I frequently use the Chinese Velveting Technique with both chicken and beef to produce that silky, tender ‘mouth-feel’ one experiences with meat in Chinese restaurants, but rarely have I used it with pork. Mostly, this is because I prefer the fattier cuts with have their own unctuous softness but, a few days ago, I purchased a large pork loin which, as you probably know, is very lean and rarely as juicy and tender as the fattier bits when cooked. I don’t often buy the tenderloin (for the reason as aforesaid), but the price was right and so I bought a good hunk with a view to doing a few different dishes. Most of it was divided into three separate pieces for later use, but I decided to use the trimmings in a stir-fried dishes with the meat first nicely ‘velveted’ …
- 3/4lb Pork Tenderloin sliced thinly into strips;
- ½ cup Cashews;
- 1 large mild Green Chilli Pepper;
- 2 Tbsp. finely shredded Ginger;
- 3 Tbsp. Soy Sauce;
- 3 Tbsp. Rice Wine;
- 1 tsp. Sugar;
- 1 dash Sesame Oil;
Here is my pork which has already been velveted in water (instead of oil). For a description, and step-by-step series of photographs for following the procedure here, go to the Chinese Velveting Technique, as aforementioned. In this case, I added the ‘splash of Sesame Oil’ to the water for a slight taste fillip.
Here you can see how I sliced the chilli (in this case a large Anaheim). The sauce is easily prepared ahead by mixing the soy, sugar, and rice wine.
The first cooking step, once you have velveted your pork is to fry the cashews in a good ‘glug’ of oil over moderately high heat. This will both bring out their natural flavour as well as flavour the oil. Fry only until a few obvious brown spots appear on the nuts and then immediately remove from the oil and set aside (don’t be too slow here as the cashews will quickly burn).
Now add the ginger and, a few seconds later, the chilli. Let fry a few seconds more and then throw in the pork. Toss and fry until a few bits begin to brown.
Finally, add cashew and the sauce mix and let the mix begin to bubble. As soon as the sauce reduces to a glaze, plate and serve.