Lichee Pork on Rice from Yung City Corp. (21 Eldridge Street, 646-0988)
Let’s begin with an analogy: Ta-chen chicken is to General Tso’s chicken as lichee pork is to sweet-and-sour pork: Both seem like the tastier bases of these popular, Americanized plates.
So how does this misleadingly named pick–there are no lychee fruit (!)–differ from the U.S. version?
Although the porcine pieces come battered and fried in both dishes, the key differences are in the sauces and vegetables.
The Fouijan features a less sticky, syrupy sauce: In texture, taste, and color, it’s almost identical to the sweet-and-spicy soy-based gravy present on ta-chen.
Also, Yung City’s boasts tomato and cauliflower, whereas sweet-and-sour only tends to have canned pineapple (if that.)
Served over rice, this $4.25 specialty could easily serve two, but won’t because you will devour the whole thing.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 14, 2012