About this recipe:All the family will love this sweet and sour casserole that makes the most of seasonal fresh plums. It's traditionally flavoured with ginger, five-spice, vinegar, soya and spring onions, and the addition of water chestnuts and cubes of sweet potato turn it into a complete, low-fat dish.
2 tablespoons (30ml) vegetable oil
4 lean pork loin steaks
800 g plums, halved, stoned and roughly chopped
4 spring onions, cut into 2 cm lengths
4 orange sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 cm cubes
230 g can water chestnuts, drained and rinsed, then sliced
3 cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (optional)
2 teaspoons caster sugar
1 tablespoon (15ml) salt-reduced soya sauce
1 tablespoon (15ml) cider vinegar
2 tablespoons (30ml) Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish, then briefly fry the pork steaks on both sides until lightly browned. Add the plums, spring onions, sweet potatoes and water chestnuts to the casserole dish, then stir everything together.
Put the ginger into a small bowl. Add the garlic, chilli if using, sugar, soya sauce, vinegar, wine or sherry and the five-spice powder. Mix well, then spoon the mixture over the ingredients in the casserole dish. Cover with the lid, then cook in the oven, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened.
Taste the sauce and add more sugar or vinegar if needed, depending on the flavour of the plums, to give a good balance of sweet and sour tastes. Scatter the chopped coriander over the top and serve.