Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Sweet and Sour Pork

The standard Chinese-American buffet appears to populate every corner of America. Overcooked chicken wings, frozen egg rolls, pizza, macaroni, and other odd creations fill the steam pans and bellies of numerous diners. Many of these dishes correlate to the general public's perception of Chinese/Asian cuisine. 

Among the more popular dishes is one most of us are familiar with- the bizarre, nuclear style of Chinese sweet and sour pork.  Glowing sauce and oddly fried orbs of pork that seem to find every buffet from Augusta to Boise. In the style of a Vietnamese caramelized pork, I twisted a few things around and came up with a nice version of our Chinese type dish but a much cleaner flavor.  

I must admit that the reddish-orange sauce of my youth bring back memories, but I think you will find this recipe extremely easy to recreate and tastier.  

Sweet N Sour Pork

2lb. pork shoulder cubed

2oz palm sugar
2tbsp soy sauce
1tbsp fish sauce
2tbsp black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced

2tbsp canola oil
1 red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup pineapple, diced
4 roma tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1 Thai chili, minced

smoked basmati rice (or regular basmati rice), Thai basil, Mint

Combine all the marinade ingredients and add pork.  Refrigerate for 2-4 hours.  Remove the pork from the marinade and reserve the liquid.  We will reduce it in our sauce.  Add oil to a skillet or wok and heat on high until it is very hot.  

Carefully add pork in small batches and sear on all sides until nicely browned.  When the pork is browned, remove to a plate and continue until you have seared each piece.  Then turn heat down to medium high and add onions.  

Brown the onions, then add the pineapple and garlic.  Be careful not to burn the garlic while browning the pineapple.  Add the tomatoes and cook until juices begin to run out, then deglaze with pineapple juice.  

Pour in the reserved marinade and the Thai chili, and reduced the liquid until it can coat a spoon.  Return the pork to the pan and toss in the sauce.  Serve with rice and herbs.   

Plate designed by Gerald Haessig

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