Ground Pork Stir Fry
This Ground Pork Stir Fry is an easy and flavorful recipe that comes together in only 15 minutes! It’s absolutely delicious and perfect for weeknights, served with steamed white or brown rice. Leftovers also keep beautifully.
This is one of those flavorful recipes that I make again and again and again.
Generally I don’t cook a ton of repeat dishes, just because there’s only so much food I can make and I need to test out new recipes on a regular basis. But this dish is the perfect combination of quick, delicious, and easy, which pretty much guarantees it to be a staple!
Tips for Best Results
Use fresh ginger, garlic, and scallions – Because much of this dish relies on pantry-stable sauces, it’s essential to use fresh aromatics to brighten up the dish. I don’t recommend ground ginger or jarred ginger. Grate it from a fresh knob!
Use firm tofu – There are many different textures of tofu available for purchase, and I recommend “firm” for this recipe. That way, the tofu will stay intact even with stirring. However, if you prefer the tofu to break up more into the sauce, you may use soft or medium tofu.
Use fatty ground pork – Ground pork is the superior meat to use here, and is absolutely delicious with these flavors. Don’t use a lean ground pork here, as the fat adds essential flavor.
This recipe is a loose riff on mapo tofu, which is a popular Chinese recipe with minced meat and tofu.
I’ve always loved it in restaurants, though it’s not as easy to make at home, as it involves some more obscure ingredients like Sichuan peppercorn and Xiaoxing wine.
This recipe still has tons of flavor, is one of the most easy stir fry recipes out there, and uses relatively accessible ingredients.
Do you have to use tofu?
Even if you think you don’t like tofu, I recommend giving it a try here, because I firmly believe the dish is better with it than without it. It varies up the texture, making it much more interesting.
A lot of people don’t like tofu, but I find that it’s often because people are trying it plain in a salad, which doesn’t taste great. Tofu is a blank canvas ready to take on other flavors, and here it’s more for texture than flavor.
Step by Step Overview:
A note to start: Like any stir fry, everything cooks really quickly, so it’s important to embrace mise en place and have your ingredients relatively ready to go before turning on the heat.
To begin cooking, start by browning ground pork in a large skillet over medium-high heat with some lard, ghee, or other high heat cooking fat. Avoid olive oil, which will have a weird flavor here.
Then add freshly grated ginger and minced garlic cloves:
Make sure to use the fresh stuff for both here! Using fresh ginger root and fresh garlic is essential for adding a ton of flavor and aroma.
Then add tofu to the hot skillet, plus a few Asian sauces like chili sauce and bean paste. Stir it all around for a few minutes to distribute the flavors of the spicy sauce.
Finish the dish with scallions (aka green onions), sesame oil, and sesame seeds. Taste and see if you enjoy the spice level. To make it hotter, add more chili sauce or chili oil.
Then serve the pork mixture with steamed white rice, rice noodles, or Cauliflower Rice.
It is also fantastic paired with Green Beans, sauteed bok choy, or steamed broccoli, to round out the dinner table! This easy ground pork recipe is truly one of our family favorites.
Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days, and reheat in the microwave or in a skillet. This is great for meal prep because leftovers are just as good as the freshly made dish. Enjoy!
Similar Quick Dinner Recipes
If you want to keep in the Asian family of recipes, Korean Chicken Rice Bowls are just as fast as this recipe if you want to try something similar but with different flavors. You can also try Asian Pork Lettuce Wraps or Turkey Lettuce Wraps which have a similar flavor profile, and are just as fast!
You may also prep big batches of Asian Dumplings and keep them in the freezer. Them simply steam however you’d like to serve for dinner.
Tips and FAQ
Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Yes, in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months. To thaw, I recommend leaving in the fridge overnight.
This recipe reheats very well in the microwave, and I prefer that for ease. However, you can also stir fry it in a skillet for about 5 minutes on medium, until warmed through.
Of all the ground pork recipes out there, this recipe is really well suited for its flavor, and is best here. But you can also try ground turkey or ground chicken as a good alternative. I don’t recommend ground meat in the red meat family, like beef or lamb, as the flavor doesn’t quite work.
Ground Pork Stir Fry with Tofu
- 2 tbsp neutral cooking oil (lard, ghee, etc)
- 1 lb ground pork
- 3 cloves garlic minced (about 1 tbsp minced garlic)
- 2 tsp grated ginger
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 lb package firm tofu drained and cut into cubes
- 1 tbsp Asian chili sauce
- 1 tbsp bean paste (can also use hoisin sauce)
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 3 scallions sliced
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- steamed rice for serving
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, then add the pork. Brown the meat for 5 minutes, until almost fully cooked and mostly no longer pink.
- Add the garlic and ginger to the pan and stir it around for 60 seconds, until it starts to smell very aromatic.
- Deglaze the pan with the soy sauce, and scrape any brown bits off the bottom of the pan.
- Add the tofu, chili sauce, and bean paste to the pan, and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Turn the heat off, then add the sesame oil, scallions, and sesame seeds. Serve hot with rice. Enjoy!
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.
Recipe updated August 2019. Originally published September 2013.