Who doesn’t have a hankerin’ for Chinese food on the regular? And Lord knows there’s usually leftovers after a night of Chinese take-out. But I’m flipping the script and turning leftovers into Chinese!
I scooped up a BOGO deal for pork sirloin roast at the grocery store this week and made it with an herb rub that included orange zest for my initial dish. So when I searched my mental catalog for things to do with “book ends” of the roast, I thought of trying to make a sweet and sour sauce to incorporate with the leftover pork and some veggies. Let’s do this.
I searched around the web to see exactly what goes into various varieties of sweet and sour sauces, and determined that I had what I needed already in house to cobble something together. Bonus! I set aside some rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, corn starch, brown sugar and pineapple juice. Some people use ketchup, but I wasn’t in the mood for that “nuclear orange” color you usually see on your sweet and sour pork/chicken, so I decided to go with the pineapple juice from the canned pineapple chunks I had in the pantry.
I put a cup of pineapple juice, a tablespoon of soy sauce, some water, a hefty portion of brown sugar (like a quarter cup), and 3 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar. Once I stirred that around, I added roughly 3 tablespoons of corn starch to the mix and kept it at medium heat, stirring it consistently until it thickened up.
Next, I chopped up some green pepper, onion, celery and pineapple…the “usual suspects” of a sweet and sour combo plates. I also used up the last of my frozen snow peas (not enough to serve as a side dish, but just enough to supplement this main course)
I’m also pretty savvy at an at-home version of fried rice, so I prepped those elements. I like to cook brown rice in broth in stead of water. In a separate pan, I sauted garlic and onion, then add peas and chopped carrots (and today, mushrooms since I had a couple ounces on hand). I add the cooked rice, and mix, then create a hole in the middle of the pan, put about a tablespoon of oil (canola or vegetable) and fry an egg.
Once that’s cooking pretty good, I mince it up in the pan and stir everything together, then add soy sauce to taste. It’s not an exact process, but a method I mess with pretty much every time I make this.
Next step: cook the veggies for the sweet and sour. I added some oil to a pan, and cooked then until just soft, then poured in the sweet and sour sauce I made. After a few minutes, I tossed in the chopped leftover pork and the pineapple.
I tasted the mixture and decided it need a little bit of sauce. Then, it was right where I wanted it!. Time to eat. I put a bed of fried rice in a deep bowl then piled on a heaping portion of the “sweet and sour book ends” for a pretty sweet dish.