This recipe appears in:Chichi's Chinese: Notes on Sweet and Sour Pork
About the author: Chichi Wang took her degree in philosophy, but decided that writing about food would be much more fun than writing about Plato. She firmly believes in all things offal, the importance of reading great books, and the necessity of three-hour meals. If she were ever to get a tattoo, it would say "Fat is flavor." Visit her blog, The Offal Cook.
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- 12 ounces lean pork
- Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 2 tablespoons Chinkiang or black Chinese vinegar
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch, divided
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 cups oil for frying
- 3 scallions, chopped into 1-inch segments
- one 1-inch piece of ginger, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup water or stock
Cut the meat into slices 1-inch long and about 1/4 inch thick. Combine 1 teaspoon salt salt and rice wine in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Add the pork and transfer to refrigerate. Allow to marinate at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.
Combine 1/2 teaspoon salt, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce and 2 teaspoons cornstarch in a small bowl and mix to combine.
Heat oil in a wok or Dutch oven to 350°F. Beat together egg and remaining 1/4 cup cornstarch to form a batter. Coat pork with batter, allow excess to drain, and carefully transfer to the hot oil, adding the pieces one at a time to prevent clumping. Cook until crisp and just barely cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove the pork with a slotted spoon. and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of the oil in the wok and return to medium-high heat. Add the ginger and the scallions and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the pork strips and stir-fry for 30 seconds more, to toss the meat in the fragrant oil.
Add all of the stock or water, bring the liquid to a simmer, then sugar/vinegar/soy mixture. Stir quickly as the liquid thickens to prevent the cornstarch from clumping. Cook until the sauce has thickened and no longer tastes like cornstarch, about 30 seconds. Drizzle in sesame oil and serve immediately.