I am guilty of a multitude of grocery store sins: I buy stuff I already have in the house because I forget I have it (hence the three cans of coconut milk in the cabinet). I buy stuff I already have in the house because I don’t want to run out if I decided to make it again (see: cilantro, mint, shallots, limes). I get overambitious in the produce department about our family’s ability to consume greens before they expire. I buy items I have no idea about just because they have pretty packages (your mileage may vary). So, with budget in mind, I try really hard now to make a grocery list and keep to it.

And then there was the last run. We were pretty much out of everything*** and the list got complicated. Lawdamercy, I mixed up two recipes  when I did the grocery list last weekend, and wound up picking up stuff for parts of both of them,* tho’ not all the components for either one.

BUT! I wound up with something delicious.

Chinese Napa Cabbage Stir-fry With Porkserves 3-4
(adapted from two recipes from thewoksoflife.com/)

mise_zpslixeexdx2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 small boneless pork chops thinly sliced, sprinkled with kosher salt
5 cloves garlic, smashed and cut in half
5 dried red chilies, de-seeded and roughly chopped
1 large napa cabbage, mostly the white parts, cut on an angle
2 teaspoons mirin
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon Chinese black vinegar
2 scallions, cut into 2-inch lengths, then cut lengthwise

1. Over high heat, add the oil. Once water sprinkled into the pan sizzles, sear the pork until browned. Toss in garlic and chili, turn down the heat to medium, and stir-fry for about a minute.
2. Add wine, soy sauce, sugar, and water, stir to thoroughly coat the meat, and then add cabbage, and incorporate well. Stir-fry for one or two minutes – enough to get the cabbage hot, but not to break it down soft.
3. Stir in the dark vinegar and scallions.

Serve immediately. I made it with a side of rice, but I think it would also go well with somen or rice noodles.
– Pork belly was not to be found. The recipe says that you can substitute pork or chicken, so I grabbed a couple pork chops and sliced them thin-ish.
– Shaoxing wine was also unfindable, even at Wegman’s, where all kinds of tough-to-find stuff resides on the shelves. I should have researched the stuff before I cooked, and found out that you can substitute dry sherry and sugar, but that would have just frustrated me, as there is no dry sherry in the house. My hurry-up brain chimed in with screams of ANY CHINESE COOKING WINE and I reached for mirin, which isn’t even the same color as Shaoxing wine. Luckily, it did not ruin the dish. I’m going to order some Shaoxing on the internet sometime soon.
Black vinegar is weird and amazing and worth the hunt – it’s earthy and fruity and smokey and a little sweet. I may or may not have used a touch more than 1/2 a teaspoon.
– I almost ended up using bok choi instead of napa cabbage, but as it turns out, I snagged the last napa cabbage. I would like to try this with bok choi at some point, as I could probably eat my own weight in bok choi and then be sad when there is no more. If you have your eyebrow raised about that last statement, give this badboy  a whirl. You’ll thank me later.
– I no longer own a wok that’s fit to cook in. I do have a stupid deep, nonstick frying pan with a round-ish bottom. It’s red, and I love it. It worked out fine.



*As well as a substitution for the one that called for pork belly. Because you can’t buy that kind of hipster-ish nonsense** in the grocery stores I like to go to, apparently.
**Tho’ you can buy lots of other hipster-ish nonsense there. It’s osm.
***Queue teenager moaning into the fridge, “There’s no fooooood in the house.” Which generally amounts to, “Why is there no cheeeeeese left?”