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, soy and scallions, and the addition of water chestnuts and cubes of sweet potato turn it into a complete, low-fat dish.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (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, scallions, sweet potatoes and water chestnuts to the casserole dish, then stir everything together.
Put the ginger into a small bowl. Add the garlic, chili pepper if using, sugar, soy 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 cilantro over the top and serve.
Cook'stips: This dish can be prepared a day ahead of time and refrigerated. Reheat gently before serving, sprinkled with the cilantro.' You can find bottles of Chinese rice wine in the Asian section of large supermarkets or in Asian food stores.
Variation: This recipe would work equally well with skinless chicken thighs.
Each serving: 38 g protein, 15 g fat of which 3 g saturates, 91 g carbohydrate, 15 g fibre, 697 Calories