Easy Sweet and Sour Pork
This recipe is a quicker, easier and lighter version of traditional Chinese sweet and sour pork, which is in the similar and related recipes links. Rather than frying the pork, it is stir-fried without compromising the integrity of the dish and significantly cutting down on preparation time and cleanup. This recipe is equally good with chicken or shrimp, adjusting cooking time as needed.
- 1 pound lean boneless pork, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon dry sherry
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce, preferably lower-sodium
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- Pepper to taste (see notes below)
- 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil, divided
- 1 large green pepper, cut into 1-inch diagonal pieces
- 1 small red pepper, cut into 1-inch diagonal pieces
- 1 small onion, cut into small wedges
- 1 medium carrot, cut into diagonal slices
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
- 1/4 cup dry sherry mixed with 1/4 cup water
- 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons rice or red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water
In a medium bowl, mix together the 1 tablespoon of sherry, soy sauce, and 2 teaspoons cornstarch. Add the pork, and stir until well coated. Season with pepper to taste. Set aside.
Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and swirl it in the bottom for about 30 seconds. Add the peppers, onions and carrots. Stir-fry about 1 minute, reducing the heat if necessary. Add the garlic. Continue to stir-fry until slightly darkened. (If you prefer your vegetables to be a little less crunchy, place a lid on the pan and cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.) Remove from pan and set aside.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the hot pan and swirl. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pork cubes to the pan. Stir-fry until lightly browned and done, about 6 minutes. Add to the vegetables. Add the sherry and water mixture, sugar, vinegar, 1 teaspoon soy sauce and the pork marinating juices to the pan. Bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes. Return the pork and vegetables to the pan. Stir the cornstarch and water mixture to recombine; add it to the pan and cook about 1 minute, stirring constantly until the sauce is thick and clear. Serve immediately with rice.
Notes: I do not add salt because the soy provides enough sodium. If you feel you need it, start with very little and taste later before adding more.