Friday, June 2, 2017

Instant Pot: General Tso's Pork Stir Fry

Heat... how much can you handle? When it comes to the ever common 'General Tso's' dishes in Chinese American cuisine, whole dried red chili peppers are used to infuse the dish with some spicy heat and flavor. The good thing is, you can adjust the heat and spiciness by controlling how many peppers you use. For this General Tso's Pork Stir Fry, a sweet and savory sauce of rice wine, rice vinegar, sugar, and soy/tamari, combines with a melange of pork, carrots and beans spiked with a spicy red chili pepper oil...

For this dish, I prepared it in the Instant Pot and used 2 whole dry chili peppers to impart some heat but adjust it to your tastes. You can even omit the peppers all together, though it won't be traditionally spicy for General Tso's. Chicken, beef or even shrimp can be used as well instead of pork, as the sauce works nicely with these too. 



General Tso's Pork Stir Fry
recipe adapted from Food

Sauce:

1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons rice wine
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons soy sauce or GF tamari



1 lb pork tenderloin, thinly sliced

salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1-5 dried chili pods, to your tastes of spiciness
1/2 cup onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup baby carrots
1/4 pound fresh green beans
1 stalk green onion, thinly sliced for garnish



In your Instant Pot:

Plug in the IP with insert set in place.


Season pork with salt and pepper to taste.

Press SAUTE on the IP and add 1 tablespoon oil. When hot, sauté the seasoned pork until cooked through. 

To the IP, add remaining vegetable oil and pepper pods; sauté briefly, awakening the aroma but not burning them. 

Add chicken broth to IP.


Secure the lid of the IP and ensure the valve is set to SEALING.



Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 4 minute on HIGH pressure.

The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure.

When the IP has beeped after pressure cooking for 4 minutes, turn the setting on top of your IP to VENTING. Doing so allows the IP to quickly release any remaining pressure (also known as QPR or QR). I use a wooden spoon to carefully turn the setting to avoid close contact with the potential steam. You may also want to turn your IP away from cabinets to allow the released steam to escape freely. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

Open up your IP when the pin has dropped (allow a few minutes for this to happen). The IP will automatically default to the WARM mode.


Press SAUTE and add the garlic, onions, carrots and green beans to the IP and simmer until cooked through and liquid reduces slightly.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, prepare the sauce by combining the cornstarch with the wine, vinegar, sugar and soy sauce; set aside.

Add the soy sauce mixture to the IP, tossing over the heat until the sauce caramelizes into a glaze (1-2 minutes). Serve immediately over rice or noodles.