Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My Two Timing Pork

I love pork. And I love stir fry. So this dish just makes sense. This remains one of my favorite Asian When I first tried this recipe (courtesy of my girlfriend's, oops wait, she’s a fiancĂ©e now!, dad), I had no idea why the pork was cooked twice. Why in the world would you call for cooking pork in water and then stir fry it? Well, after cutting the first step out when I prepared this dish (I guess you can just call it cooked pork then), I understood why. When you sear pork slices at a high temperature, a lot of their liquid is expelled (pork shrinks) and ends up in the stir fry oil, effectively steaming the rest of the dish and making it quite soggy. So your choices are mop up the liquid (and flavor) with a paper towel, or just cook the pork before hand. The latter, I have found, is a much easier option. Simple, actually, as you heat some water over medium high heat until it is slightly simmering, then add your pork cutlets in until they are just barely cooked. Strain and use in your stir fry. Now you can keep the liquid level down, which allows the sauce to do its thing and be awesome. To make the pork cook quickly, I like to slice mine thin (more surface area=quicker cooking).

Twice Cooked Pork

1 pound pork loin or loin chops, trimmed of fat and sliced thin
½ head green cabbage, cut into about 1 inch pieces
5 green onions, cut into 1 inch pieces

2 T peanut oil

1 T minced garlic
1 T minced ginger

¼ C soy sauce
½ C hoisin sauce
1 T chile paste with garlic
¼ c dry sherry
2 T water
1 T sugar

1 T cornstarch dissolved in 2 T water (mix just before using)
1 T sesame oil (optional, even more optional is the hot kind)

Mix together soy, hoisin, chile paste, sherry, water, and sugar, stir to dissolve and set aside. Bring a medium pot of water to a bare simmer, add pork and cook for about 2-3 minutes until loses pink color. Remove, drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large wok over medium heat, add peanut oil. Once heated, add garlic and ginger, cooking for about 1 minute (stir often so they don’t burn). Add the cabbage and stir fry for around 2 minutes (don’t let it get too wilted). Add pork and sauce, cook until sauce boils. Add scallions, mix to combine. Add in cornstarch slurry and mix until sauce thickens. Finish with the sesame oil and serve immediately.


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