Okay guys, let’s be real here – it’s seriously impossible to shoot everything in natural lighting, right? Ever since I got my DSLR, everything has actually been shot in natural lighting but with a full-time 9-5 job, that just means that I have to stay cooped up in the house during the weekends and cook and blog all day. And as you could imagine, that gets pretty damn exhausting. Not only that, when go out with friends or go up to SF to see Jason during the weekends, I get into somewhat of a panic because losing out on a weekend means I just gave up doing at least 6 posts.

So as I’ve been feeling like a prisoner chasing the daylight, I finally got lowel ego lights. Well, I actually made the lowel ego lights. Okay, that’s not true either – Jason made them. He was going to buy me two sets from Amazon but then I came across this awesome DIY Lowel Ego Lights post. I sent the link over to Jason and he immediately said he’d make it. He ended up spending $40 on the materials to make two of the lights, which actually would’ve cost over $200 if purchased on Amazon!

I’m so thrilled to finally have these lights. Shooting only in natural lighting was quite limiting! And here’s a secret for you guys: this post here was all done at 9PM with the DIY lowel ego lights.

So what are you waiting for? If you’re a food blogger and you don’t have these lights yet, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND the DIY version. It’s so much cheaper and it really does a good job mimicking daylight.

Now that I finished writing an essay about the lowel ego, let’s talk about this quick and easy dish.

We all need those 20 minutes meals, right? Well, that’s exactly how long this dish took, including the prep time. It’s a simple saute of chopped up pork tenderloin and asparagus (green beans would also go so well with this), and a super quick/easy hoisin sauce slathered right on. Serve this on a bed of brown rice and you’ll have the quickest, most tastiest dinner on a weeknight. Best of all, these would be the perfect leftovers to bring to work the next day!

So here’s how you make this:

We’ll first saute some chopped up pork tenderloin with some fresh asparagus. Don’t forget to season with salt and pepper.

Transfer the pork and asparagus to a plate and add some garlic back to the skillet.

Once the garlic is nice and fragrant, stir in the hoisin and mirin, making sure it’s well combined.

Once the sauce reduces a bit, go ahead and add the pork and asparagus back to the skillet, making sure that it gets coated with that hoisin sauce goodness. At this point, you can add the sambal oelek if you want a little bit of heat in your dish.

Serve on a bed of brown rice (or white rice or even quinoa) and devour, please. You could even drizzle on some of that Sriracha too. I know you’ll definitely need it, Cassie!

Pork and Asparagus with Hoisin Sauce (adapted from Taste and Tell):

Yields 3-4 servings


  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 pound pork tenderloin, excess fat trimmed
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1 tablespoon sambal oelek, optional
  • Brown rice, for serving
  • Green onions, thinly sliced, for garnish
  • Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish


Heat sesame oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add pork and asparagus and cook until the pork has browned and the asparagus is tender-crisp, about 4-5 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer to a plate.

Add garlic to skillet and saute until fragrant, about 1 minutes. Stir in hoisin and mirin and cook until sauce has reduced slightly, about 3 minutes. Add pork-asparagus mixture and gently toss to combine. Stir in sambal oelek, if desired.

Serve immediately with brown rice, garnished with green onions and sesame seeds, if desired.

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