Swine was one of the first domesticated animals by the Chinese for eating purpose and ever since pork has been an inevitable part of Chinese cuisine. Even after the introduction of many kinds of meats and sea foods in recent centuries, pork remains a vital element in Chinese cooking due to its easy accessibility. From ears to intestine almost every part of the animal is used in various appetizers and main course dishes across china.
Pork belly and shoulder are favorite part of the animal in many popular Chinese cuisines around the world. Dishes like sweet and sour pork, barbecue pork chops, pork Lo Mein have gained popularity around the globe and become favorites among the hearty pork eaters.
If all this pork talk has made your mouth water and you are thinking to rush to yellow pages to order a Chinese takeout then wait! Try the following recipes to make genuine Chinese pork in your own kitchen. You might be surprised how the aroma of these dishes brings the whole family to the table even before you serve the meal.
Sweet and Sour Pork
Indisputably one of the most celebrated Chinese dishes “sweet and sour pork” satisfies all your gastronomical senses. Tanginess from the strong dry sherry and sweetness from sugar combine with aromatic crunchy fried pork gives you an ideal balance of flavors in every bite.
Preparation Time: 15 Minutes
Cooking Time: 45
Inactive: 45 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 45 Minutes
Serving: 4-6 People
4 cups (about 500gm) pork tenderloin
1 yellow bell pepper chopped in small pieces
1 red bell pepper chopped in small pieces
1 cup chopped green onions
¼ cup corn starch plus 2 table spoon separated
¼ cup of dark rice wine vinegar
1 tables spoon thinly slice ginger
Peanut oil (for stir fry and frying)
1/3 cup sugar
Salt to taste
2 table spoon Chinese black wine vinegar
1 table spoon soy sauce
1 table spoon dry sherry
Salt to taste
Cut the pork tenderloins into 1 inch cubes and put them in a big mixing bowl. Add the Chinese black wine vinegar, soy sauce and dry sherry in another small bowl and whisk them well. Transfer this liquid to the big bowl and combine the marinade with the meat pieces. Cover the bowl and let it sit in the refrigerator to marinate for 30-45 minutes.
In the mean time pour ¼ cup of dark rice wine vinegar with 1/3 cup of sugar in a sauce pan and let the mixture simmer on medium heat until the sugar completely dissolves into the vinegar. Dissolve 2 table spoons of corn starch in water and add the mixture to the simmering vinegar. Let the liquid cook on low heat until the mixture starts to thicken. Give it a taste and adjust the salt to your taste. You have got the base ready for the sweet and sour pork recipe.
Heat some oil in a wok or frying pan to deep fry the pork. Beat the egg with corn starch in a mixing bowl and keep the batter aside. Take out the marinated pork from the refrigerator and one by one dip the pork pieces in the batter and drop them into the heated oil.
Limit frying not more than 8-10 pieces at a time as overcrowding the wok might reduce the oil temperature.
Deep-fry them for 5-6 minutes on medium heat until golden brown, remove on a paper towel to soak the excess oil. Repeat the process with the rest of pork pieces and let them cool for a minute. Duplicate the frying process and fry the already fried pork pieces for 2 more minutes to achieve extra crispy texture on the outside.
Heat 2 table spoons of peanut oil in a sauté pan; add ginger and sauté for a minute. Add the chopped spring onions, yellow and red bell peppers and sauté for 3-4 minutes until vegetables are tender. Add the fried pork and slowly drizzle the sweet and sour sauce into the pan. Stir well and turn of the heat. Serve it in a dish and sink your teeth into the succulent and crunchy pork.
Chinese Pork Chops
Juicy and tender these smoky Chinese pork chops can add zing to any party. Prepared in a quick marinate with Asian inspired seasoning gives this recipe a distinct flavor that makes you thrive for more every time you eat it.
Preparation Time: 15 Minutes
Cooking Time: 45 Minutes
Inactive: 1 Hour
Total Time: 2 Hours
Serving: 6 People
6 pork tenderloins chops (cut into 1 inch thickness)
½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup granulated sugar/brown sugar
1 table spoon minced ginger
1 table spoon minced garlic
1 cup finely chopped scallions
1 table spoon sesame oil
2 table spoon lime juice
1 table spoon hoisin sauce
1 table spoon peanut oil
Freshly crushed black pepper
In a large mixing bowl add the soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, hoisin sauce, peanut oil and juice and lime juice. Whisk the mixture to blend all the flavors together. Add minced ginger, garlic, scallions, crushed peppers and give it a taste. Add some salt if needed and mix it until the sugar completely dissolves in the mixture.
Take a pork chop and poke some holes in it with the help of a fork. Turn over the pork chop and repeat the same on the other side. Duplicate the process with rest of the chops. This process allows the meat to absorb the flavors of marinade in less time and promises same great taste as overnight marinated meat.
Transfer all the pork chops to a big mixing bowl and pour the liquid mixture onto the chops. Mix them with hands to make sure every chop gets proper coating of the marinade. Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and let it marinade for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.
To get maximum flavor in less time put the chops and marinade in an air tight zipper plastic bag and squish out all the extra air before you close the zip. This process allows maximum room for the marinade to marry with the meat’s surface.
After an hour take out the marinated pork from the refrigerator, separate the excess marinate in a bowl and keep the pork chops aside. Start the grill and grease it with little bit of oil. Put the pork chop on hot grill and cook on each side for 5-6 minutes while often spattering the remaining marinade on the meat.
Remove from the heat when the meat is medium rare and tender. Make sure not to overcook the meat otherwise it will have an unpleasant chewy texture. Serve the luscious chops with a starch or vegetable sides to make a complete meal.