Monday, November 15, 2010

Sweet and Sour Pork

I seem to be having recipe block right now. This is the second week that I've intended to make pork chops with pomegranate and fennel salsa only to get distracted by other ideas. The first time around, it just didn't happen and the pork made its way to the freezer. This time around, I was seized by the idea of cooking some Chinese for dinner and the pork was sacrificed for the greater good (fulfilling a craving). After deciding on my walk home that I simply needed to make Chinese for dinner, I jumped on the first pork recipe I could find in Land of Plenty for which I had all of the ingredients. The sauce on this dish is amazing ... not what you might expect based on American takeout, but delicious. I'm including below the original directions for cooking the meat. I hadn't planned on deep frying the pork, but then the oil was deep enough to somewhat pull it off, but I had the temperature a little high so it had already nicely browned and I didn't want to risk the second deep frying. I'm sure it would be better doing it correctly, but it's up to you! According to the original, this serves 2 as a main dish with one vegetable (don't forget the rice to soak up any extra sauce!).

Sweet and Sour Pork (from Land of Plenty)

340g boneless pork loin
peanut oil for deep-frying
2 eggs (you may use less)
3/8 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp rice wine
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp white sugar
2 tbsp black Chinese vinegar
1 tsp light soy sauce
3 3/4 tsp cornstarch
3 scallions, green parts only, sliced
3 tbsp peanut oil
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp grated ginger
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 tsp sesame oil

1. Trim fat from meat. Cut into slices 1/2 inch thick and cut into 1/2 inch strips. Place in bowl. Add marinade ingredients, mix well, and let sit for 30 minutes.
2. In a small bowl, combine salt, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, and cornstarch for the sauce.
3. Heat oil for deep-frying to 300F.
4. Beat eggs together. In a bowl, mix the cornstarch with enough beaten egg to make a thick batter. Mix the batter with the pork strips.
5. Drop battered strips into oil, adding individually to prevent sticking and stir to separate. Fry for 3 minutes or until just cooked through. Remove, drain, and repeat until all strips are cooked.
6. Reheat the oil to 375F. Add strips in one or two batches and deep-fry until crisp and golden. Remove and drain.
7. Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a clean wok over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger and stir-fry for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
8. Add the stock, bring the liquid to a boil, and then add combined sauce ingredients from step 2.
9. Stir as liquid thickens, then add scallions and sesame oil. Stir once or twice, pour over the pork and serve.

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