I am very fond of Asian recipes, especially those part of Chinese and Japanese cuisine. Unfortunately, here in Calgary, most recipes are “Westernized”, pretty boring and drowned in soy sauce or broth of some kind… or maybe I just haven’t found the right restaurant yet. During the week there is not much time left after work so, every once in a while, we stop at one of those takeout places that pop up everywhere lately, and grab something. Personally I still hope to be surprised someday but it didn’t happen so far, all “restaurants” (and I use this term loosely) I have been to so far, suck. If there are any good places somewhere downtown, I am out of luck because I hate going there.
Anyway, back to the matter at hand. A couple of my favorite recipes include chicken Gong Bao (or Kung Pao) and Haitai salad (an algae thing) but, good luck finding them anywhere. I used to have a favorite Chinese restaurant back in the day, but that was in another age and unfortunately, in a different country therefore I decided to do a bit of research and try and make my own Asian dishes. First thing on my list was Gong Bao which I deeply love, and after I spent some time looking at different recipes, I finally found one that looked interesting and with a couple of changes, I started cooking and the end result was everything I hoped for. The dish was amazing!
OK so here it is, a couple of weird ingredients but nothing I could not handle. For example, dried Sichuan chilies I swapped for some normal chilies and Szechuan peppercorn, I managed to find at my favorite spice store here in Calgary. The rest was pretty basic stuff that you can find everywhere. Enjoy!
- 1 lb (500g) pork loin, cut into cubes
- 10 scallions (white parts) cut into ½ in pieces
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1½ tsp ginger
- 5 dried red chilies (I used chili flakes actually)
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp Sichuan pepercorns
- ½ cup peanuts (your choice)
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1-2 tsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- ¼ cup water
- Mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl, add pork and let it marinade for at least 30 minutes.
- In a separate bowl mix all the sauce ingredients.
- Heat oil in a wok over medium heat, add chilies and Sichuan peppercorns and cook for 5 minutes, then add the pork.
- When pork is almost done, add ginger and garlic and continue cooking.
- At the end, when pork is done, add your sauce and scallions and cook for few more minutes until sauce becomes thick.
- Add the peanuts and remove from heat.