Monday, July 7, 2014

Sweet and Sour Pork

Quite suddenly, I had a hankering for sweet and sour pork.  And I know myself enough that it's better to just get it over with than deny it... so here it is -

I remember that this is one dish that I was allowed to cook (at age 11 or 12 if I remember correctly).  I was given very, very specific instructions to have everything prepared before cooking.  It is a practice that I've kept (with very few exceptions)...

My mise en place -

As expected, my craving was sufficiently satisfied.

The recipe (adapted slightly from Yan Kit's Classic Chinese Cookbook

800 grams pork tenderloin, cubed
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/3 cup cornstarch (I used AA powder)

2 cloves garlic, chopped up
1 medium onion, skinned and chopped coarsely
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 small carrot, sliced into "squares"
100 grams canned pineapple chunks, drained, juice reserved


1 tablespoon cornstarch dispersed in 1/2 cup water
1/4 cup pineapple juice (reserved from pineapple chunks)
3 tablespoons white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar (I would use a little less)
1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 to 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (optional, I always skip this)

leeks, for garnish

Marinate pork cubes in soy sauce for about 15 to 30 minutes.  Stir in enough of the beaten egg to coat the pork cubes, then dredge the pork, piece by piece, in the cornstarch (enough to coat but not excessively).

Deep fry the pork, separating the pieces in the wok. Drain on paper towels.

Stir together all ingredients for the sauce.  Adjust seasonings (this is important because different brands/spices have subtle differences)

Saute the garlic and onion until soft.  Add the green pepper and stir fry until pepper is almost cooked. Add the pineapple chunks.

Lower the flame and add the well stirred sauce.  Heat (over low flame) until boiling. A dd the pork cubes.   Serve immediately.

(to make the pork crispy, deep fry again before adding to the sauce)

Final Note: different brands of soy sauce have varying degrees of saltiness. Adjust accordingly.

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