Pork and Chive Orzo is excerpted from "Modern Freezer Meals" by Ali Rosen.
Pork and Chive Orzo
One of my favorite food cities is Taipei, Taiwan. Everywhere you turn is another food market or cluster of restaurants where tradition and innovation seem to collide seamlessly, but one of Taipei's dishes that most knocked my socks off was also the simplest: a bowl of minced pork with Chinese chives over rice. My version is reminiscent of the original while using readily available ingredients to create a dish that is comforting and hearty without being heavy. And by using orzo instead of rice it freezes like a dream. This is the recipe I make for picnics and birthday parties when I need a dish that can work at any temperature. It is different yet a total crowd pleaser.
- 1 pound orzo
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
- 6 cups (15 ounces) chopped scallions
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 pounds ground pork
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained
Bring a pot of salted water to boil and put a large wide-brimmed pan, like a Dutch oven, on very high heat. Add the orzo to the pot and the oil to the pan. Add the scallions and garlic to the pan and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. You should see them start to get very soft and brown. Add in the pork along with 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, ginger, chili powder, and salt. Break up the meat and allow it to brown. When the orzo has cooked for approximately 7 minutes (you want it to be cooked but still al dente), drain it in a colander. Turn the heat off the pan with the pork and add in the orzo, lemon juice, black beans, and remaining soy sauce and sesame oil. Stir to combine and serve.
If You Are Freezing for Later
For whatever portion you are freezing, allow it to cool completely to room temperature, then place in single-serving freezer containers and remove as much air as possible. When you are ready to eat the orzo, remove and microwave, 1 minute at a time, until it is hot. If you are unfreezing a large batch you can add a touch of water to bring back the consistency. You can also add a bit more soy sauce or chili powder if it needs more flavor after freezing.