decided to shake things up a bit with a stir-fry. Autumn and Asian flavors come together in a quick, super-flavorful and comforting dish perfect for a cool evening at home.
Let me know when you make this recipe. Take a picture and hashtag it #QUEENCITYKITCHEN. I can’t wait to see what you post!
Fall Harvest Stir-Fry
Makes 4 servings
1 tablespoon light brown sugar, packed
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 pound pork loin, cut into 1½-inch by ¼-inch strips
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon chili paste
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup thinly sliced baby bok choy
1 cup diced butternut squash
1 cup diced sweet potato
4 green onions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
1 Gala apple, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
Jasmine rice, for serving
Whisk the brown sugar and ¼ cup of the soy sauce in a medium bowl. Toss the pork in the mixture to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
Whisk the hoisin, honey, chili paste, ginger, garlic and the remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce in a small bowl.
Drain the pork and toss with the cornstarch to coat.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the pork in small batches and cook until browned and barely cooked through, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon to a wire-rack set over a baking sheet.
Add the squash and sweet potato to the skillet and stir-fry until crisp-tender and caramelized, about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the white part of the green onions and cook for 1 minute. Add the pork and cook 1 minute. Stir in the hoisin mixture and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the apples and toss to coat. Remove the pan from the heat.
Garnish the stir-fry with the green onion tops and toasted sesame seeds.