This is a quick dish for a weeknight supper, light on meat and yet satisfying. Serve as one of several dishes with rice or as a light lunch; it's also a good complement to minestrone.

Serves 4


  • 1 pound broccoli rabe
  • 1/4 pound pork shoulder or boneless pork tenderloin, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. peanut oil
  • 1 Tbsp. thinly sliced garlic
  • 1 tsp. minced lemongrass
  • 3 or 4 dried red chiles
  • A generous Tbsp. of fermented soybean paste (available at Asian groceries) or 1 1/2 tsp. brown miso paste
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste


Chop the tough ends off the broccoli rabe and discard. Cut the greens into 2-inch lengths. Wash thoroughly in cold water, drain, and set aside.

Cut the pork slices crosswise into approximately 1-inch lengths; set aside.

Place a wok or a wide, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the oil, and when it is hot, toss in the sliced garlic. Cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds, then add the lemongrass and chiles and stir. Raise the heat to high, toss in the pork, and stir and turn to break up any clumps and ensure that all surfaces get exposed to the hot oil. Once the meat has changed color, a minute or two, add the chopped greens, and stir and turn to mix well.

Mix the soybean or miso paste into 1 cup water and add together with the salt. Bring to a vigorous boil, cover, lower the heat slightly to maintain the boil, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the broccoli rabe is just tender. Add another 1/2 cup or more water if you want more liquid. Taste for salt and adjust if necessary. Serve hot or at room temperature, with rice or noodles.

Excerpted from Burma: Rivers of Flavor by Naomi Duguid (Artisan Books). Copyright 2012. Photograph by Richard Jung.

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