China Entreepork with sweet bean sauce

Pork with Sweet Bean Sauce
(Serves 8)

Julienned pork strips served in a sweet, spicey sauce on a bed of scallions. Delectable!

Pork & Marinade
1 1/2 lb. boneless pork loin
3 T soy sauce
2 tsp. rice wine or dry sherry
4 T water
4 tsp. cornstarch

Seasoning Sauce
3 T sweet bean sauce (see sidebar)
1 T rice wine or dry sherry
2 T soy sauce
2 tsp. sugar

3 bunches scallions *
2 C vegetable oil (more if needed)

Marinate: Julienne pork into 3" x 1/4" matchsticks. In a small bowl, combine next 4 ingredients, add pork shreds and marinate for 30 minutes.

Sauce: In a separate bowl, combine all 4 sauce ingredients for the seasoning sauce. Set aside.

Scallion bed: Julienne scallions and arrange as a “bed” or “nest” on a platter.

Cook: Add 2 C oil and heat to 375° in a wok or large skillet. Stir-fry julienned pork about 2 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon and drain. 

Remove all but 6 T of oil, add sweet bean sauce, and stir until sauce thickens slightly. Return cooked pork to wok and mix well. Turn pork out on top of scallion bed on platter. Serve with steamed rice or tossed noodles.

* Variation: Skip scallions. Instead, stir-fry broccoli, after the pork, till slightly crunchy. Remove and drain. Then follow the recipe for cooking the sweet bean sauce, eventually returning both pork and broccoli to th wok at the end.

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Tips & Glossary

Many ingredients used in Chinese cooking probably aren’t in your spice shelf, but you can find them at Asian grocery stores. To avoid frustration, make a list of the items before trying recipes.

Agar Agar: dried seaweed used as a gelatin. Buy it in sticks (or strips) and soak in cold water to soften.

Chili Oil: buy it or make your own. For a recipe, see Hunan Chicken.

Chinese Cabbage: aka “Nappa”;long, white stalks with light green crinkly leaves.

Deep Frying: use a deep-fry thermometer to reach the recipe's correct temperature; if the oil isn't hot enough, the food will be soggy. When cool, the oil can be strained, refrigerated, and re-used.

Dried Shrimp: tiny, salted, sun-dried shrimp that add a pungent flavor to Asian cooking. Soak before using.

Five-Spice Powder: blend of star anise, cinamon, cloves, fennel and Szechuan peppercorns. Like allspice.

Peppersalt: buy or make your own. Heat 2 T Szechuan peppercorns in skillet 5 min. Grind into powder and mix with 2 T salt.

Sauces: Hoisin (sweet, from soybeans); Oyster (like soy, from oysters); Sweet Bean (canned, salty, from soybeans); Hot Bean (hot & salty, from soybeans and peppers).

Sesame Paste: from gound sesame seeds; substitute with peanut butter.

Sweet Rice Powder: from glutinous rice; used in place of flour in many desserts.

Szechuan peppercorns: dried reddish berries, fragrant and mildly hot.


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