Heat… how much can you handle? When it comes to the ever common ‘General Tso’s’ dishes in Chinese American cuisine, whole dried red chili peppers are used to infuse the dish with some spicy heat and flavor. The good thing is, you can adjust the heat and spiciness by controlling how many peppers you use. For this General Tso’s Pork Stir Fry, a sweet and savory sauce of rice wine, rice vinegar, sugar, and soy/tamari, combines with a melange of pork, carrots and beans spiked with a spicy red chili pepper oil…
For this dish, I only used 2 whole dry chili peppers to impart some heat but adjust it to your tastes. You can even omit the peppers all together, though it won’t be traditionally spicy for General Tso’s. Chicken, beef or even shrimp can be used as well instead of pork, as the sauce works nicely with these too.
recipe adapted from Food
1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar2 tablespoons rice wine3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons soy sauce or GF tamari
1 lb pork tenderloin, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1-5 dried chili pods, to your tastes of spiciness
1/2 cup onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup baby carrots1/4 pound fresh green beans
1 stalk green onion, thinly sliced for garnish
In a small bowl, prepare the sauce by combining the cornstarch with the wine, vinegar, sugar and soy sauce; set aside.
Season pork with salt and pepper to taste.
In a skillet over high heat, add 1 tablespoon oil and in small batches, sauté the seasoned pork until cooked through. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
In the same skillet over medium high heat, add another tablespoon or two of the oil in the wok. Add the pepper pods to the oil and stir-fry briefly, awakening the aroma but not burning them.
Add the garlic, onions, carrots and green beans to the skillet and sauté until cooked through.
Return the pork to the wok and stir-fry until warmed through.
Add the sauce-mixture to the wok, tossing over the heat until the sauce caramelizes into a glaze (1-2 minutes). Serve immediately over rice or noodles.