Pork Stir Fry with Green Onion

Don’t you love a good stir-fry? Years ago I had this big wok with wooden handles, well seasoned, in spite of a housemate’s attempt one day to scour off all of the pan’s beautiful black seasoning I had worked so hard to create. I don’t know what eventually became of that wok; these days I’m using a non-stick enamel cast iron wok. It does a great job with high heat, it’s stick-free and I don’t have to worry about it rusting.

The good thing about stir-fries is that you don’t need a lot of fancy ingredients to have a perfectly presentable dish. All you need is a pan and a cooking oil that can take high heat. Woks work well for this, as do large pans of cast iron or hard anodized aluminum.

The following stir-fried pork recipe couldn’t be easier. All you need is lean pork, some green onions, and garlic. You marinate thin strips of pork first in a mixture of soy sauce, a little sugar, and corn starch. The corn starch marinade is a useful trick to help keep the pork from drying out when it gets cooked on that high heat. The sugar is just enough to create some caramelization for added flavor.

Consider this recipe a base for experimentation, though it is satisfying enough, unadorned. You could easily add some chile to the hot oil, or ginger, red bell pepper, mushrooms, or water chestnuts to the pork. Sprinkle on some fresh cilantro or toasted sesame seeds for a garnish too if you would like. The base recipe is adapted from one in The Cultural Revolution Cookbook by Sasha Gong and Scott Seligman.

Pork Stir Fry with Green Onion Recipe

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4.

You can substitute the green onions with Chinese chives (much thicker than regular chives), if available. If you want to spice this up a bit, add some chile pepper flakes to the hot oil with the garlic, and/or add some minced fresh ginger with the pork.



  • 1 pound pork loin or boneless pork chops
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 4 Tbsp peanut oil or other high smoke point oil (canola, rice bran, or grape seed)
  • 5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 8-12 scallions/green onions, sliced diagonally into 1 to 2-inch pieces, green and white parts included
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil (optional)


1 Pork chops tend to come in thicknesses either around 1/2 inch thick or an inch thick. If you are working with a thick boneless pork chop, start by slicing it into two thin layers, horizontally.  If starting with pork loin, cut slices 1/2 inch thick.  Put the slices under some plastic wrap or wax paper and pound them thin with a rubber mallet, meat mallet or even an empty wine bottle. This will help tenderize the meat. The slices should be about 1/4 inch thick. Cut the pork against the grain into thin strips, about 1 1/2 inches long.

Put the soy sauce, sugar, and corn starch into a large bowl and whisk to combine.  Add the pork strips to the bowl with the marinade and toss to coat completely. Set aside for at least 10 minutes.

3 Heat the peanut oil in a wok or large sauté pan on high heat. When the oil is hot (shimmering but not smoking) add the garlic slices and stir-fry until they begin to turn brown at the edges, about 30 seconds. Add the pork strips and stir-fry until the pork changes color, about 90 seconds, stirring constantly.

4 Add the sliced green onions and continue to stir-fry for another minute, or until the green onions wilt. Turn off the heat and stir in the sesame oil, if using.

Serve immediately. Serve alone, or with rice.

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Pork and Kimchi Stir-Fry, from Appetite for China
Pork Stir Fry with Asparagus and Sugar Peas, from The Kitchn
Stir-Fried Beef with Ginger and Green Onions, from Noob Cook


  1. riaan

    Thanks for the corn starch tip! I am a beginner and find tips like that very useful :)

  2. Chocolate Cake Blog

    This looks so delish! It’s time to make stir-fry. Thanks Elise

  3. DSX

    We love stir fries with rice, but like to have a little juice or sauce of some kind with it to flavor the steamed rice. Any suggestions with this recipe for spreading the flavor out some?

    • Bob

      Yushan Chai Tai Sauce
      3 teaspoons white vinegar
      1 teaspoon sherry
      2 teaspoons soy sauce
      1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
      1 teaspoon Sriracha ( Asian chili sauce with garlic)
      1 teaspoon garlic, minced fine
      1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced fine
      1 1/2 teaspoons sugar (brown )
      1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
      1 teaspoon chicken stock

      I got this from a newspaper reprint of a Szechuan restaurant
      combine ingredients and cook for a minute or so to thicken, then use as much as you prefer on the dish

      • Becky

        Thanks, Bob! This sauce was delicious, a great addition to the stir-fry pork. I did have to use rice vinegar instead of white, and vegetable stock instead of chicken because thats what i had on hand….of course i had to make a second batch. Flavorful!

    • Chicken stock

      Bob also mentions this in his recommendation, chicken stock is perfect for adding volume to the basic stir fry sauce recipe. Try Trader Joe’s. Also, I toss in a pinch of red pepper flakes and minced fresh ginger.

      I use more stock than Bob recommends, but the basic idea is to fiddle around with the portions until you find what you like.

    • DSX

      Thank you!

  4. Emily

    Tried this tonight and loved it! It was great with Sriracha!

  5. Jessica

    Made it last night and it was delicious! Pork was tender and very tasty. Thanks for another winner!! :)

  6. shelley

    We just received 1/4 organic pork and with it came pork steak, which I have not ever cooked. The farm suggested to try it in a stir fry. Wondering if you would suggest it with this marinade or not? Pork Loin or chop are a much more tender cut, so I’m hesitating.

    • Elise

      Sure! Just cut the pork strips very narrow, like matchsticks, and you’ll be fine. The cut will tenderize them.

  7. Liz @ Virtually Homemade

    Great tip with the cornstarch!

  8. Julie

    I pinned this when you first posted it, and tried it for the first time this evening. I added broccoli to it, and will assuredly be trying this again. I do wish I had added some fresh ginger, but it is really good as is. I let the pork marinate with the garlic while the rice cooked.

  9. bunto

    This is one of the best stir frys ever.I let the pork(tenderloin)
    marinade about 2 hrs.So tender.Served with plain rice and
    broccolli slaw.

  10. Elisa

    Hi Elise! I have to say, your website is my go-to for recipes! Your recipes are simple and always delish – I haven’t gone wrong with a single dish yet! And this is no exception! Instead of just pork and green onions, I added whatever veggies I had on hand to make a larger meal (leftovers were so yummy too!). I set aside the cooked pork and added veggies (sliced onions, green beans, sliced mushrooms, sliced red bell peppers) to the pan with all the pork juices and sautéed them until they were cooked. Then I added back the pork to the pan warm everything through and ate the final stir-fry with steamed rice! It was such a great dish! As a side note for those who don’t eat pork, I also tried the dish with chicken thighs I cut into chunks and it was just as amazing! Thanks for another wonderful dish! ~Elisa

  11. Amy

    This receipe is a keeper! It is so easy, quick and simple. I did add some water/cornstarch mix to the end to get all the fond off the wok and extend the sauce. yummy!!!

    • Amy

      Made this again, probably the fourth or fifth time…it is important to pound the meat and not just slice it. Simply delicious!

  12. JohnW

    Super recipe- definitely one of my standards currently. If I am making a spicy second dish, then I add a Tablespoon of Hoisin sauce along with the sesame oil at the end. It makes the dish sweeter and a nice compliment to a spicy dish.

  13. Karen

    Oh My God – this was fantastic!!! I did pick out the green onions after stir frying. They seemed not quite right after cooking, much as I love onions. The subtle flavor was there, we just didn’t care for the texture. Doubled the marinade as I had a 2 pound tenderloin. Absolutely delicious. We will use the leftovers for fried rice, tacos, and nachos. Great recipe!!!

  14. Gretchen

    Made this for probably the 6th time tonight. Doubled the marinade and added broccoli. I don’t normally like stir fry all that much, and this is one of my favorite meals ever. My husband and I both agree! Thanks so much for your great recipes.

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