Prep / Total time : 45 minutes Makes 4 servings
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons Chinese rice wine, such as Shaoxing, or sake
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons sugar
2 dried hot chiles
3 scallions, minced
1 pound boneless pork shoulder, thinly sliced
1/2 pound asparagus, sliced on the diagonal into 1-inch lengths
2 tablespoons toban djan, a fermented chile-bean sauce (see Tip)
**Steamed jasmine rice, for serving**
In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of the rice wine. Place a large wok or large skillet over high heat. Add the oil to the wok and swirl until it starts to smoke. Add the ginger, garlic, sugar, dried chiles and scallions and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the pork and cook, stirring, until charred in spots, then add the asparagus and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add the chili-bean sauce, the remaining 2 tablespoons of rice wine and the cornstarch slurry and cook for 1 minute. Transfer the pork and asparagus to a platter and serve with jasmine rice.
Toban djan is available at Asian markets .