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Stir-fried pork and cucumber

Streaky pork rashers are cut from the belly of the pig and are otten simply described as 'belly pork'. You can buy streaky pork in the piece as a joint for roasting, but for this dish the meat needs to be cut into rashers. Most butchers sell ready-prepared rashers, but if not, ask your butcher to cut them for you and bone them at the same time. Remember too, that the thick end of belly pork (from the middle of the pig) has far more meat on it than the thin end, so it is worth asking for it.

ingredients

serves 4 - 6
1 kg (2 lb) streaky pork rashers
1 medium cucumber
2 tablespoons cornflour
2 tablespoons dry sherry
2 tablespoons soy sauce
300 ml (1/2 pint) chicken stock
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground ginger, or 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh root ginger

method

1. Trim the rinds, bones and any excess fat from the pork rashers. Cut the rashers into thin strips about 5 cm/2 inches long.

2. Wipe but do not peel the cucumber, then cut into quarters lengthways, trimming off the ends. Scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon. Cut the quarters lengthways again and cut the pieces into 2.5 cm (1 inch) lengths.

3. Mix the cornflour to a paste in a bowl with a little of the sherry or soy sauce, then stir in the remainder with the stock.

4. Put the oil and garlic into a frying-pan and set over high heat until the garlic sizzles.

5. Add the pork and fry over high heat for about 15 minutes until all the pieces are crisp and well browned, stirring briskly all the time.

6. Pour all but about 1 tablespoon of the fat from the frying-pan and then set the pan back over low heat.

7. Stir in the cucumber, onion and ginger and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes until the onion is translucent.

8. Give the cornflour mixture a stir and pour it into the pan. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to the boil. Cook over high heat for 3 minutes until a thick, translucent sauce is formed.

9. Transfer to a warmed serving dish and serve at once.

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