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Deep-Fried Pumpkin And Pork

For the Pumpkin:
7/8 pound pumpkin (kiku-kabocha)
Starch (katakuriko)
1 egg white
Dry glutinous rice flour (shinbikiko)

Cooking Solution:
2 1/8 cups kelp-flavored fish stock (nidashijiru)
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons sweetened cooking sake (mirin)
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Pork:
2/3 pound pork (leg portion)
4 tablespoons soy sauce (shoyu)
2 tablespoons sweetened cooking sake (mirin)
Oil -- for deep-frying

For the pumpkin: Remove pumpkin seeds and clean inside. Cut into 1-inch cubes. Remove skin (except central portion each cube).

Place pumpkin in pot and add cooking solution. Cover and simmer until flavored.

Coat pumpkin with starch, then egg white, then glutinous rice flour. Heat oil to 360 degrees and deep-fry.

For the pork: Cut pork into 1 1/2-inch-long strips. Marinate in soy sauce and sweetened cooking sake for about 20 minutes.

Coat pork with starch. Heat oil to 360 degrees and deep-fry until crisp.

This recipe yields 4 servings.

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