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Szechuan Coconut Pork Stew

Szechuan Coconut Pork Stew

Pork is a food particularly rich in B-vitamins. While many suggest cereal grains to be high in B-vitamins, and critics claim their exclusion can promote vitamin deficiencies, they’re implicitly referring to B-vitamins. But are cereals really so rich in B-vitamins? Uncooked cereals are, but when a 100-gram portion of raw pork is compared with a 100-gram portion of cooked cereals, the numbers are far less impressive.

We’ll let the data speak for itself: 100 grams of raw pork has 0.5 mg of vitamin B6. 100 grams of uncooked quinoa has the same amount, but 100 grams of cooked quinoa has only 0.1 mg.

Are there legitimate concerns of B-vitamin or any other nutrient deficiencies on the Paleo Diet? Absolutely not. Paleo provides plenty of B. Skip the grains. Bring on the pork.

INGREDIENTS

Serves 3-4

  • 1½ pounds of boneless pork meat
  • 1 large or several small eggplants, chopped roughly
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped roughly
  • 1 onion, chopped roughly
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 fresh coconut or 1 can of coconut milk
  • 2 or 3 pieces of star anise
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 teaspoons Szechuan peppercorns
  • 1 orange, peel only
  • 1 bundle of fresh parsley, chopped

DIRECTIONS

pork-paleo-coconut-szechuan
For coconut milk, you can use the canned variety, but we’re going to show you how to make your own. Homemade tends to be less thick, so if you are using canned, you’ll adding more water to the stew. Break open the coconut, holding it close to the pavement then forcefully throwing it downwards. You could also whack it with a hammer.
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Christopher James Clark, B.B.A.
@nutrigrail
Nutritional Grail
www.ChristopherJamesClark.com

Christopher James Clark | The Paleo Diet TeamChristopher James Clark, B.B.A. is an award-winning writer, consultant, and chef with specialized knowledge in nutritional science and healing cuisine. He has a Business Administration degree from the University of Michigan and formerly worked as a revenue management analyst for a Fortune 100 company. For the past decade-plus, he has been designing menus, recipes, and food concepts for restaurants and spas, coaching private clients, teaching cooking workshops worldwide, and managing the kitchen for a renowned Greek yoga resort. Clark is the author of the critically acclaimed, award-winning book, Nutritional Grail.

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12 Comments on "Szechuan Coconut Pork Stew"

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  1. Mike Duffy says:

    Chris,

    Can this be adapted for a slow cooker?

    • Hi Mike, yes absolutely it can. For the slow cooker, it’s best to start with the mixture already hot. So I would heat everything up in a normal pot, then transfer to the slow cooker and cook on low for a good 6 hours or so. You could also add all the ingredients cold, but will just take a bit longer to heat up and start cooking. Good luck!

  2. Meagan says:

    Can I use chilli peppers instead of the one called for the recipe? I have absolutely no idea where I can even find them?

    • You could but Szechuan pepper is a special taste. They look like normal black peppercorns, but split open. Shouldn’t be too hard to find. You could always source them online. If you do a search, also check the alternate spelling: sichuan pepper.

  3. Dina Gosse says:

    Noticed that the comparison of B6 in pork vs. quinoa didn’t include the amount of B6 in *cooked* pork, just uncooked pork, which of course we do not eat. I’m assuming that the pork retains some B6 amount greater than in the cooked quinoa???

    • Hi Diana, this is a great point you raise because it illustrates that that some B6 is lost during cooking. We can see this by comparing the B6 to protein ratios of the same cuts of cooked and raw pork.

      Here we have Pork, fresh, loin, whole, separable lean and fat, raw
      http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/pork-products/2111/2

      and here we have Pork, fresh, loin, whole, separable lean and fat, cooked, roasted
      http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/pork-products/2114/2

      The roasted pork has 0.5mg B6 and 27g protein, for a B6 to protein ratio of 0.0185 mg/g
      The raw pork has 0.5mg B6 and 20g protein, for a B6 to protein ratio of 0.025 mg/g

      This suggests a 26% loss of B6 due to cooking. So if we start with a
      100 gram piece of raw pork and then cook it, we could expect to be left with 0.37mg B6, which is still more than 3 times the amount of 100 grams cooked quinoa.

  4. lisa says:

    If you drain the coconut (screwdriver out 2 of the eyes and drain) heat the coconut in the oven on 375 for 15-20 minutes, it makes the coconut release from the shell much more easily.

  5. tess says:

    this looks wonderful — i’m going to try it tonight!

    …but if I may indulge in some constructive criticism, I HATE the format of the recipe! an experienced cook benefits from seeing the entire procedure together, not those damned sequential photo-laden STEPS.

  6. Donna says:

    Chris,

    Can the left over coconut pulp be dried and then used to make coconut flour?

    Thanks,
    Donna

    • Hi Donna, the leftover coconut pulp is pretty bland. Almost all the good fat has been removed, so you’re left with just the fiber. That means if you use if for cookies or whatever, you’ll have add more fat to get the desired texture. Also, fresh coconut, once opened, can spoil pretty easily.

      Best,
      Chris

  7. Dan says:

    I love recipes like this.

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