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October 2006 Issue
Sweet & Sour Pork
by Philip R. Gantt
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Welcome to Seasoned Cooking and to Phil's International Flair!

It's back to the orient with this favorite dish. I happened to be in the oriental market yesterday and found beautiful, aromatic fresh pineapples for only $2.50. They smelled so good, I had to buy one. But now, what to do with it? My first thought was sweet and sour pork.

I don't make sweet and sour pork like most restaurants do. My sauce is not red, but rather brown from the brown sugar I use for the sauce.

Now, on to the recipe! Be well, and good eating!

 

Sweet & Sour Pork

This has to be one of the most often ordered Chinese style dishes served in restaurants. However, homemade is always better when you have a good recipe. This dish is no exception.

To add color, you may certainly add other vegetables than the ones mentioned below. Some people like to add chunks of green peppers, and if you like peppers, but all means add some. A peeled and cubed tomato would also be a good addition.

  • 1 lb. thick sliced lean pork chops, cubed
  • 2 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. corn starch
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 sweet onion, cut into bite sized chunks
  • 5 ounces baby carrots
  • 3 stalks celery, cut into bite sized chunks
  • 1 cup sliced pineapple cut into bite sized chunks
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 green onion, diced
  • 2 Tbsp. sliced ginger
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup cream sherry
  • salt and pepper to taste
I begin preparation of this dish by first soaking the carrots in vinegar and lemon juice for several hours (overnight is better) so that they become pickled. The vinegar can be retained for use in the sauce.

To begin the actual dish, heat a skillet over medium heat and add the sesame oil, ginger and garlic. Also add the pork and stir fry until the meat is well browned on all sides. Remove the pork from the skillet when browned, season with salt and pepper and set aside to drain. Do not overcook because the pork will be cooked a second time.

Next, mix 1/2 cup corn starch with 1/2 cup flour and mix together with 1 egg and enough water to make a batter. Add the pork to the batter and mix to thoroughly coat each piece. Heat enough oil in a pot or wok for deep frying and deep fry the pork in small portions. After frying, set the pork aside to drain.

In a large pot over medium heat, bring the vinegar and sherry to a simmer. Add the carrots and simmer the carrots for about 10 minutes before adding the brown sugar. You may also add an extra clove or two of crushed garlic if you like. Next, add the celery, chunked pineapple, onion and any other vegetables you may prefer. Once the vegetables come to a simmer, mix 2 Tbsp. corn starch with the chicken broth and add to the vegetables with 1 can of water. Stir until thickened. Bring to a boil and if the sauce needs more thickening, add more water with dissolved corn starch to the sauce.

Finally, after the sauce has thickened, place portions of pork on individual plates and top with the sauce and vegetables. Garnish with diced green onion and serve with rice or noodles. Enjoy!

  • Yields: 8 servings
  • Preparation Time: 1 hour
 



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