Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Szechuan-Style Pork & Bell Pepper

I got this recipe from a book that I found in the bargain section of the bookstore a couple of weeks ago, Perfect Chinese. It turned out really well; the rice vinegar gave the sauce a tangy note that complimented the spice of the crushed red pepper flakes. I loved that it had 4 different kinds of vegetables in it! It makes me feel better about the ice cream I'm going to have for dessert in a little bit ;-)

1 pork tenderloin, trimmed of excess fat and silverskin
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons soy sauce, plus 1 tablespoon for marinade
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chicken broth
Peanut oil
1 medium onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced thinly
1 zucchini, cut into long matchsticks
1 carrot, peeled and cut into long matchsticks
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (use more if you want it spicier!)
White pepper

Slice the tenderlion against the grain into roughly 1/4-inch thick slices. Cut each slice into 2 or 3 strips. Place the pork in a bowl and pour in 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce and sprinkle over the crushed red pepper flakes. Stir to coat and let the meat marinade while you chop the vegetables.

Combine the rest of the soy sauce, cornstarch, rice vinegar, chicken broth, and garlic in a small bowl. Whisk to dissolve the cornstarch, then set aside. Warm up one tablespoon of oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. When the oil is smoking, add the pork and marinade mixture and stir-fry until the pork is no longer pink, 3 or 4 minutes. Remove the pork to a plate with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Warm up another tablespoon of oil in the wok or skillet over high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until they soften, 3 or 4 minutes. Throw in the zucchini and carrot and continue to stir-fy until the carrot loses its bite, about another 4 minutes. Add the pork and any accumulated juices back to the pan and stir in the cornstarch mixture. Bring it up to a boil and let it bubble and thicken for a minute. Give everything a final sprinkle of white pepper. Serve over freshly made rice.


Rating: This is awesome

It was very easy to make: a lot of chopping, but I'm coming to love my spacing-out-while-chopping time every evening. It was a very tasty result for not a lot of work!

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