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Chili Ginger Pork with Quinoa

Fluffy-quinoa chili-ginger-pork-pan Chili-ginger-pork-stirfry chili-ginger-pork-quinoa stirfry-pan

Your likely to assume that I am the designated cook at my place. And your right. It means that I cook ALL the time (plus more) bar the once every few months my other half decides to have a go in the kitchen.


Last Sunday he had a go, and it was awesome.


The opportunistic event came about as we had just arrived home from an evening walk. I was cranky, sad, irritable to no end and just not interested in eating, (um, hello, where are you exercise induced endorphins?) which of course is a very rare occurrence for me. I sulked around the house for a while, pretended to do some ironing and spent a good twenty-five minutes in the shower daydreaming.


The evening wasn’t meant to unfold this way – sending my inner control freak absolutely berserk. I had planned to cook dinner after being inspired by Bill Granger’s new book Everyday Asian – an impulse ‘buy the book because of the colours on it’s cover’ addition to my cook book collection. But unfortunately it just wasn’t going to happen. Sorry, Bill.


Good news is though, that after realising I was nowhere to be found in or near the kitchen, my man decided to get in and get cooking.




(All of a sudden, starving).


FYI, in the kitchen he is:

– the ultimate prep’er. Everything is ready and sliced, diced and measured before he starts cooking. (I have NEVER ever done this)

– a world class recipe follower. (Again, NEVER have I done this)

– a firm believer in salt and isn’t afraid to use it (At least we agree here)

– the slowest cook ever (I could probably cook the same dish three times over in the time it takes him to cook it once. It’s painful)

– the perfect flavour enhancer (no comment)


However, the most important part of all that you should know is that there is one rule that I MUST abide by when he steps into the kitchen. It goes a little something like “stay out and refrain from helping, suggesting or offering your advice, unless asked”. In other words, shut up and get out cause your annoying.


Clearly, I found this very difficult to handle the first few times he cooked and it usually resulted in a mid-cooking resignation whereby I would have to step in and complete the abandoned meal. Not. Cool.


Let’s just say, I have since learnt how to stay out and mind my own business and it is finally working for us. Its how this meal was created.


I kept to myself and he cooked a beautiful meal with love and care and I could taste it in every mouthful.




(recipe adapted from Bill Grangers  Bill’s Everyday Asian, Classic Stir-fried chicken with basil)


1 cup quinoa

2 cups water (or chicken/vegetable stock)

600 g pork mince

2 tbsp seasame oil (plus more seasme or olive oil if needed)

4 large cloves garlic

1 large thumb ginger

2 long red chilli

a handful of fresh basil

1 tbsp fish sauce

1 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1 tbsp gluten free soy sauce or tamari

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

150g snow peas


Place well rinsed quinoa in a saucepan with 2 cups water/stock. Allow to simmer slowly until all the liquid is absorbed. Meanwhile, grind the roughly chopped garlic, ginger and chillies with a mortar and pestle until a paste has formed (some of the chilli will remain in pieces). Set paste aside. In a heated pan add 1 tbsp of sesame oil and the pork mince. Fry for about 5-8min or until almost fully cooked, making sure all the meat is broken into small chunks. Then add the chilli garlic paste, pepper and 1 tbsp of sesame oil and stir through until well mixed and fragrant. Add the soy sauce, fish sauce and rice wine vinegar, sliced snow peas and basil leaves and stir fry for about 2-3min (if too dry, add a couple of extra tbsp oil).

Serves 3-4

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