Pork and Asparagus with Chile-Garlic Sauce


Andrew Zimmern’s Kitchen AdventuresSo if you regularly cook out of this column, you already have a bottle of fermented chile-garlic bean sauce (toban djan) in your fridge. If not, go get some now. It will change your cooking life. You can marinate with it, use it as a rub, in a sauce or any way you can imagine. The fermented beans in this stuff supply all the punch of authenticity and honesty you need to make some great Chinese food, starting with this recipe. I make it with veal, beef, shrimp or chicken, but it works so well with pork you should try that first. —Andrew Zimmern Slideshow: More Fast Chinese Recipes 

Pork and Asparagus with Chile-Garlic Sauce
Photo: © Kate N.G. Sommers
Total Time:
30 mins


  • 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 Note)

  • Steamed jasmine rice, for serving


  1. 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 or at unitednoodles.com.

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