Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sweet and Sour Pork

One of my resolutions this year was to try to find healthier recipes for some of my take-out favorites.  This recipe was pretty easy and came together quickly.  Loved it!  I have to say, as I started to make the sauce I was a little nervous.  It pretty much just smelled like all of the separate ingredients (ketchup, vinegar, soy sauce, not exactly appetizing).  But once it was heating up over the rest of the food, I was sold.  I hope you try it and enjoy it as much as I did.

I started with the sauce:

Chopped up the veggies and the pork:

I am famous for forgetting at least one thing every time I go to the store. This time I forgot the green onions, but I didn't even miss them.

Added everything to the skillet, and voila!

Sweet and Sour Pork
1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2-1/2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar **See update below**
Kosher salt
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
3 Tablespoons ketchup
3 Tablespoons sugar, plus a pinch
3 Tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, thinly sliced
3 scallions, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 cups snow peas, cut in half

Toss the pork with 1/2 Tablespoon vinegar and a pinch of salt in a bowl.  Mix the remaining 2 Tablespoons vinegar, the soy sauce, cornstarch, ketchup, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1/3 cup water and half teaspoon salt in another bowl.

Prepare carrots, scallions and snow peas.

Heat 2 Tablespoons oil in a large wok or skillet over high heat.  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.

Heat the remaining 1 Tablespoon oil in the skillet, then stir fry the garlic with a pinch each of salt and sugar, only 15 seconds or it will burn.  Add the carrots and scallions and stir-fry until crisp tender, 2 minutes.  (If it seems dry and a little bit of water, just a little.  Add the pork, snow peas and soy sauce mixture; stir until the pork is cook through and the sauce is thickened, about 3 minutes.

** Update **  Try using either rice vinegar or regular white vinegar instead of balsamic.  I did this on accident and actually preferred the taste!

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