Homemade Sweet-and-Sour Pork
After my success with making beef chop suey at home, I wanted to try sweet-and-sour pork. So I bought a local pork chop and after consulting multiple recipes I took ideas from all of them. A mountain of dirty dishes later I had concocted a version that honestly doesn’t quite match the take-out dish (probably because I didn’t deep fry the pork) but tastes pretty good. I took leftovers to work the next day and looked forward to my lunch a little more than usual.
(makes 2 generous servings, with extra sauce)
2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
2 tbsp water
1 pork loin chop, cut into bite-sized cubes
3 tbsp corn starch, divided
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp white vinegar
2 tbsp ketchup
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 tsp minced garlic
3/4 cup canned pineapple chunks (or you could use fresh pineapple)
2 tbsp canola oil (or 1 cup if you want to deep fry it)
Place tamari and water in a small bowl, add pork, stir to marinate well. Let sit 10 minutes. In another bowl, stir together 2 tbsp corn starch with the flour. Drain the pork, reserving marinade. Lightly dredge the pork in the flour mixture and set aside on a plate.
Mix together the reserved marinade, remaining 1 tbsp cornstarch, sugar, vinegar, ketchup, garlic, and ginger. Place in small saucepan and cook over medium heat until it simmers and thickens. You might need to taste it after it has come to a simmer, and adjust the sugar/vinegar ratio to your preference (the measurements I give are a bit of a guess because I orginally had way too much vinegar. I also ended up adding some pineapple juice for sweetness.)
In a large wok, heat the canola oil until hot but not smoking. Add the pork, and cook untouched 1 to 2 minutes until it starts to brown. Carefully turn pork over until it has browned on all sides. If you used a lot of oil, you might want to drain the pork on paper towels and wipe most of the oil out of the wok. Then return the pork to the wok, add the pineapple and as much sauce as you’d like, and bring to a simmer, until pork is cooked through. (Pork should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160*F.)
I ate this with jasmine rice and a stir-fry of carrots, mushrooms, napa cabbage, broccoli, red pepper, and onion, with a little tamari, garlic, and ginger.
The coating came off on some of the pork, so in the future I think I would fry it a bit longer before turning each side.
MSG-free! Dye free! Preservative-free! Happy pig! No styrofoam take-out trash!
Which do you like more– meat or veggies?