Sweet and Sour Pork usually involves some deep-frying as well as stir frying. This version involves a little bit of pan frying with stir frying, taking the inconvenience of the deep fry out of the equation. You won’t get the same deep-fried crunch of a super fresh order of the traditional preparation, but seriously – when do you ever get it so freshly made it’s not a soggy gloppy mess anyway? 😛
This hits all the major notes – sweet, sour, and fried – with a little less effort, oil, time, and glop. 🙂
Quick & Easy Sweet & Sour Pork Stir Fry-ish for 2
Serves 2 with a little extra (easily doubled, but as with any stir fry dish, you’ll want to cook in smaller separate batches)
Time: About 30 minutes
– 1 pound pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes
– 3 Tablespoons potato starch
– 1 clove garlic, minced
– 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
– 1/2 small green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1/3 cup)
– 1/2 small red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
– 1/2 a medium carrot, cut into 1/8-inch thick coins
– 1/2 a medium onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
– 1 cup pineapple chunks (If you have to use canned, get the unsweetened stuff and drain it well.)
– 1/4 cup Thai sweet chili sauce (I use Mae Ploy.)
– 1 Tablespoon regular soy sauce
– 2 teaspoons vinegar (use something on the tart side like white, red or white wine, or apple cider)
– 1 teaspoon sugar
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– oil for frying
1) In a medium bowl, combine pork with starch, 1 clove garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and toss to thoroughly combine and coat.
2) In a small bowl, put all sauce ingredients together and stir to combine.
3) In a preheated slightly higher than medium high wok or saute pan, stir fry the vegetables excluding the pineapple in about 1 teaspoon oil until the onions just begin to turn translucent. No more than 1 to 1.5 minutes – you don’t want the veg to turn soggy. Set aside.
4) Turn the heat slightly down to medium high, add 2 Tablespoons oil, and cook the pork, spreading it in a single layer with as much space between the pieces as possible. Because they’re 1-inch pieces, you’re not exactly going to stir fry, but rather fry them, letting them cook undisturbed on one side for 3 to 3.5 minutes or so until they get a brown crust, and then turning to flip them and letting them cook undisturbed on the opposite side for another 3 to 3.5 minutes until it also gets a brown crust.
5) Turn the heat up to high, add the sauce mixture, and stir thoroughly two or three times, then leave undisturbed for 20 to 30 seconds while the sauce starts to boil. The potato starch used to coat the meat will help create a nice, light, and not goopy sauce.
6) After the sauce has been boiling for about 20 seconds, toss in the veg and pineapple, let the sauce boil again for another 20 seconds or so, and there you have it!