We came down with a bug in our house this week so I haven’t been cooking much. Fortunately, I received my April Oklahoma Living magazine in the mail yesterday so today I’m sharing a recipe that I cooked for this month’s magazine — Orange Pork.
I always wondered how Chinese restaurants make the breading for dishes like Sesame or General Tso’s Chicken until I came across a recipe for Orange Chicken in Fine Cooking magazine. I made some adaptations to the recipe (including using pork), but the breading is the same — it uses cornstarch and eggs.
Since the recipe involves frying, it’s not an everyday dish, but I’ve entertained with it and guests have always been impressed.
Asian-Style Orange Pork
- 2 oranges
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 4 scallions
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- 2/3 cup cornstarch
- 4 egg whites
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 pounds boneless pork loin roast, fat trimmed
- Canola oil for frying
Zest one of the oranges into a small bowl and juice both of the oranges into the bowl. Mix in the soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar and red pepper flakes. Slice the scallions into thin pieces and set them aside. In a dry skillet, toast the almonds over medium-high heat, shaking the pan frequently so they brown but don’t burn.
In a medium bowl, combine the cornstarch and egg whites and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Cut the pork into 1-inch cubes. If the pork is wet, pat it dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle it with the remaining teaspoon of salt. Add the pork to the bowl with the cornstarch batter and mix to coat.
To a large skillet over medium-high heat, add enough canola oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Allow the oil to preheat until a drop of the batter sizzles in the skillet. With tongs, place the pork pieces into the skillet so they don’t touch one another. Depending on the size of the skillet, you may need to cook the pork in multiple batches. Cook the pork for approximately 4 minutes, flipping each piece to brown all of the sides. Transfer the cooked pork to a plate lined with paper towels. Add more oil to the skillet as needed.
Once all of the pork is cooked, add the orange juice mixture to the skillet. Bring it to a boil and add the pork, scallions and almonds. Cook for a couple more minutes, until a larger chunk of pork is done in the center. (The internal temperature should be at least 160 degrees.) Serve with rice.