SWEET AND SOUR MANGO PORK
Simply Ming One-Pot Meals
by Ming Tsai
Almost anyone who's ever eaten Chinese food in America has had sweet and sour pork. Here's my tropical version, which should be a revelation to those who haven't always loved the dish. The key here is flash-frying the pork before combining it with the other ingredients, a technique that gives the meat crispness. Mango provides tropical allure, but if you can't find mangoes that are ripe, or if they're out of season, substitute a small pineapple. The result will be less exotic but just as good.
• 1½ pounds pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 cup cornstarch
• 1/2 cup grapeseed or canola oil
• 1/2 cup naturally brewed rice vinegar
• 1 to 3 tablespoons sugar, depending on the mangoes' sweetness
• 1 bunch scallions, sliced thin, white and green parts separated
• 1 tablespoon minced garlic
• 1 tablespoon minced ginger
• 1 medium red onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
• 2 small mangoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
• 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
• 1/4 cup tablespoons naturally brewed soy sauce
• 50-50 White and Brown Rice, for serving
1. Season the pork with salt and pepper. Spread the cornstarch on a platter and dredge the pork thoroughly on all sides.
2. Line a large plate with paper towels. Heat a wok over high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the pan. When the oil is hot, add half the pork and fry, turning the pork, until brown, about 4 minutes. Using a skimmer, transfer the pork to the lined plate to drain. Fry the remaining pork and it transfer to the plate. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the oil from the wok.
3. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and sugar and stir to dissolve the sugar. Set aside.
4. Return the wok to medium-high heat and when the oil is hot, add the scallion whites, garlic, ginger and onions and stir-fry until softened, about 1 minute. And the mangoes, bell pepper, soy sauce and vinegar mixture and bring to a simmer. Return the pork to the wok and mix thoroughly.
5. Transfer the stir-fry to a platter and serve with the rice.