Saturday, October 8, 2011

Szechuan Pork

I love this recipe. It's simple, fast and oh so darn tasty. The recipe belongs to Mike Murray, a very talented art director that worked at Bozell while I was there. I've been using this recipe for over 20 years and the entire family loves it.

Typical of Szechuan cooking, all of the time is in the prep. It takes only a few minutes of cook time to make the meal. At best, you are looking at 20 minutes from start to finish. How easy is that?

The critical ingredient here is the cornstarch. It serves two important purposes: it gives the pork a nice crispy finish when it is browned and it also acts as a sauce thickener. And what a spectacular sauce it is!

This recipe serves 4 and thanks, Mike, wherever you are. I serve this meal over sticky rice and you'll find that recipe here:

Szechuan Pork Ingredients
1 pound of pork tenderloin or boneless pork chops
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup peanut oil
1 cup red bell pepper, diced in 1/2" pieces
6 green onions, cut in 1/2" pieces
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
8 ounces sliced water chestnuts
1 cup roasted peanuts

Sauce Ingredients
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup dry vermouth
2 teaspoons sugar


  1. Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Stir to dissolve sugar.
  2. Cut pork into 2" julienne slices. Toss with cornstarch to coat.
  3. Heat oil to hot, add pork and stir over high heat until browned (about 5 minutes).
  4. Add bell pepper, crushed red pepper and water chestnuts. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add sauce. Keep heat on high and stir until sauce thickens, 3-5 minutes.
  6. Add onions, stir for 1 minute.
  7. Divide among serving plates and garnish each serving with 1/4 cup roasted peanuts.

Wine pairing: New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc

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