I would have to say Chinese food is one of our top 5 choices for take out. This week I made over the ever so popular sweet and sour pork entree that is a staple on most Chinese take out menus. This weeks recipe was probably one of my favorites. Lots of colorful veggies come together with tender pork chunks coated in spicy sauce and topped with sweet pineapple chunks to make a complex and delicious flavor in your mouth.
Serves 41 pound pork tenderloin, cut into 1/2-inch piece 1 package thin rice noodles or white/brown rice 2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar Kosher salt 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce 1 tablespoon cornstarch 1 1/2 tablespoons chili sauce 1 1/2 tablespoons sriracha sauce 3 tablespoons sugar, plus a pinch 3 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil 3 cloves garlic, minced 3 carrots, thinly sliced 3 scallions, cut into 1/2-inch pieces 3 cups snow peas, cut in half 2-3 cups shitake mushrooms 1 red pepper, sliced diced pineapple for topping
1. Toss together pork with 1/2 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and pinch of salt. Set aside.
2. In a separate bowl make sweet and sour sauce. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar, soy sauce, cornstarch, chili sauce, sriracha sauce, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1/3 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
3. In a large skillet or wok heat 2 tablespoons of peanut or vegetable oil on high heat. Heat skillet before placing oil into pan. Add the pork and slowly stir until it turns mostly opaque, about 2 minutes. Remove the pork with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate. Discard the oil and wipe out the skillet. (Do not cook the pork fully just yet. You will be placing pork back into hot pan for additional time. No one likes rubbery pork)
4. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon peanut oil in the skillet, then stir-fry the garlic with a pinch each of salt and sugar, 15 seconds. Add the carrots, scallions and red pepper and stir-fry until crisp-tender, 2 minutes. (Add a little water if the garlic starts to stick to the skillet.) While stir frying the veggies, prepare rice noodles or rice per package directions.
6. Place rice noodles or rice in bottom of bowl. Add 1/4 of pork/veggie mixture. Top with diced pineapples. Enjoy!
Comparing the Facts:
Eat Fit not Fat- Sweet and Sour Pork: Calories- 348 per serving/518 with 1 serving of rice noodles
P.F. Chang’s Sweet and Sour Pork (no rice noodles)- 460 calories per serving
Panda Express Sweet and Sour Pork (no rice noodles)- 400 calories per serving