When I heard that this past Sunday was Chinese New Year, I couldn’t help but think about my first experience with Chinese food. I didn’t eat Chinese food growing up. There were no Asian restaurants in town and my mom associated “Chinese food” with that horrible stuff that came in a two-part red can. She didn’t like that, so she thought she didn’t like Chinese food.
Fast-forward to college. My roommates, one of whom was Asian, were horrified that I had never eaten Chinese food. They staged an intervention and took me to a real Chinese restaurant (or, at least the best one that Blacksburg, VA had to offer). They suggested I start off with an Americanized dish – sweet and sour pork. I loved it!
This recipe is a much tastier and healthier version – it’s not sickeningly sweet and the pork isn’t deep-fried. It’s just the right mix of sweet and sour. I like to serve it with just a bit of steamed brown rice.
What’s your favorite thing to order in a Chinese restaurant?
Sweet and Sour Pork
Adapted from Ching’s Everyday Easy Chinese by Ching-He Huang
1/4 cup egg substitute
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch, divided
8 ounces pork tenderloin, cut into thin slices
Kosher salt and ground white pepper
2 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 (8 ounce) can pineapple chunks in juice (do NOT drain)
1 tablespoon low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon light brown sugar
Mix egg substitute and 1 tablespoon cornstarch in medium bowl. Add the pork slices, mix well and season with salt and white pepper.
Mix remaining 1 teaspoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl to make a paste.
Place a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon peanut oil. Stir-fry pork until opaque, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove pork from wok to plate lined with paper towels.
Add remaining 1 tablespoon peanut oil to wok. Add the bell peppers and ginger and stir-fry for about 2 minutes. Add the pineapple chunks with their juice and bring mixture to a boil.
Add tamari/soy sauce, rice vinegar and brown sugar. Stir, then add cornstarch paste. When mixture begins to thicken, add pork back to wok. Stir, making sure that pork is covered in sauce. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings
Per serving: 207 calories, 9g fat (2g sat), 41mg cholesterol, 198mg sodium, 16g carb, 2g fiber, 11g sugar, 16g protein
Nutritional Analysis: This food is a good source of Protein, Vitamin C, Thiamin, Vitamin A, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Manganese and Selenium. (Source: nutritiondata.com)