Sweet and Sour Pork can be found on the menu at just about any Chinese restaurant. I wanted to make use of the pineapple and ketchup sauce in a vegetarian dish for the herbivores in my house. I substituted tofu for the pork; you can also use seitan if you prefer (or meat if you’re like me).
I used fresh pineapple to provide natural sweetness and a hint of tang to the sauce. I also added a little lime juice to brighten it up. To thicken the sauce, I dissolved a little cornstarch in water and added it to the mix. To this, just throw in a few carrots and enoki mushrooms and you’re ready for a quick and easy dinner.
1. Info for Vegetarian Sweet and Sour Pork
- Cook Time: unavailable
- Total Time: unavailable
- Servings: 6
- Calories: unavailable
2. Ingredients for Vegetarian Sweet and Sour Pork
- 1 (12-ounce) package firm tofu
- 1 fresh pineapple, peeled, halved, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons tapioca starch
- 1/3 cup water
- 5 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 carrot
- 1 package enoki mushrooms
- 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
- Reserve about 1 to 2 cups of pineapple chunks. In a blender or a mini-blender if you have one, blend the rest of the pineapple and the ginger. Add a little water if the blender doesn’t flow smoothly. Strain the mixture through a medium mesh sieve and gather about 1 to 1-1/2 cups of liquid. If you only have a fine mesh strainer, add about 1 to 2 teaspoons of pineapple pulp.
- Peel and cut the carrot into slices using a vegetable carving knife.
- Separate the enoki mushrooms and cut in thirds.
- In a wok, heat about 2 teaspoons of oil. Add the garlic. As the garlic becomes slightly golden, stir-fry carrots. When the color is translucent and shiny, season with sea salt. Add about 1 cup of pineapple juice and a tablespoon of brown sugar. Cook for about 3-4 minutes. The carrot should be tender, yet still firm. Add bell peppers. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the enoki mushrooms. Stir for another minute. Transfer to a plate.
- Mix the tapioca starch, soy sauce, remaining brown sugar, ketchup, chili garlic sauce, vinegar, 1/3 cup water and chili garlic sauce. Set aside.
- In the same wok, drizzle about 2 more teaspoons of oil. Add the pineapple chunks. Cook for a minute, then add the rest of the pineapple juice. Bring to a boil. Add the tapioca mixture and stir constantly to prevent the starch from sticking to the bottom of the wok. Continuously stir the broth as it will thicken very quickly.
- Add the vegetables. Check the texture of the sauce; it should be thick and syrupy. If you find the sauce to be too thick, add 2 to 4 tablespoons of water.
- Drain any liquid from the tofu. Pat dry with a paper towel. Slice the block of tofu into 1-inch thick pieces. Separate the pieces.
- In another pan, heat the remaining oil for about 2 minutes. The key to a good fried tofu is to get little bubbles when the tofu is in contact with the oil. Don’t overheat the oil; otherwise the tofu will get too browned and chewy. Just stick to the slightly jumping bubbles. Add the tofu one piece at a time, making sure the tofu pieces don’t touch each other. Lower the heat to medium. Cook for 2 minutes; the tofu will start to pop and increase in volume. Flip each piece and cook about a minute longer. Pick up each tofu piece with wooden chopsticks with as little oil as possible and immediately dip the tofu into the sweet and sour sauce. The tofu will deflate instantaneously. Repeat until all the tofu pieces are ready. Finish with lime juice and black pepper.
- Serve with steamed jasmine rice and eat with chopsticks!