Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Sweet & Sour Pork

Really good sweet & sour pork should not be laden with tons of eggy, floury batter. Sadly, that's what you'll get at a lot of Chinese fast food joints. The pork should be marinated in a soy-egg yolk-sesame oil-rice wine mixture and then tossed in a light coating of cornstarch just before frying. And, you should also double fry the pork to get the absolute bestest texture (i.e., fry the pork 3 minutes the first time around, remove & drain, then fry it a second time for another 3-5 minutes until lightly browned). 

Some recipes call for pineapple in this sweet & sour concoction (my mom is an aficionado of this tropical epiphyte.) But moi? Not so much...This piquant dish in all its saucy goodness should be simply served with steamed white rice.

2 lbs. boneless top pork loin chops, cut into 1" cubes

2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. cold water
1 egg yolk
1 tsp. sesame oil
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. rice wine

1 1/2 cups cornstarch

6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red onion, diced
2 scallions, chopped
2 medium red bell peppers, diced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded & sliced
6 cups vegetable oil

8 tbsp. ketchup
8 tbsp. sugar
4 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp. Shaohsing or rice wine
1 cup water
2 tsp. sesame oil
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. cornstarch

1/2 cup fresh cilantro

1. Cut the pork into 1" cubes and place into a bowl. Toss in the marinade ingredients and marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour (covered with plastic wrap in the frig).

2. Take the pork out of the frig and coat each piece lightly with cornstarch.

3. Heat 6 cups of oil over high heat in a large wok. Fry the pork for about 3 minutes, remove to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet and set aside. Cook the pork in batches as needed (do not over crowd in the pan).

4. Return the pork back to the hot oil in the pan and cook another 3-5 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to a paper-towel-lined plate or baking sheet & set aside.

5. Stir together sauce ingredients in a small bowl or measuring cup. Set aside.

6. Add 2 tsp. oil to a large wok or saute pan & heat over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, 1/2 red onion, 2 chopped scallions, red bell & jalapeno peppers. Cook for a couple minutes or until veggies are al dente. Stir in the sauce, bring to a boil & cook for several minutes or until sauce is thickened. Add the pork & garnish with 1/2 cup of fresh cilantro. Plate & serve with hot white rice.

Boneless top loin chops.

Marinate the pork in soy, egg yolk, water, corn starch, black pepper & rice wine.

Red bell peppers, garlic, red onion & jalapeno peppers.

Rice wine, soy sauce, rice vinegar, ketchup & sesame oil.

Lightly coat the marinated shrimp in the cornstarch.

Sauce mixture.

Frying once...

Frying twice...

Nice and golden brown.

For the sauce: saute the red onions.

Add the peppers & garlic.

Stir in the sauce.

Add the pork.

Toss in 1/2 cup of fresh cilantro.

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