Stir-Fried Sweet and Sour Pork

This stir-fry is made even easier with the home-cook-friendly water-velveting technique. [Photographs: Shao Z.]

This easy stir-fry of pork with vegetables and sweet-and-sour sauce uses a great, hassle-free water-velveting technique for tender, silky strips of meat.

Why this recipe works:

  • Marinating the pork strips in a mixture of cornstarch, egg white, wine, and seasonings—a process known as velveting—guarantees silky, tender meat.
  • Par-cooking the meat in a bath of boiling water with just a little oil is much easier for home cooks than the more traditional hot-oil-bath method, with equally good results.

Note: To make egg white easy to measure, beat it with a fork until it has a thinner viscosity. This recipe can also be made with an equal amount of chicken breast cut into strips. Just use the chicken in place of pork, otherwise following the recipe exactly.

Stir-Fried Sweet and Sour Pork

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About This Recipe

Yield:Serves 2
Active time:30 minutes
Total time:1 hour
This recipe appears in: Chinese Velveting 101: Stir-Fried Sweet and Sour Pork

Ingredients

  • For the Pork:
  • 1 tablespoon egg white from 1 large egg, lightly beaten (see note above)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine or sake
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 pound pork loin, sliced 1/8 inch thick
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable, canola oil, or peanut oil
  • For the Stir-Fry:
  • 1/2 cup canned pineapple chunks plus 4 tablespoons canned pineapple juice
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable, canola, or peanut oil
  • 1/2 small red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and sliced lengthwise 1/2 inch thick
  • 1/2 small green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and sliced lengthwise 1/2 inch thick
  • 1/2 small white onion, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • Cooked white rice, for serving

Procedures

  1. 1

    For the Pork: In a small bowl, stir together egg white, cornstarch, rice wine, and salt until thoroughly mixed. Place sliced pork in a bowl pour cornstarch mixture on top, tossing to coat thoroughly. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  2. 2

    Fill the wok with water and bring to a boil over high heat, then add oil. Add pork, stirring with chopsticks or a strainer to separate the pieces, and cook until pork is opaque and nearly cooked through, about 40 seconds. Drain work into a colander and shake well to remove excess water. Wipe wok clean and dry thoroughly.

  3. 3

    For the Stir-Fry: In a small bowl, stir together pineapple juice, tomato paste, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and cornstarch.

  4. 4

    Heat vegetable oil in wok over high heat until smoking. Add bell peppers and onions and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add pork and continue to stir-fry until browned in spots, about 2 minutes. Using a spatula, push pork and vegetables up side of wok, then add sauce so that it pools in center. Bring sauce to a boil, stirring, then toss with pork and vegetables until sauce thickens and coats them well. Turn off heat and toss in pineapple chunks. Transfer to a platter immediately and serve with rice.

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