12-16 oz. pork loin roast
1 cup cubed pineapple (can or fresh work equally as well)
1 cup chopped red and green peppers (make sure they are all cut the same)
dash of salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 egg white
3/4 cup ketchup
1 cup water plus 2 tablespoons
1 cup cornstarch plus 1 tablespoon
2-3 cups vegetable oil for deep frying
1. Thinly slice pork loin. Pork loin roasts are quite large, so I cut it into quarters so that my pieces are small and thin. Place the pork in a bowl. Add salt, sugar, pepper, rice vinegar, and egg white. Using your hand mix these into the pork. As you do this, massage the meat by squeezing it through your fingers. (The Chinese chef said that it helps tenderize the meat.) Allow to marinate on the counter for about 20 minutes.
2. Prep the vegetables and pineapple. Set aside.
3. After the meat has marinated, place 1 cup cornstarch in a shallow dish. You are going to make meatballs that are about 3/4" in diameter. (If they are too big, it is harder to eat and the flavor is different.) Take some meat and drop it into the cornstarch. Roll it around in the cornstarch forming a loose ball. Put the ball in your palm and squeeze it to compact the meat. Rotate it as you squeeze to get a ball shape. Place on a place with a thin layer of cornstarch. Continue with the remaining meat.
*Note: You don't want to squeeze the meat ball too tight or the meat will become tough, nor do you want to leave the meat balls too loose or they will fall apart during cooking.
4. Heat oil in a pan to deep fry until it is 350ºF. I use my wok which is stainless steel (don't use your wok if it is non-stick.) Cook about 9 of the meat balls at a time. You don't want to crowd the wok or cause the temperature to drop. As the meat cooks, roll them around with a slotted spoon occasionally to allow all sides to be cooked evenly. Cook for
about 3-4 minutes. The crust will turn golden brown. Remove one meatball and test it by cutting it open to ensure that the meat is cooked through. Remove to a covered plate to drain. (Like to use brown paper bags. It keeps the crust from getting soggy.) Repeat with remaining meatballs.
5. After cooking the meat, place peppers and pineapple into the oil. Immediately remove. (I am not sure why this needs to be done, but the Chinese chef said it was important.)
6. Combine 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl. Mix until the cornstarch is dissolved. In a clean wok, (I pour the oil into another container and just was my wok) add about 1/2 tablespoon of the used oil. Heat the oil on medium-high heat. Add ketchup and water. Stir until it is combined. If the ketchup mixture looks too thick add a little more water. Bring to a boil. Add meatballs, peppers, and pineapple. Stir until the meat is coated by the sauce. Add about half of the cornstarch mixture, and stir. Bring back to a boil. Allow the sauce to thicken. If the sauce is still thin and not sticking to the meat, then add a little more cornstarch mixture.
Notes: I have tried using ground pork instead of slicing the pork loin. It is a time saver, but the meatballs have a different texture. The flavor is still awesome, but the sliced pork gives the meatballs a more tender bite. The pineapple is the key ingredient in this dish. Don't forget it. (I speak from experience. Without the pineapple, it was just ketchup on pork meatballs, and not very tasty.)