KitchenTigress: Pork Stir-Fry with Sesame Oil

Pork Stir-Fry with Sesame Oil

Pork stir-fried in sesame oil (麻油肉片) is a Chinese homey dish. Thinly sliced pork is marinated, then tossed with white sesame oil, garlic and ginger over high heat. The dish uses everyday ingredients, and it's done in minutes. Most importantly, it's delicious.

I've done pork stir-fry with sesame oil so many times I can practically do it with my eyes closed.

I'm guessing that since sesame oil was discovered in China – supposedly some 2,300 years ago during the Three Kingdoms period – Chinese have been cooking pork in it one way or another. I stir-fry pork with sesame oil. So did my mother, my mother's mother, my mother's mother's mother . . .

At various points in my life when I lived on instant noodles, the classic stir-fry was a long-term resident in my fridge. When I was hungry, all I had to do was boil some noodles, chuck some of the pork in the pot, add a few green leaves, and breakfast/lunch/dinner/supper was ready.
麻油肉片 is simple and reliable. A classic is a classic for good reason.

This is a great recipe when you need something quick and delicious. Have all ingredients prepped before you start cooking. Use the highest possible heat on your stove. Don't overcook the pork.

Pork Stir-Fry with Sesame Oil
  • 300 g pork shoulder butt – wash, drain, cut bite size across the grain about 2 mm thick
  • 1 tbsp light soya sauce
  • ½ tsp dark soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • ½ tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp white sesame oil
  • ½ tbsp cornflour

  • 1 tbsp white sesame oil
  • ⅓ cup julienned ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, peel and mince roughly
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 4 tbsp water
  • ¼ tsp white sesame oil

  1. Mix pork with light and dark soya sauce, oyster sauce, wine, salt and 2 tbsp water till absorbed. Drizzle with 1 tsp white sesame oil and mix through. Leave to marinate 15-30 minutes. Sprinkle with cornflour and mix through.

  2. Heat 1 tbsp white sesame oil till very hot. Add ginger and stir-fry over high heat till lightly golden. Add garlic and stir-fry, also till lightly golden. Add pork, minus marinade if any. Stir fry till pork is almost cooked. Drizzle with 1 tbsp wine and remaining marinade if any. Stir through. Drizzle with 2tbsp water. Stir to deglaze wok. Drizzle with another 2 tbsp water. Bring to a gentle simmer. Pork should now be just cooked. There should be just enough sauce for the pork to sit in and stay nicely moist. Add a bit more water or simmer gently to reduce as necessary. Do not overcook or pork would be tough.

  3. Taste and if necessary quickly adjust seasoning. Turn off heat. Drizzle with sesame oil. Plate and serve hot or at room temperature with steamed rice or plain porridge. Also good as topping for soup noodles.