Sweet And Sour Pork - 4

Course : Chinese
Serves: 4
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1 pound pork tenderloin
--- marinade ---
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
--- vegetables ---
1 medium red bell pepper -- cored and seeded
1 medium green bell pepper -- cored and seeded
4 medium scallions -- white and green parts, cut in 1/2 inch lengths
--- sauce ---
1/2 cup chicken stock or water
3 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
--- to complete ---
1 tablespoon cornstarch -- mixed with
2 tablespoons water
3 cups peanut or corn oil
3/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon peanut or corn oil

Preparation / Directions:

Cut the pork into 1-inch cubes. Beat the egg yolk and soy sauce together in a bowl, add the pork, toss well, and add 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Stir to combine and set aside. Meanwhile, cut the peppers into 1/2-inch squares. Set aside with the scallions. Combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl and then prepare the cornstarch and water mixture in another bowl. Heat 3 cups of the oil in a wok over high heat to deep-fry temperature, 350 degrees. While oil is heating, place 3/4 cup of cornstarch in a bowl. Lift pork out of the marinade and add to the cornstarch. Toss the pork so it is well coated with batter and let sit in the cornstarch while oil heats. Test oil by dropping in a piece of pork. If bubbles form and the crust turns brown within seconds the oil is ready. Line the counters with paper towels for draining. Fry the pork in batches, patting off excess cornstarch before plunging in oil. Cooking time is about 2 minutes per batch, or until batter is crisp and golden brown. Remove with slotted spoon or strainer and drain on paper towels. Carefully pour off the hot oil. Return the wok to high heat and swirl in the remaining tablespoon of oil. Stir-fry the scallions and peppers for 1 minute. Pour in the sauce, stir well, and then add the pork. Stir-fry over high heat 1 minute more. With the sauce at a boil, drizzle in the cornstarch and water mixture, stirring constantly. Stir until the sauce thickens and clings to the meat, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and serve. This recipe serves 4. Comments: This Chinese-American restaurant favorite is virtually unknown in China, where fish is considered the proper compliment to sweet and sour sauce. The addition of canned fruits like pineapple in such a dish would be considered barbaric. This version, however, remains true to the 1950s restaurant dish -- ketchup and all.

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