Saturday, March 20, 2010

Pork Chop Suey


Chop suey ("mixed pieces") is an American-Chinese dish that's sort of just a hodge podge of vegetables and meats (believed to have been created when Chinese miners cooked together whatever foods they happened to have).

If you don't like pork, try substituting shrimp, chicken or beef! This recipe can easily be made meatless by leaving out the pork (duh). I actually found the pork was sort of in the way of everything else and will probably leave it out next time!


source: modified from EatingWell.com
total time: ~30 minutes

INGREDIENTS
1 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons molasses, preferably blackstrap
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
5 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch-thick pieces
1 medium onion, slivered
1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
3 cups (12oz.) mung bean sprouts
8oz. can bamboo shoots, thinly sliced (julienned)
8oz. can water chestnuts, slices
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

Although I have not tried it, I would also suggest trying this with sliced mushrooms, bok choy, and red pepper flakes (if you like a little heat).

DIRECTIONS
  1. Combine broth, soy sauce, molasses and pepper in a medium bowl. Transfer 2 tablespoons of the mixture to a small bowl; stir in cornstarch until combined. Set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add pork and cook, stirring frequently, until most of the pink is gone, 2 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  3. 3Increase heat to medium-high. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, onion, bell pepper, sprouts, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts and ginger and cook for 3 minutes. Pour in the broth mixture and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; add the reserved cornstarch mixture and pork (and any accumulated juice) and cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute.
  4. Serve over udon noodles (or other starch such as rice or barley).

KITCHEN TIPS
1. Pork tenderloins are typically sold in packs of 2 (one pound each). Use one for this recipe and freeze the other one for up to 3 months.

2. I mistakenly thought I had fresh ginger in my freezer (one of the many great tips I've picked up from the Next Food Network Star, Melissa d'Arabian). In a pinch, I substituted 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger and that worked well.

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