Sweet and Sour Pork Stir Fry

This is another old school entrée. But old school often means very tasty and not too fancy (read complicated!) This is in that category. Lots of veggies, amazing flavor and super easy. I can’t think why I haven’t made it yet this winter.  So we had it the other day for supper. As easy and as tasty as ever. I simplified my Betty Crocker recipe just a bit. Feel free to add more or less veggies and vary them; just need that pineapple and some pepper for sure! Be sure that your soy sauce is GF: La Choy is my favorite brand.

Notes; use all the pineapple if you like lots of it. You can add raw bean sprouts instead of the celery or try sliced water chestnuts. Add them with the pea pods. If you hate any of these veggies sub in something else; I used some sliced zucchini in my most recent version; about a cup of it, added with the pepper chunks. I love lots of veggies.  You can add a bit more sugar and vinegar if you like your sweet and sour more pronounced. The chili sauce makes it a bit spicier.   Serves 4.

Sweet and Sour Pork

Ingredients:

¾ lb pork cubes

¼ cup rice flour mixed with 1.5 tsp. ground ginger
2-3 Tbsp. mild olive oil

2 Tbsp. cider vinegar

2 Tbsp. reduced salt gf soy sauce

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 Tbsp. brown or white sugar

2 tsp. chili sauce (optional)

1 tsp. sea salt

¼ tsp. black pepper

1 large onion, diced

1 large red pepper, diced in large chunks

2 celery ribs cut thin on bias

1 cup zucchini rounds

2 garlic cloves minced

1-1.5 cups pea pods ( I cut the blossom ends off before cooking)

¾ can drained pineapple chunks canned in juice; save juice for sauce

2 Tbsp. cornstarch, mix with half the pineapple juice

Hot cooked rice; I prefer brown rice but what ever floats your boat!

DIRECTIONS:

Roll pork cubes around to coat with flour blend. Add 1-2 Tbsp oil to wok, Heat and add pork. Stir fry (chow) on high using a big spatula or spoon to toss: brown all sides. I have a wonderful tool with a rounded front edge which is perfect in a wok; can’t stir fry without it! While the pork browns mix vinegar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, chili sauce and salt/pepper. Dump into medium sauce pan, add the pork once browned, cover and cook on low for 15-20 minutes until tender. While it cooks make rice. When you got that going and have 10 minutes left on the pork, reheat wok and add 1 Tbsp. oil to wok, add onion, stir for 2 minutes, add celery, and stir 2-3 minutes. Add red pepper and zucchini , cook a minute, add garlic, cook another minute. Add pea pods, stir fry 3 minutes. Add back the chicken and sauce. Stir and add the cornstarch slurry and pineapple chunks. Cook a minute and then add most of the rest of the pineapple juice. Cook another minute; add more juice if too thick. Adjust seasoning. Serve over hot rice. Enjoy!  sweet and sour pork on plate

 

Pork Stir Fry: Delightfully Healthy

When time is short, the weather is hot and you are hungry for a real meal I find a stir fry can be a great choice.  It allows me to use whatever is in the fridge and pantry to create a fresh wholesome meal. For a starch my go to choice is often rice noodles, they come in skinny to very wide size and are so easy to prepare.  They take on the flavor of the rest of the dish which can be handy; no flavor conflicts here!

This version I am sharing today is a pork stir fry with those delightful medium to wide rice noodles you can get these days in most grocery stores.  I soak them in very hot water for ten minutes and drain well before stirring them into the completed dish.  Foolproof.

Notes: the veggie amounts are very fluid; use more if you like a lot of something or skip if you hate.  And sub in other things if you dislike any of the veggies I used; other choices are broccoli, onion, or snap peas. Best made in a wok; I have a small one I use all the time.  I guess you can use a fry pan; keep it hot and stir constantly.

Pork Stir Fry with Rice Noodles

Ingredients:

rice noodles, any thickness; a handful; around a cup

3/4 lb of boneless pork cut into bite sized bits

½ tsp. dry ginger

1-2 tbsp. cooking oil (I like mild olive oil)

2 carrots; sliced on the diagonal

2 celery stalks sliced on diagonal

1 cup sliced zucchini; about ¼ inch thick

1 cup bok choy; I used bokchoy greens from my garden

1 cup thinly sliced cabbage

1 big garlic clove minced

About a tbsp of slivered fresh ginger

1 tsp. corn starch dissolved in 1/3 cup water

1/2 tsp. soy sauce (be sure it is gf)

Directions: Put the noodles in a bowl half full of very hot water; I heat it in the microwave until almost boiling. I break them in half before putting in water; up to you if you like long strands. Let stand ten minutes.  Meanwhile, cut the pork up into thin slices or chunks; nothing that can’t fit easily into someone’s mouth, sprinkle it with the dried ginger.  You can also sprinkle it with meat tenderizer if you like; I would put that on before the ginger.

Heat mini wok, add oil.  Add pork and stir it after a minute; start flipping over; brown all over lightly; 3-4 minutes.  Remove to a plate.  Add celery and carrot, stir a minute or two then add cabbage, stir a minute, add the zucchini and garlic; stir 2 minutes then add the bok choy, stir 1-2 minutes.  Add the pork back and the fresh ginger slivers.  Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.  You want the veggies to be a touch crisp but mostly cooked.  Pour in the cornstarch water slurry and 1/2 tsp. soy sauce.  Stir well and add the drained noodles; keep stirring as it cooks for one  to two minutes; add more water if not enough sauce to your liking. This last minute is critical to make the sauce clear; you need to cook the cornstarch. Taste and add more soy sauce if you want, also, season with salt and fresh black pepper to your liking.

I often use fruit juice for some or all of the water.  Pineapple is my favorite but orange juice works well for some of the fluid; adds a lot of flavor. Should serve 3 people.

This is a naturally gluten free dish.  If you dislike the rice noodles service it over rice. Enjoy!

Sassy Sweet and Sour Pork

Eating out at Chinese restaurants is nearly impossible for me. No PF Changs has arrived in the Valley so that great choice for eating gf Chinese is not available…. Soy sauce is generally unsafe unless you bring your own, ditto for a few other sauces and the eggroll wrappers, wonton wrappers and steamed buns are wheat based…sad news for us celiacs.

Still, there is an alternative to Chinese takeout: home cooking. I make some rocking good Chinese foods to satisfy my cravings.  My latest is sweet and sour pork over rice.  A classic; my mom used to make it long long ago!  I hadn’t tried it since I went gf but have felt a yearning for that incredibly addictive sweet and sour sauce.  So I went to my reliable source; Betty Crocker…and modified from there to make it gf for me.

I used baby bok choy, red pepper and brown rice; can use green pepper if you prefer, big ribs of bok choy and white rice.  Your choice.  I was out of chunk pineapple so I used a can of rings.  If rings, use a knife to cut them up while still in the can into about 6 chunks by cutting down vertically with a long knife. Be sure to use pineapple canned in its own juice not syrup.

The sauce flavor is excellent;if you have any leftovers – makes a great lunch. Best of all it is easy to put together and you can be flexible with the ingredients. Win!

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Angie’s Sweet and Sour Pork

Ingredients:

¼ cup gf flour mix: I used my standard mix; recipe below

2 tsp. ground ginger

1 lb pork shoulder or boneless pork chops, cut into ½ inch cubes

3 tbsp. mild olive oil

1  13 oz can pineapple chunks or rings in juice.  Drain, reserve juice

¼ c apple cider vinegar

¼ c. gf soy sauce

1.5 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

¼ cup sugar

1 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

1 medium onion, diced

1 red pepper cut into fat strips and then across into 3 sections

1 can bamboo shoots or sliced water chestnuts; drained,

2-3 baby bok choy cut into 1 inch sections or cut up 3 ribs of bok choy

½ tsp siracha sauce or chili sauce (1-2 tsp)

2.5 cups hot cooked rice

Directions: Mix the flour with the ginger in a bag and toss the pork cubes with it until they are all coated.  Heat a large frying pan, add the olive oil.  Heat to medium hot and add the pork cubes.  Fry stirring occasionally until the cubes are browned. If you have too many to brown; use two frying pans. Add the onion after the cubes are at least half browned. Add about 1/4 cup water to the reserved pineapple juice to make a cup of liquid.  Add the flour/ginger remains to the pan of browned pork cubes.  Stir for a minute.  Add the juice, the soy sauce, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce; heat until it boils, stirring constantly.  Boil a minute, turn down heat, add sugar, salt, pepper. Cover and cook at least 20 minutes, preferably 30 minutes.  Add more water if needed.  Add the pepper chunks and bok choy, cook 5 minutes, add the bok choy, bamboo shoots and siracha sauce.  Cover five more minutes.  Serve over hot rice.  Five servings.

Brown Rice Flour Mix
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

Or for a quick flour dip mix try ½ cup coconut flour and ½ cup white rice flour.