Sunday, September 5, 2010

Barb's Sweet and Sour Pork

Sweet and sour porkImage via Wikipedia
At work, my friend Barb, gave me her recipe for Sweet and Sour Pork. She knew that I'd recently been using some boneless pork loin I'd found on sale and gave me this recipe to give a try. I thought about saving this for a column, because if anyone had seen the state of my kitchen that night they would've laughed. I had corn starch sprinkled all over the counter like snowflakes, grease had splattered onto the flour making it a skating rink, and I even burned my finger frying. Oh, but I don't think I have enough space in the paper for the episode.
This attempt at Oriental food turned out good, but my timing was way off - it took longer than expected and we were eating late, once again. This I should have started on a Saturday afternoon, not on a work night. I sauteed red and green bell peppers and onion slices to add into the pork and sauce over white rice. Next time I might throw in some pineapple, too. However, despite the miscellaneous errors, the food was really good.

Sweet and Sour Pork            
1 1/2 lbs. boneless pork loin   
1 egg slightly beaten   
2 tablespoons cornstarch   
2 tablespoons vegetable oil   
1 teaspoon salt   
1 teaspoon light soy sauce   
1/4 teaspoon white pepper   
Vegetable Oil for frying   
3/4 cup all-purpose flour   
3/4 cup water   
2 tablespoons cornstarch   
1 teaspoon salt   
1 teaspoon baking soda                           
Trim fat from pork; cut pork into 3/4 inch pieces. Mix egg, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon soy sauce and the white pepper in glass or plastic bowl; stir in pork. Cover and refrigerate 20 minutes. Heat vegetable oil (1-1/2 inches) in wok to 350 degrees or deep fryer. Mix flour, 3/4 cup water, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 1 teaspoon salt and the baking soda. Stir pork pieces into batter until well coated. Fry until light brown (turning frequently if frying in wok). Drain on paper towels, serve on rice with red sauce.

Sweet and Sour Pork Red Sauce  
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar   
1 cup chicken broth   
3/4 cup white vinegar   
1 tablespoon vegetable oil   
2 teaspoons dark soy sauce   
1 teaspoon salt   
1 clove garlic, finely chopped   
1/4 cup cold water   
1/4 cup cornstarch    Red food coloring                   

Heat sugar, chicken broth, vinegar, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 2 teaspoons soy sauce, 1 teaspoon salt and the garlic and a few drops red food coloring to boiling in a 3-quart sauce pan. Mix together 1/4 cup cornstarch and 1/4 cup water and add to the sauce. Cook and stir until thickened, about 20 seconds. While this sauce is for the sweet and sour pork it is also a great dipping sauce for egg rolls.
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