Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Sweet and Sour Pork with Sticky Rice

Simple pork and rice make an inviting dinner when you cook them with flavorful, aromatic ingredients—sweet, sour, savory, a little spicy, all good. The key here is letting the meat marinate for several hours (or overnight) to allow the flavors to penetrate and tenderize it. Start with lean, tender boneless chops and you’re already halfway there.

Pork Sirloin Chops
Note: The pork will darken in the marinade as a natural reaction to the vinegar. No problem.

When I make rice, I typically choose basmati or another long-grain variety and stir-fry it in a little olive oil before adding liquid to the pan. This helps keep the grains loose—the way we usually prefer it at my house.

But for this recipe, I wanted to go with more of an Asian style, in both flavor and texture. That means short-grain white rice and enough liquid to steam the rice, not stir-fry it—and making it plenty sticky. Here, the brown sugar not only adds a little sweetness, but lends itself to the stickiness as well.

Serves 4


For the Pork
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp ground fresh chile paste (sambal oelek)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 Thai or 1 habanero chile, finely chopped
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 lb boneless sirloin pork chops, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp peanut oil, divided
  • 4 scallions, coarsely chopped, white and green parts separated
  • 3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1-1/2 tsp cornstarch
Scallions and Bell Pepper
For the Rice
  • 1-2/3 cups water
  • 3/4 cup short-grain white rice (such as sushi rice or arborio), rinsed well and drained
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • sea salt
Rinsed Sushi Rice

For the Pork
  1. Combine the first 9 ingredients (through ginger) in a bowl large enough to marinate the pork. Stir well until the sugar dissolves. 
  2. Transfer 1/2 cup of the marinade to a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Add the pork to the bowl with the remaining marinade and submerge as much as possible. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours (or overnight).
Pork in the Marinade 
Marinated Pork
  1. Heat a wok or deep skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of peanut oil, swirling to coat.
  2. Remove the pork from the marinade, allowing it to cling to the meat. (Discard the rest.) Stir-fry until lightly browned and almost cooked, 7-8 minutes.
  3. Remove the pork with a slotted spoon to a plate or bowl and pour the liquid from the wok.
Pork Beginning to Cook 
Stir-Fried Pork
  1. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of peanut oil to the wok and add the white parts of the scallions and red bell pepper. Stir-fry 3 minutes.
  2. Combine the cornstarch with the reserved marinade. Add to the wok and cook until the sauce is hot throughout and slightly thickened, 2 minutes.
Scallions and Pepper Beginning to Stir-Fry 
Cornstarch Stirred In 
Pork and Sauce Added 
Thickened Sauce
To serve, divide the rice (recipe follows) among 4 shallow bowls and spoon pork, vegetables, and sauce alongside. (Or, top the rice with the wok mixture.) Garnish with the green parts of the scallions.

Sweet and Sour Pork with Sticky Rice
For the Rice
  1. Combine the water, rice, sugar, and lime juice in a nonstick pan and season with salt.
  2. Cook until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed, 12-13 minutes.
Cooked Sticky Rice


  1. This sweet and sour pork looks yummy. I am going to try it soon. pinned. found at what'd you do this weekend. Have a wonderful week.