Saturday, November 18, 2023

Rosie Makes Sweet And Sour Pork.

Not too long ago, I'd bought some whole pork loins on sale at Food Lion - $1.49/lb.  I sliced them into thirds and froze them for whatever I decide to do with them later.  It's later now, and I've decided to make some Sweet And Sour Pork.
Here's my road map:
Marinate the pork.
Chop vegetables for stir fry.
Make a batter for the pork.
Make a sweet and sour sauce.
Stir fry the vegetables.
Fry the pork.

After thawing out one of the thirds, I cut the meat into bite-sized cubes and marinated it.

2 1-inch cubes ginger root (pulp and juice)
4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 TB balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup Tamari sauce (or soy)
3 TB Mirin

Rosie Note:  I always have frozen ginger on hand.  When I buy ginger root, I cut it into 1-inch cubes and put it in a freezer bag.  When I'm ready to use it, I peel the cubes, then nuke them for about 20 seconds.  It's almost impossible to get juice out of fresh ginger root, but when you nuke the frozen cubes, you can simply squeeze it and the juice will come right out.  You could also press the cubes in a garlic press and scrape off some of the pulp for extra ginger flavor, which is what I did for the marinade.

Combine all ingredients until well mixed and sugar dissolved.  Add pork cubes to mixture and marinate for at least an hour.  

Prepare vegetables: 
You can use whatever vegetables you'd like to stir fry.
I'm going with red bell pepper and onions.  Cut into bite-sized pieces.

Other vegetables you might consider:
baby corn
broccoli florets
snow peas
If you'd like water chestnuts or bamboo shoots, not a problem.

Prepare the batter for pork:
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup skim milk
1/4 cup cream
2 TB sherry
1/2 tsp kosher salt 

Rosie Note:  Instead of both skim and cream, you could use whole milk.  I just never have whole on hand, but I always have skim and cream, so I use a combination (on the rich side).

Prepare the Sweet and Sour Sauce:
1 TB oil
2 cubes ginger (pulp and juice)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 TB sweet relish
1/3 cup ketchup
3 TB Tamari or soy sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 small can chopped pineapple with juice
1 TB cornstarch dissolved in 1 cup vegetable stock
Heat oil over medium. Stir in ginger pulp and juice and garlic, being careful to not let garlic burn (It gets bitter.).  Lower heat.  Add in relish, ketchup, soy, vinegar, brown sugar, and pineapple, stirring until simmer.  Whisk in stock with dissolved cornstarch and stir until thickened.  Remove from heat and keep warm.
To stir fry vegetables:
   In a large skillet, heat a thin layer of oil until 350°.  Add in vegetables.  No more than 2 cups at a time.  I like to sprinkle a little sugar (maybe a teaspoon or two) and a pinch or two of kosher salt over the vegetables.  Cook, stirring, about 1 minute, then remove to a bowl and cover to keep warm. 

To fry the pork:

Remove the pork cubes from the marinade with a slotted spoon.  Let drain.

Drop into batter.

Coat cubes
 with batter.

Heat about 1/4" oil in skillet to 350° - 375°.
Place battered cubes in hot oil.  Do not crowd the pan.
  Fry about 2 minutes first side, then turn over and fry about another minute.
Remove from oil and place on rack.

You want a beautiful, puffy, golden brown.


Serve pork and vegetables over a bed of rice.  Spoon the sweet and sour sauce around and sprinkle on some sliced scallions.



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