What’s cooking today: Caramel pork stir fry

What’s cooking today: Caramel pork stir fry
Tony Jackman’s caramel pork stir fry with broccolini, served on dinner ware by Mervyn Gers Ceramics. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

Sweet and spicy is a winning combination in a wok dish in many Asian cuisines. Broccolini are looking good and perky in the shops right now and they are a great ingredient for a stir fry, so they went in too, along with a pair of jalapeño chillies from my garden.

This wok recipe is inspired by Vietnamese caramel pork, which uses brown sugar, but I used palm sugar and made a caramel of that with fish sauce and water. Also into the wok went broccolini, bell peppers and good quality egg noodles.


4 Tbsp crushed palm sugar

4 Tbsp water

3 Tbsp fish sauce

500 g pork tenderloin

4 spring onions, in thin strips

1 small red pepper, sliced julienne

1 small green pepper, sliced julienne

2 chillies, sliced

Wok oil as needed

1 x 4 cm piece of peeled ginger, sliced thinly

3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced thinly

2 T soy sauce

2 T lime juice

1 nest of egg noodles

200 g broccolini


Start an hour or more before you intend to cook it.

Cut the pork tenderloin into fairly thick slices. Palm sugar comes in hard, round lumps that have to be crushed with a heavy knife. In a small pot, combine the crushed palm sugar with the water and fish sauce and cook on a moderate heat, stirring to get rid of the sugar lumps, until it has reduced to a sticky caramel. Let it cool, then add the meat and mix it around so it’s well coated. Marinate it for at least an hour.

Boil a kettle and pour water over the noodles in a bowl. Let it stand.

Add oil to a cold wok and put it on a fairly high heat. Fry the garlic and ginger first and stir fry it, to season the pan. Add a splash of soy. Remove to a side dish.

Now stir fry the peppers and chilli together, adding more wok oil as needed, remove that and cook the broccolini, then the spring onion.

Add more oil and cook the pork in batches, turning often. Get it nice and charred but still soft and tender.

Drain the noodles in a colander.

Add everything else including the drained egg noodles back to the wok with a splash of soy and lime juice and toss through to reheat. DM/TGIFood

Tony Jackman is Galliova Food Champion 2021. His book, foodSTUFF, is available in the DM Shop. Buy it here

Mervyn Gers Ceramics supplies dinnerware for the styling of some TGIFood shoots. For more information, click here.

Follow Tony Jackman on Instagram @tony_jackman_cooks. Share your versions of his recipes with him on Instagram and he’ll see them and respond.

SUBSCRIBE to TGIFood here. Also visit the TGIFood platform, a repository of all of our food writing.


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