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Monday, April 12, 2010

Sweet and Sour Pork with Coconut Rice

Growing up in the Midwest gave me an aversion to anything Sweet and Sour. The only Sweet and Sour I was familiar with was our local Chinese restaurant which served deep fried chicken bits with the thickest and brightest red sauce you could imagine. On occasion I would get Sweet and Sour Chicken with the sauce on the side. It was like chicken nuggets with dipping sauce! Over the years I have learned that Sweet and Sour does not have to be red, completely soaked in sauce, or deep fried. Heck, it doesn't even have to contain chicken! Now, I love the contrast of flavor in this "almost" healthy dish. Don't forget the coconut rice, it is super easy and really makes the dish. 

Coconut rice: Combine 1 cup uncooked basmati rice, 1 1/4 cups water, 1/2 cup light coconut milk, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil (watch closely so it doesn't boil over). Cover, reduce heat to low, let cook 16-20 minutes until all water is absorbed.

Sweet and Sour Pork
adapted from Cooking Light

1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
2 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
3 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
1 (8-ounce) can pineapple chunks in juice
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 teaspoons spicy chili sauce such as Sriracha
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/4 cup slivered green onions
Combine pork, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, and 1 tablespoon soy sauce; toss to coat. Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Combine juice, remaining 1 tablespoon cornstarch, remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, ketchup, and chili sauce, stirring with a whisk.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add pork and sauté 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add onion, ginger, and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Stir in pineapple and bell pepper; sauté 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in vinegar mixture; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Serve over coconut rice and sprinkle with almonds and green onions.

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