Salty and sweet with lots of crunch. Thinly sliced pork is tossed with starch and fried until a crisp crust forms. Then, the meat is stir fried with vegetables and lightly salted cashew nuts. By the time the dish is done, every ingredient gives off a unique dimension of crispiness. And that is what makes this stir fry so good.
Of course, there’s the matter of the seasonings too. Perfect texture is nothing if the food is insufficiently flavored. For best results, seasonings were added during various stages of cooking following the principle of layering flavors.
What’s the best cut of pork for this stir fry? A cut with no bones, for starters. And a cut that cooks fast too. Loin? Loin cooks fast but I find it too lean. I prefer a cut with a little fat — the belly is my favorite. But isn’t belly essentially a cut for stewing? Yes, but if sliced thinly enough, it is also perfect for stir frying.
15-minute stir fried pork, peas and cashew nuts
- 200 to 250 grams boneless pork belly cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
- 1/4 cup tapioca starch (corn or potato starch will work too)
- 1 and 1.2 cups cooking oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 onion thinly sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 large bell pepper diced
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup sweet peas
- 1 generous splash rice wine
- 1/3 cup lightly salted roasted cashew nuts
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
- 1 dash sesame seed oil
Sprinkle the pork slices with salt and pepper. Mix well. Toss with the starch, shaking off the excess.
Heat the cooking oil. Fry the pork slices in batches until crisp and cooked through. Scoop out and drain on a stack of paper towels.
Pour off the oil until only about two tablespoonfuls remain.
Add the garlic, onion, ginger, bell pepper and peas to the pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir fry for a minute. Add the rice wine. Continue stir frying until the liquid has been soaked up.
Add the cashew nuts and pork to the vegetables. Pour in the oyster sauce, hoisin sauce and sesame oil. Stir fry until every piece of meat, vegetable and nut is lightly coated with sauce.
Serve at once.