Friday, August 10, 2018

Sweet, Sour, Salty, Spicy

Many Asian restaurants offer some form of sweet and sour xxxx. Once in a while the dish is actually quite good. Sadly, most of the time all you get is sweet gooey meat with tired vegetables. I assume you want something different from that.

This recipe reduces the calories by avoiding battered and fried meat, by reducing the oil, and by using fruit juice rather than sugar as the prime sweetener. Furthermore, browning the ingredients enhances the flavor. 


1 can pineapple chunks packed in pineapple juice, drained and juice reserved
1 stalk of celery, sliced at an angle
1/2 onion, peeled and sliced in chunks
1/2 sweet pepper, seeded and large diced
6 ounces thick sliced ham, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 can baby corn pieces, drained
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup reserved pineapple juice
4 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1/2 to 1 teaspoon sriracha
1 clove garlic, minced and turned to paste
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 rounded Tablespoon corn starch
1 packet Splenda or 1 teaspoon sugar


Spray grease a large non stick skillet, add the ham to the cold skillet, and heat over medium heat without moving the ham. Cook the ham until it begins to brown, stir and allow to brown further without burning. Remove the ham from the skillet and keep warm.

Add the drained pineapple chunks to the same skillet with its fond and brown the pineapple without moving it. Once the pineapple has begun to brown, flip it and brown a second side. Remove the fruit from the pan and keep it warm.

Spray the pan with more spray grease and add the remaining vegetables. Cook and brown the vegetables without stir or turning.

While the vegetables brown, combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl. Taste and adjust the balance.

When the vegetables begin to brown, toss and stir them to place a different side down. Continue to cook until the vegetables are close to crisp but cooked.  Add back the ham and pineapple to reheat.

When all has reheated, stir the sauce well and add it to the pan. Stir the skillet contents as the sauce bubbles and thickens. Be sure to coat all ingredients. Serve over rice.