Saturday, July 28, 2012

Saturday Lunch

I've cooked this recipe several times in the past, and each time it's been a hit-or-miss kind of thing. So after five years of not cooking it, and having been inspired by my marathon sessions of Masterchef Australia, I decided to make this for lunch today. And would you believe it? It IS possible to learn by absorption! Being an armchair cook has finally paid off. I am proud to present my Sandy Lam pork chops.

This is a recipe from Sandy Lam's cookbook My Shanghai. Where before I followed the recipe blindly, this time I modified the process a little. These are Chinese-style pork chops, with potato chips.

These are the ingredients I used and my steps:
1kg pork chops, cut into manageable pieces (you could pop each piece into your mouth at one time)
2 cups cooking oil
4 potatoes, peeled and cut into thick strips
1 stalk spring onion, cut into 4-cm strips
Vegetable stock (I made this by boiling half a litre of water and putting in 4 celery stalks cubed, 1 carrot, sliced, 1 cucumber cubed and two teaspoons of salt. Bring to boil and let simmer while you prepare the rest of the dish). The original recipe asked for chicken stock, but I didn't have any.

Marinade for the pork:
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2tbsp dark soy sauce
2tsp sugar
1tbsp cornstarch
2tbsp Chinese red wine
2tsp sesame oil

1. Put the marinade together and season pork pieces for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, start your vegetable stock. 
2. I double cooked the potatoes, which is different from the original recipe.Bring a pot of water to boil and add salt. Put the potato chips in to boil for about five minutes. Remove, drain, and set aside.
3. Heat oil in a pan, deep-fry potatoes until slightly brown. Drain and set aside.
4. Heat 1 tablespoon oil and stir-fry one stalk of spring onion until fragrant. Add pork chops and brown on each side. As there is quite a substantial amount of meat, fry them in batches. Each side should take 2 to 3 minutes to cook properly. Don't leave them in too long. As soon as the pieces are cooked on both sides, remove them and set aside on a plate. Do this until you have cooked all the meat.
4. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok. Add the cooked meat and deep fried potatoes and mix thoroughly. At this point you can turn the heat off the vegetable stock. Add a cup to the meat and potatoes, and the second stalk of spring onion. Simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt to taste, if necessary. Remove from heat. Serve with rice.
The meat should be tender and juicy. It's the perfect one-pot meal for the whole family.

I finally know how to make something other than pasta for the kids!

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