Sour Fried Pork Cutlets (Hong Zao Zha Zhu Pai)
These pan-fried pork cutlets take their pleasantly sour flavor from hong zao, a reddish fermented rice paste. We ran this recipe with Matt Gross's feature about eating in Taiwan, "Taipei, Family Style," in our April 2010 issue.
Enlarge Image Credit: Christie Johnston3 tbsp. hong zao paste
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. mushroom powder
4 4-oz. boneless pork chops,
trimmed and pounded to 1⁄4" thickness
1⁄2 cup coarsely ground sweet
potato starch or panko
1 cup canola oil
1. Combine hong zao paste, sugar, and mushroom powder in a medium bowl. Put pork into a baking dish and smear with the marinade; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour and up to overnight.
2. Put sweet potato starch on a plate and dredge pork, shaking off excess. Heat 1⁄2 cup oil in a 12" nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add two pieces of pork to skillet and cook, turning once, until golden brown and crispy, 3–4 minutes. Transfer pork to a rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Wipe out skillet and repeat with remaining oil and pork. To serve, cut the pork into strips and transfer to a platter.