Looking for a dish to serve during
 the Olympics? Here is my version of
that lovely Chinese favorite:

 Sweet & Sour Pork!

We started off with Yan-Kit So's cookbook,
one of the many treasures found at Verena's 

I have to admit, I've never cooked a Chinese dish
in my life, and Yan-Kit's book is perfect for
beginners. All of the steps are explained
very carefully.

Thumbing through the book, we came across
a family favorite, Sweet and Sour Pork.
Yan-Kit So warns us, "To many people,
sweet and sour pork is synonymous
with bad Chinese takeout food...."
But made her way, she promises that
"this is one of the most appetizing
Cantonese dishes."


Yan-Kit says that her recipe serves 4-6 "with
2 or 3 other dishes." Since we weren't serving
other dishes, we doubled the recipe. It is actually
quite generous, so we had lots of leftovers,
even though Mr. F had seconds....

Ingredients (for 4-6 servings)

1 lb. lean pork (we used Costco tenderloin)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. soy sauce
1/2 egg
3 tbsp. cornstarch
peanut oil
1 clove garlic
1 onion
1 green pepper
4 oz canned pineapple chunks

We like vegetables, so we added:

1 bunch green onions
broccoli
1 can little ears of corn
1 can water chestnuts

Sauce:

2 tsp potato flour (we used potato pancake mix)
4 tbsp water
4 tbsp pineapple juice (reserved from canned chunks)
3 tbsp rice vinegar
4 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tbsp ketchup
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

One of the nice things about this recipe is that
you can prepare a lot of it ahead of time.
We made the sauce and did the first of two
fryings the day before.

Once the pork is cut in bite-sized cubes, you
marinate it in the fridge for an hour in the 1/2 tsp
salt and 1 tsp soy sauce. After marinating,
stir in the egg to coat.

Dredge the marinated pieces in the cornstarch.
Now you're ready to fry them the first time.

Fry the pork at 375 degrees for a minute, then
drain on paper towels. This is where Mr. F's
Emeril fryer really helps!

We did ours in three batches, but one or two
should work for the regular (not doubled) amount.

Another step you can do ahead of time is
to make the sauce.

Okay, now we're ready to finish the dish!

Add 1 1/2 tbsp of the peanut oil to a large pan,
and sauté your onions and garlic briefly.
Add the green pepper, broccoli, water
chestnuts, and corn. Stir fry for about 2 minutes,
then add pineapple chunks.

Note: Our family tends to dislike crisp vegetables,
and by the time I cooked them to the right
doneness for taste, they had lost some of their
lovely color. Next time, I think I'll try microwaving
them briefly before adding, to retain some color.

Now we're going to stir our sauce well, and
add it to the vegetables. Heat the mixture
slowly to a boil, stirring constantly. At this
point, it's going to smell wonderful!

After the sauce boils, cover and remove
from the heat. Now it's time to fry your
pork pieces a second time, which
makes them crispy instead of soggy. They go
into the fryer for 3 minutes this time. Drain
on paper towels.

Mr. F happened to have some sesame seeds
on hand, so he sprinkled some on the crispy pork.

When the pork is done, reheat your sauce
to a boil. Place the pork on your serving dish,
and pour the sauce over.

Mr. F was in charge of rice. He likes to color
the rice with a bit of saffron and cook
it in chicken stock.

Here is his finished dish...Not exactly a Jenny
portion, and this was just the first!

Having this dish gave us the opportunity to use
the lovely chopsticks and "fish" chopstick
holders that Kristin found for us on her
various travels to Beijing, Japan,
and South Korea.

I suppose we could have finished our meal
with an authentic Chinese dessert, but
Mr. F made a fabulous apple pie with
homemade vanilla ice cream.

I guess you could say this meal is a
Chinese-American détente, for want
of a better word!

But if you're looking to make something
appropriate for the Olympics,
check out Yan-Kit So!

What's next, you ask? I have my eye on Yan-Kit's Kung Pao Chicken....stay tuned!

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