Recipe: Crunchy Sweet & Sour Rhubarb Pork with Egg Fried Rice

Crunchy Sweet and Sour Rhubarb Pork with Egg Fried Rice

Don’t worry, my Asian food kick is finally over, and I’ve got some delicious Mexican, Greek and Brazilian recipes coming up over the next few weeks! However, I could not resist sharing this super-addictive Chinese-inspired dish that I think will make a great Chinese New Year treat next week – it’s Year of the Pig, so bring on some crispy, crunchy, tender pieces of pork served with egg fried rice and an all natural sweet and sour sauce. I’ve literally been sitting on this one for about a year, waiting for forced rhubarb to come back in season!

I’ve totally done my own thing with the recipe, but I learnt from Abel & Cole’s latest cookbook How To Eat Brilliantly Everyday that forced rhubarb, cooked with a bit of sugar, orange and ginger makes a brilliant, all natural sweet and sour sauce, counterbalancing the fact you’ve fried your rice and your crunchy pork pieces. There is a recipe similar to this in the book, but I’ve written my own from scratch, which I think you’ll love. I promise you, once you’ve tried this simple, just roast it in the oven sauce you’ll be using it wherever you’d buy in sweet and sour for dinner. It’s also a much nicer colour than the fluros that come with takeout chicken balls!

Crunchy Sweet & Sour Rhubarb Pork with Egg Fried Rice
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Crunchy Sweet & Sour Rhubarb Pork with Egg Fried Rice

  • Author: Rachel Phipps
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Chinese

Description

This easy yet indulgent bowl of crispy sweet and sour pork served over egg fried rice is given a seasonal, healthier twist with a homemade rhubarb sweet and sour sauce.


Ingredients

For the Egg Fried Rice

  • 110g (4 oz) Brown Rice
  • 2 Large Eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp Light Oil
  • Very Large Handful Frozen Peas or Petits Pois
  • 2 Large Spring Onions, sliced
  • 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp Toasted Sesame Oil

For the Sweet and Sour Rhubarb Sauce

  • 2 Stalks Forced Rhubarb, cut into 2 cm pieces
  • Zest of 1/4 Orange
  • Juice of 1 Orange
  • 2 tsp Soft Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Ginger

For the Crispy Pork

  • 225g (8 oz) Pork Fillet, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 of a cup (eyeball it) Plain (All Purpose Flour)
  • Freshly Ground Sea Salt and Black Pepper
  • 2/3 cup (again, eyeball it) Panko Breadcrumbs
  • Light Oil

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees (390 fahrenheit). Cook the rice as per your packets instructions to make the egg fried rice. Once it has cooked, drain and set aside.
  2. To make the rhubarb sauce, toss together all the ingredients in a small baking dish; you want it small enough so that the rhubarb fits snugly and so that the orange juice stews the roasting rhubarb, rather than evaporating away. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes while you fry the pork and the rice.
  3. To prepare the pork, season the flour well with salt and pepper, and dip each slice of pork first in the flour, then the egg you’ve prepared for the egg fried rice, then the panko breadcrumbs. I use one hand for dipping in flour and breadcrumbs, and the other for the egg to avoid bread-crumbing my own fingers!
  4. Next, make the egg fried rice. Heat 1/2 tbsp of the oil in a large wok or frying pan over a medium high heat until it is shimmering, then add the rest of the egg. Scramble until it is just cooked and broken up into small pieces, then remove from the pan and set aside.
  5. Heat the other 1/2 tbsp of oil in the pan then add the frozen peas, cooking until warm. Add the rice and fry for a minute, before returning the egg to the pan along with the soy sauce and toasted sesame oil. Fry until the rice is well coated in the sauce, then set aside to keep warm.
  6. To fry the pork, cover the base of another large frying pan in about 1/2 cm of cooking oil and allow to heat until shimmering over a medium high heat. You can check if it is ready by dropping in a few breadcrumbs; they should sizzle on contact with the oil. Line a plate with a double layer of kitchen paper.
  7. Reduce the heat to medium then add the pork slices, you’ll probably have to do this in two batches, flipping after a minute or two once the bottom of the piece has turned golden and crispy, before using tongs to set the cooked pieces aside to drain on the lined plate. Whenever I’m shallow frying, I place the pieces in the pan clockwise so I know what order to flip things in.
  8. Once everything is ready, slice the pork so all you’ll need to eat your bowlful is a fork or a pair of chopsticks, then serve the slices over the egg fried rice. Remove the rhubarb sauce from the oven, and gently mash it with a fork so that it has a more sauce-like consistency, but there are still a good few chunks of rhubarb in there. Spoon over the pork and the rice.

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