November 27, 2010

Szechuan Pork Stir-Fry

My recent Kung Pao Chicken didn't completely cool down my desire for Chinese, so this time I decided to go with some Szechuan.  I'd originally planned to make a shrimp dish, but the local market didn't have enough fresh shrimp for the dish (they had only about half a pound, which calls into question why they bothered even having it at all), so I decided to go with pork instead and picked up some pork chops.  This change of plans really didn't change the recipe I'd planned all that much.

It turned out to be quite tasty, with the flavors being authentic due to the use of the Chinese black vinegar (you can use ordinary white vinegar if that's the best you have, but nothing else really matches the flavor of the real thing) and Szechuan peppercorns.  The only thing I can think of that might have made it better would have been the addition of some Chinese straw mushrooms, but I didn't have any around.   I need to pick up some jars of those and keep them on hand for occasions like this, and will make sure to have them next time I plan to make this dish.

Szechuan Pork

yield = 4 servings

4       boneless pork loin chops (4 ounces each), trimmed
2       tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
3       teaspoons soy sauce, divided
2       teaspoons minced garlic, divided
2       teaspoons Asian hot chili oil, divided
1/2    teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns
3/4    cup chicken broth of Asian chicken stock
2       tablespoons rice wine (or dry sherry)
1       tablespoon hot bean sauce (also called chili bean sauce)
1       tablespoon Asian chili paste
1       tablespoon Chinese black vinegar (or regular white vinegar)
3       teaspoons cornstarch      
1       teaspoon sugar
1       jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed and cut into long, thin slices
3/4    cup roasted unsalted peanuts
2-3   carrots, peeled and cut into long, thin slices
1      15 ounce can baby corn, drained

Thinly slice the pork chops against the grain.  In a medium bowl, mix the pork chops, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon minced garlic and one teaspoon Asian chili oil, stirring to evenly distribute.  Set aside, allowing the pork to marinate for at least 1/2 hour.

In a small skillet, roast the peppercorns until fragrant.  Remove from heat and allow the peppercorns to cool a few minutes, then grind them.

In a small bowl, mix the chicken broth, rice wine (or sherry), hot bean sauce, chili paste, Chinese black vinegar, cornstarch, sugar, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1 teaspoon chili oil and the ground peppercorns, stirring to dissolve the cornstarch and sugar.  Set aside.   Combine the peanuts and sliced jalapenos in a small bowl.

Heat one tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  When the oil is shimmering, add the carrots and baby corn.  Stir-fry about 2 minutes, then push the vegetables to the edge of the skillet.  Add the pork mixture, stir fry it for a couple minutes, then mix it in with the vegetables and stir-fry until the pork and vegetables have started to brown in a few spots.  Push the pork and vegetables to the edges of the skillet and add the peanuts and sliced jalapeno,  Stir fry the peanuts and jalapeno them until the peanuts start to brown, about 45 seconds, then mix them in with the rest of the ingredients. 

Add the chicken broth mixture and stir in thoroughly until the sauce starts to thicken.  Serve over rice.

1 comment:

  1. Juli here...this recipe is completely trough-worthy (5-star rating)! It made excellent left overs the next day for a perfect lunch.