Sweet and Sour Pork
Here's what is, to date, my best crack at sweet and sour pork. I'm still working on the meat but the sauce is about right.
Serves six with steamed rice
1/2 lb pork loin
1/2 tsp salt
2 T cornstarch
1/2 c. whisky
1 pepper, cut into 1" squares
1 medium onion, sliced 1/4" thick
2 stalks of celery, sliced diagonally
2 carrots, sliced diagonally
2 Roma tomatoes, cut into 1" cubes
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 slices of ginger
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 c pineapple juice from a 14 oz. can of pineapple chunks (reserve pineapple)
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp mirin (Japanese sweetened sake)
2 tbsp soya sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp orange zest (optional)
Slice meat into cubes. Put in a bowl and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Remove pork from fridge, rinse with cold water. Mix cornstarch and whisky so its crumbly. Add pork and cover. Whisk all ingredients for the sauce in a bowl or measuring cup and have prepared before cooking.
Heat wok or large saute pan, add 1/2 c oil and heat until almost smoking, add pork and deep fry until pork is cooked, approximately 2 minutes, remove and drain. Add 2 tsp oil and heat until almost smoking. Add onions and stir fry for 1 minute. Add ginger, garlic, celery, carrots and peppers, stir fry for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and stir fry for 1 minute. Add the pork to the pan.
Whisk the sauce quickly, and add to stir-fried pork and vegetables with the reserved pineapple, bring to a boil and simmer for 1 minute until the sauce is clear. Serve immediately.