Sweet and sour pork (goo lo yuke)

Yield: 1 servings

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Had a house guest last week++an old friend who likes my Chinese cooking, but tends to prefer the tamer stuff++you know, things without tentacles or feet. So I whipped up a batch of this excellent, quick and easy sweet and sour pork. It's a long time favorite that I haven't cooked for a some time. Been too busy with Thai and Vietnamese food to make it. It was just as excellent as I remember it being and I actually improved on it with a couple of substitutions.

I used ½ cup palm sugar instead of ½ cup brown sugar. Palm sugar has a rich, complex and addicting taste while being a little less cloyingly sweet than regular sugars. It gives a taste that's "exotic" without being obvious. Where the recipe calls for ¾ cup pineapple juice I used ¾ cup of the juice from some brandied peaches I made. I made 'em months ago and froze the leftover juice specifically to use in a sweet and sour dish. (This is a good thing to do with any sweet fruity type juice.) I left out the marashino cherries++bleechhhhh!++and substituted a red bell pepper for the color contrast. The only thing even faintly exotic in the recipe is the canned lichees (also a good juice to save for sweet and sour stuff) and that can be omitted if you can't find them++or use canned apricots or whatever instead. You could also use longans or rambutans, which are close relatives of lichee, quite successfully.

Yield: 6 servings 1 lb pork butt cut into 1-inch pieces MEAT MARINADE: 1 tablespoon sherry 2 tablespoons water 2 tablespoons Kikkoman soy sauce (this brand is best for this recipe) [I use plain ol' Pearl River soy and it works just fine. S.C.] 4 teaspoons flour 4 teaspoons cornstarch 1 green pepper, cut into ½ inch chunks 1 onion, cut into wedges 12 maraschino cherries 1 cup canned lichee 1 cup pineapple chunks SAUCE MIXTURE: ½ cup brown sugar ½ cup vinegar 1 teaspoon salt 4 tablespoons catsup ¾ cup pineapple juice 4 teaspoons cornstarch PREPARATION: Drain fruits, prepare sauce mixture. Marinate pork in meat marinade for ½ hour. COOKING: Deep fry pork cubes in a wok for about 3 to 4 minutes until golden brtown.

Drain. Pour all the oil back into the bottle. Add sauce mixture into wok and stir untio thickened. Add green pepper and onions and cook for 2 minutes. Add pork cubes and stir until heated through. Add fruits and stir until they're coated with the sauce. DO-AHEAD NOTES: Cook through making the sauce. Just before serving, add pork, vegetables and fruit acording to directions. From "The Chinese Village Cookbook." A practical guide to Cantonese country cooking.

Rhoda Yee, Yerba Buena Press, San Francisco. 1975. Posted by Stephen Ceideburg; March 11 1991.

Submitted By PAT STOCKETT On 02-04-95

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