This Peanut Sauce Ground Pork Stir-fry is quick and easy to make and exploding with flavor! Ground pork and baby bok choy get tossed in a mouthwatering creamy, spicy, sweet and sour peanut sauce! It’s great for busy weeknights and lip-smacking tasty over a bed of steamed rice!
480 grams (1 pound) Ground Pork (Or use ground chicken or beef)
½ TSP Kosher Salt
2 TBLS Olive Oil (or any other cooking oil)
½ Red Onion (Or yellow/white onion/shallots) – finely chopped
1.5-inch knob of Ginger – minced (about 2 TBLS minced)
2 Spring Onion – chopped, whites and greens separated
10 Garlic cloves – minced
10–16 Red Chilies (Bird’s eye preferred), to taste – chopped
10–12 pieces baby Bok Choy (about 2.5 to 3 cups) – rinsed, ends cut off and discarded, and sliced across the middle to separate the light green parts from the leafy dark green parts (Or use 2.5 to 3 cups baby kale, baby spinach, choy sum, Chinese broccoli, collard greens, etc. instead.)
4 TSP Corn Starch + ½ cup Water (mixed together to make a slurry)
1 TBLS freshly squeezed Lime Juice, or more to taste
2–3 TBLS chopped Coriander (Cilantro)
Optional toppings: Toasted white sesame seeds, chopped unsalted (or lightly salted) oil roasted peanuts, remainder chopped coriander, remainder spring onion greens, lime wedges for squeezing
Prepare the fresh ingredients: Chop the red onion, garlic, ginger, red chilies, spring onion, bok choy, and coriander as indicated in the “Ingredients” section.
Make the sauce: Combine the Thai sweet chili sauce, low sodium light soy sauce, peanut butter, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and crushed red pepper flakes in a bowl or measuring cup (the latter makes it easier to pour into the wok). Mix with a spoon to thoroughly combine, then set aside.
Make the corn starch slurry: Combine the corn starch and water in a small bowl or measuring cup. Mix with a spoon until combined and a slurry has formed, then set aside.
For the Peanut Sauce Ground Pork Stir-fry:
Cook the ground pork: Heat a large wok over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the ground pork and start breaking up the lumps with a wooden spoon/spatula. Season with kosher salt and cook for 4-5 minutes. Once cooked through, use a slotted spoon to allow the excess grease/liquid to drip off into the wok and transfer to a clean bowl. Wipe out the excess grease in the wok with a paper towel and set it back on the stovetop. (Note: If using ground chicken, you can skip this step as ground chicken is leaner and won’t have extra fat. Add the ground chicken in step 3 and cook it through then.)
Sauté aromatics: Heat olive oil in the wok over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the red onion, ginger, and spring onion whites. Sauté for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. Then add the garlic and red chilies and stir-fry for another minute to combine.
Add pork back in: Next, add the ground pork back to the wok and toss to combine with everything else. (Note: If using ground chicken, add it to the wok now and season with kosher salt. Cook for about 2 minutes or until no longer pink, breaking up the lumps as you go. Toss to combine with everything else in the wok.)
Toss with sauce, lime juice, and corn starch slurry: Pour the sauce all over the pork and add the lime juice. Stir to combine until everything is evenly coated in the sauce. Then give the corn starch slurry a quick stir with a spoon (the corn starch will have settled at the bottom) and pour it into the wok. Stir briefly until evenly combined.
Add greens: Add the bok choy and toss until the greens have slightly wilted – about 1-2 minutes. Then add half of the coriander and half of the spring onion greens. Toss for another 30 seconds to combine, then switch off the heat.
To Serve: Transfer to a serving bowl/dish and garnish with toasted white sesame seeds, chopped peanuts, and the remainder chopped coriander and spring onion greens. Serve immediately with warm steamed rice and extra lime wedges for squeezing if desired.
A note on Thai Sweet Chili Sauce: You can find Thai Sweet Chili Sauce in the Asian section of your local supermarket, at Target, Whole Foods, at your local Asian groceries store, or purchase it online. I use Hot & Spicy Sweet Chili Sauce Pantainorasingh Brand for this dish and highly recommend it! It’s spicier than most brands and perfectly sweet and tangy. The other one I recommend is Mae Ploy’s Thai Sweet Chili Sauce, which is also spicier than other brands. However, there are several brand options for this sauce. If you have a particular brand you already use and like, use it for this recipe. If you haven’t cooked with or tasted this type of sauce yet, note that they come in varying levels of spiciness and sweetness. Thai Kitchen’s Thai sweet chili sauce is milder and sweeter (and also gluten-free). You can try using this brand if you are not big on heat.
To make it gluten-free: Use a gluten-free soy sauce, coconut aminos, or Tamari in place of the low sodium light soy sauce. Also, make sure that the brand of Thai sweet chili sauce and vinegar you’re using is gluten-free.
To make it vegetarian/vegan: Swap the pork for Omnipork, Beyond Beef ®, or scrambled browned tofu or tempeh. Alternatively, use another soy or plant-based ground meat product.
Make it refined sugar free: Instead of using a peanut butter with added sugar and salt, you’re welcome to use a natural peanut butter. However, you may need to add honey, palm or coconut sugar, or another natural sweetener to naturally sweeten the dish. Also, use a sugar-free Thai sweet chili sauce or another type of Asian spicy-sweet chili sauce that is naturally sugar free.
Serve in lettuce cups: This Peanut Sauce Ground Pork Stir-fry also tastes great in lettuce cups. Feel free to spoon it into Butter, Bibb, or any type of lettuce leaves and enjoy it for a light and tasty lunch or dinner!
Serve over noodles: You can serve this over cooked Asian noodles such as rice noodles, vermicelli, soba (buckwheat) noodles, egg noodles, udon, etc.
Pork, chicken, or beef: I originally created this recipe using ground chicken, but as it hasn’t been available lately in my local supermarket, I swapped it for ground pork and found that this dish tastes even better! But I can vouch that the ground chicken version tastes amazing too, so take your pick! I haven’t tried this recipe with ground beef yet, but I’m pretty sure it’ll work well too with the mighty delicious sauce!
What greens to use: I love this dish with bok choy, but I’ve tried it with baby kale, Chinese broccoli, baby spinach, as well as choy sum! They all taste great! Use whatever greens you have on hand or prefer. I tend to load this dish up with plenty of veggies – usually 2.5 to 3 cups, but you can use less if you prefer.