Thursday, January 27, 2011

Homemade Chinese Take-Out: Sweet and Sour Pork

Jason and I both really love chinese food but struggle finding a good balance of the delicious take-out taste and heathy, nutritious meal choices. This little Food Network recipe was just the fix, I added a couple of things just to make it a little more interesting, but find the original recipe here!


  • 1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup good ol' H2O
  • A pinch or two of kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Sliced baby carrots
  • A bunch of scallions, chopped
  • 3 cups snow peas (I bought a bag at the grocery store and didn't cut them... I should have done that!)
  • 1 can of sliced water chestnuts (Adds a very delightful crunch)
  • Cubed pineapple (I didn't have this in mine because pineapple is not really in season despite it feeling like summer out in January, but it would be DELICIOUS!)


  1. Toss the pork with 1/2 tablespoon vinegar and a pinch of salt in a bowl.
  2. Mix the remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar, soy sauce, cornstarch, ketchup, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1/3 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon salt in another bowl.
  3. Heat the 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat.
  4. Add the pork and slowly stir until it turns mostly opaque, about 2 minutes.
  5. Remove the pork with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate.
  6. Discard the oil and wipe out the skillet.
  7. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in the skillet.
  8. Stir-fry the garlic with a pinch each of salt and sugar, 15 seconds. (Add a little water if the garlic starts to stick to the skillet.)
  9. Add the carrots and scallions and stir-fry until crisp-tender, 2 minutes.
  10. Add the pork, snow peas and soy sauce mixture.
  11. Stir until the pork is cooked through and the sauce is thickened, about 3 minutes.
Jason's rating: He gave it a 4/5. Although it was delicious, he said it just doesn't have the same flavor as a good carton of take-out. He then admitted that it's probably that flavor that is a result of the unhealthy aspects of the dish. (Isn't that always the case!?!)

The cucumber salad on the side is one of the easiest side "salads" to make and Jason loves to do it all by himself! It's just two cucumbers sliced thinly (or at least they are supposed to be) and doused with some vinegar... I usually use rice vinegar, but had to use balsamic this night because my rice vinegar had gone missing! Add a little salt and pepper to taste and you are in business!