So first and foremost, I have been a pretty awful newbie food blogger. Between a crazy summer schedule with lots of travel, visitors and weddings and now starting grad school while working full time- I definitely let this fall to the way side. I am now trying to find a new balance! Now that it’s September and a restart/refresh in a lot of ways I’m going to try to get caught up and share lots of the delish stuff I ate or cooked the past few months! Plus, this is my happy place and as I learn how to juggle this new schedule of mine, I need to make sure I make time for this too! 🙂 Thanks for all your patience! I’m recommitting myself to bringing you tons of good eats, quick tasty recipes and restaurant recommendations. But, if any of you can relate to trying to adjust to a new schedule or juggle a lot of different things- comment below and let me know what organizational tips seem to work for you! Or what you do for self care! I’d love to hear. <3
So to kick this off I’m bringing you a super flavorful recipe I winged last night, that was a really pleasant DELICIOUS surprise! With this pending hurricane Florence on the horizon, we’ve been trying to work through everything in the fridge just in case we do lose power ( which we always do). The fun part of that has been getting a little more creative in the kitchen based off what we have! So, courtesy of our spice cabinet and refrigerator I bring you caramelized Asian pork and vegetable rice bowls. More specifically- sticky coconut rice. For those of you who love the restaurant Bang! here in Charlottesville, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to replicating their amazing coconut rice! You’re welcome.
The sweetness of the coconut rise is nicely balanced by the salty and spicy flavors in the pork and I love having crunchy elements to dishes, like the cucumbers here, when most of the textures are softer. The cucumbers aren’t overly vinegary too (which I personally don’t love) but have a nice mild pickled flavor to them.
Disclaimer: As I winged this I didn’t truly measure everything and eye balled mostly so am going to be giving approximates!
A few things of note to make this easier.
- Start with making the pickled sesame cucumbers as they need to sit in the rice vinegar while you make the rest of the meal!
- Timing is always tricky for me, especially when you’re making several things that all cook at different rates. I would suggest getting the sweet potatoes in the oven first- as those will need to bake for 30-40 minutes. Unless you have an air fryer, which I am officially obsessed with getting after seeing how amazing my best friend’s is, in which case these will only take like 10 minutes.
- Once the sweet potatoes are baking, go ahead and chop all your veggies for the pork- aka the garlic, ginger, red onion and sweet peppers. This way once your potatoes are about 10-15 minutes out and your rice is starting to cook, you can go ahead and get your veggies sautéing.
- When serving I’d suggest hitting it with a quick splash of lime, some chopped cilantro and maybe even some peanuts! Sadly we didn’t have peanuts or cilantro so I’m just guessing they would taste good- but when have they not been a nice added touch and crunch!
Scroll down for the recipe and get excited that this beautifulness could be coming to a table near you! I don’t have my usual step by step pictures because I wasn’t expecting this to be as much of a win as it was- so just enjoy these beautiful final creation photos and dig in!
- 10 oz ground pork
- 1 tbsp Chopped Ginger
- 2 cloves chopped garlic
- 3 tsp Fish Sauce
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos
- 1 lime (juiced)
- 2 tbsp Chili Garlic Sauce
- 3 tbsp Sesame Oil
- 1/2 red onion diced
- 4 small sweet peppers
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 Cucumber
- 1/4 cup Rice Wine Vinegar
- 2 tsp sesame seeds
- 2 tsp Sesame Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
Pork & Veggies
Sesame Pickled Cucumber
- Wash the sweet potato and cut into approximately 1" cubes. Spread potatoes onto foil covered sheet pan.
- Toss potatoes in olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Pour 1-2 tbsp coconut aminos or soy sauce over potatoes and mix to combine.
- Bake in oven 375 for about 30 minutes, flipping over the sweet potatoe chunks about half way through. They are done when you can easily poke through potato cubes with a fork and potatoes are starting to caramelize.
- Combine the basmati rice, coconut milk, sugar, salt and water into medium sauce pan and bring to a boil.
- Stir to combine and dissolve sugar and cover and reduce heat to medium/low. Let cook for 20-30 minutes until liquid is absorbed and rice tender.
- Stir a few times and keep covered remove from heat. Consistency is going to be a little stickier which is okay! Makes for a great base.
- As sweet potatoes roast ane the rice is simmering, combine sesame oil, coconut aminos, lime juice, chilli garlic sauce and chopped ginger in a bowl and mix together. Set aside.
- Mix chopped garlic and ginger into ground pork in a bowl, and set aside.
- Dice the red onion and sweet peppers. Sautee over medium heat in a mix of olive oil and sesame oil.
- Once onions and pepper have cooked down, add in the ground pork and break it apart as it browns. The pork & veggies only takes about 10 minutes to cook so do this as your sweet potatoes and rice are nearing the end!
- Stir the pork as it browns and season with salt and pepper.
- Once cooked through, pour the lime juice/coconut aminos sauce over the top and let it caramelize the pork and vegetables for a few minutes, stirring to fully coat and then remove from the heat. Add a touch more chili garlic sauce if you want a tad more kick! (my answers always yes)
- Serve the pork and veggies over the coconut rice and sweet potatoes, topped with cilantro.
- Peel and cut a cucumber in half. Slice length wise across cucumber half to make small pieces.
- Combine cucumber slices, rice wine vinegar, dash of sesame oil, salt, pepper and sesame seeds in a bowl. Mix together and place in refrigerator while the rest of the meal cooks.