In my recent ‘Foodstuffs’ post featuring Jack Hua Brand Sour Soup Paste, I promised that I would use the versatile paste in a pork dish rather than the typical Tom Yum soup for which it was designed. I had been meaning to do a stir-fry using pork tenderloin but, since I also planned to use fresh pineapple (as opposed to canned) along with the pork, I had to put the experiment on hold until the fresh article turned up on our store shelves again. I thought of substituting something else instead of the pineapple but I was pretty sure that the Tom Yum Soup paste would go nicely with the rich sweetness of the fruit…
- ½ lb. Pork Tenderloin sliced crosswise into bite-size pieces;
- 1 – 1 ½ cups fresh Pineapple pieces (cut about the same size as the Pork);
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, cut into chunks;
- ½ cup Flour;
- 2 ½ tbsp. Sugar;
- 1 ½ tbsp. Tom Yum Soup Paste;
- Salt and Pepper.
Season the pork slices with salt and pepper and then dredge them in the flour, shaking off any excess. Now, heat a cup of oil in your wok over moderately high heat and then, working in small batches, quickly fry the pork.
As the pieces become cooked, remove them to a bowl and set aside for the time being. The slices should be just browned and turning crisp along the edges but still moist and only just done on the inside.
Next, toss the pineapple chunks with a teaspoon of the sugar and coat in flour as you did with pork and fry in the hot oil until just barely beginning to brown. Remove the pieces to a bowl separately from the pork.
Pour off all but two tablespoons of oil from the wok and then add the bell pepper pieces, stir-frying until just softened slightly. Now, add the sugar and the Tom Yum paste and stir a few moments longer until you can smell the spicy aroma.
Add back the meat, stir-frying to re-heat and then add the pineapple, tossing gently until the chunks are also hot all the way through. Plate and then serve immediately, garnishing with some chopped scallion, if desired.
I served the dish with rice, cashew nuts and dried apricot pieces all spiced with turmeric, whole cloves, whole green cardamom and a cinnamon stick. The result, I have to say, was very good and my wife managed two helpings. I thought, at first, that maybe I could have used a little more of the Tom Yum paste but, after a few bites, I decided that the subtle taste from the amount used was just about right. It is definitely a dish worth repeating…