Spicy Pork and Napa Cabbage Salad
This spicy main-dish salad is made with boneless pork, napa cabbage and red bell pepper. With its contrasting flavors, colors and textures, it makes a tasty, low-carb, one-dish meal that’s perfect for a light weeknight dinner.
To make this dish we start with thin-sliced, boneless pork loin chops cut into strips and marinate them briefly with minced garlic, ginger, toasted sesame oil and sriracha before stir-frying.
While those flavors develop, we toss the cabbage mix with a light dressing made with more fresh garlic and ginger, rice vinegar and a few tablespoons of ketchup to add depth of flavor and a touch of sweetness.
Once the pork is stir-fried it’s added to the salad along with all its tasty pan juices and the dish is ready to serve.
- 1 lb thin boneless pork loin chops
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon sriracha, plus more if desired
- 1-1/2 tablespoons garlic, minced, divided
- 1-1/2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced, divided
- 1 medium head napa cabbage, sliced
- 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and cut into matchstick pieces
- 2 small carrots, julienned or cut into matchstick pieces
- 2 to 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1-1/2 tablespoons rice (or apple cider) vinegar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 3 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (white or black) for garnish
- Trim any excess fat from the pork chops and cut into thin strips across the grain.
- Transfer the pork to a mixing bowl and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the sesame oil and 1 teaspoon of sriracha.
- Reserve 1/2 teaspoon of the garlic and 1 teaspoon of the ginger for the salad dressing and add the remainder to the pork.
- Combine until the pork is coated thoroughly coated with the flavorings and set aside at room temperature for 15 minutes while you prep the vegetables for the salad.
- Place the napa cabbage in a large, shallow bowl. Add the red bell pepper, carrots, scallions and cilantro.
- Place the remaining tablespoon of sesame oil along with the reserved garlic and ginger in a small bowl. Whisk in the vegetable oil, rice vinegar, water and ketchup until well blended. Pour over the cabbage mixture, toss to combine and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Heat a wok or large frying pan over high heat. Add the pork and stir fry until no longer pink, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- Add the pork and any juices that have accumulated in the pan to the salad and toss to combine.
- Taste and adjust the sriracha and other seasoning if desired. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve.