The trick to making this sweet-sour and spicy pork with flash-fried eggplants is to cook the stir fried pork and eggplants separately. Add the flash-fried eggplants to the pork at the end of cooking time and simply toss to blend.
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Sweet-sour-spicy Pork With Flash-fried Eggplants

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author Connie Veneracion

Ingredients

  • 4 to 6 eggplants preferably, the Asian variety
  • 2 to 3 cups cooking oil
  • 200 grams pork belly cut very thinly (1/4 inch or thinner)
  • 1 splash rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 bird’s eye chili3s finely sliced
  • patis (fish sauce) to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Instructions

  • Cut each eggplant vertically into halves then slice into 1/2-inch wide pieces.
  • Heat the cooking oil in a wok or frying pan. Flash fry the eggplants (see the illustrated guide on flash frying). Scoop out with a spider and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.
  • Pour off all the oil from the pan.
  • Reheat the pan. Over high heat, add the pork spreading them evenly so that each piece is touching the bottom of the pan.
  • Pour in the rice vinegar. Add the sugar, garlic and chilis plus about a tablespoonful of fish sauce. Stir. Cook over high heat without disturbing until the liquid has been absorbed by the meat.
  • Continue cooking over high heat with occasional stirring until the pork renders some fat and starts to turn brown around the edges. Pour in half a cup of water, bring to the boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until the pork is done.
  • Taste a piece of pork. Adjust the seasonings (salt, vinegar and fish sauce), if needed. Turn up the heat and continue cooking, uncovered, until the mixture is almost dry.
  • Add the cooked eggplants to the pork. Sprinkle with a little more fish sauce (the eggplants are still unseasoned at this point, remember). Toss a few times.
  • When the eggplants are heated through (30 seconds or so), turn off the heat and immediately transfer the pork and eggplants to a serving place. Keeping them in the hot pan longer will make the eggplants go on cooking and they might turn too soft.
  • Sprinkle with more sliced chilis, if you like, before serving.