Sweet and Sour Pork

This is my simple and healthy version of sweet and sour pork and will be unlike anything you would have tasted in a Chinese restaurant. I hope it's one you will love to cook time and time again. Instead of the crunchy batter, the crunchy roasted soya beans give texture and flavor. Roasted soya beans can be found in supermarkets and health food shops, but if you can't find them, crush some dry-roasted peanuts instead.
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 20 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Cook: 5 min
  • Yield: 2 servings
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Ingredients

Coating 

3 tablespoons roasted whole soya beans (soy) or dry-roasted peanuts*

1 teaspoon crushed dried chiles

Freshly cracked white pepper

Sweet and Sour Sauce

4 ounces pineapple juice

4 ounces canned pineapple

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Pork

2 pork loin steaks (chops), trimmed of fat

2 tablespoons groundnut oil (peanut)

Light soy sauce

Splash Shaohsing rice wine or dry sherry

Freshly cracked white pepper

Cooked rice

Choi Sum Salad, recipe follows, for service

Choi Sum and Mixed Vegetable Salad with Pineapple Dressing

7 ounces Choi Sum leaves (flowering Chinese cabbage) or baby bok choy, washed, trimmed and sliced

4 ounces sugar snap peas, washed

2 large carrots, julienned

1 red bell pepper, sliced

1 yellow bell pepper, sliced

8 ounces canned pineapple, sliced

2 spring onions (green), finely sliced

Pineapple Dressing

2 to 3 tablespoons groundnut (peanut) or olive oil

7 tablespoons pineapple juice

2 tablespoons light soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice vinegar or cider vinegar

Pinch freshly cracked black pepper

Directions

  1. To make the coating: Add the soya beans, dried chiles, and white pepper to a grinder and whiz until coarsely ground. Transfer the mixture to a shallow bowl.
  2. To make the sauce: Put the pineapple juice, pineapple, and lime juice into a blender, and whiz to a paste.
  3. To make the pork: Using a meat mallet or rolling pin, bash the pork steaks until they are half their thickness. Press the pork steaks into the spice mix, pressing down so that the mixture sticks to the meat, turn and coat the other side. 
  4. Heat a wok or pan over a high heat, and add the groundnut oil. Add the pork steaks to the hot oil, and cook for 2 minutes, or until browned. Turn them over and cook the other side for 2 minutes, or until they are fully cooked. Remove the pork steaks from the wok, and set them aside in a warm place. 
  5. Pour the sweet and sour sauce into the wok, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced and thickened naturally. Season further, if required, with light soy sauce, rice wine and pepper. 
  6. Serve the sauce poured over the chops with a side of rice and Choi Sum Salad.

Pineapple Dressing

  1. To make the choi sum: Toss the choi sum leaves, sugar snap peas, carrots, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, pineapple, and spring onions together in a large serving bowl.
  2. To make the dressing: Mix the groundnut oil, pineapple juice, light soy sauce, rice vinegar, and black pepper in a small bowl, and stir well. Then, pour the dressing mixture over the salad just before serving. Toss well, and serve immediately.

Cook’s Note

*Can be found at specialty Asian markets

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