Sweet-and-Sour pork, the ubiquitous and arguably one of the most well known Chinese pork dishes, is Cantonese in origin. The secret of an authentic Sweet- and-Sour Pork dish is in the perfect balance of the sweet versus sour flavor of the sauce. Mastering this recipe means making the best Sweet-and-Sour Sauce. Of course, nicely fried pork, along with fresh, and colorful ingredients, is equally important. Ultimately though, the Sweet-and- Sour Sauce is the heart and soul of this dish. I like my Sweet-and-Sour Pork just barely coated with the sauce, this way the pork pieces remain crispy. If you prefer the Americanized version with a heavier gravy, increase the portion of the Sweet-and-Sour Sauce to your liking.
Serves 4 as part of a multi-course meal
- 8 oz (250 g) pork tenderloin, pork butt, or pork neck
- Oil, for deep-frying
- 2 tablespoons oil, for stir-frying
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 small red bell pepper, deseeded and cut into pieces
- 1/2 small green bell pepper, deseeded and cut into pieces
- 1/2 small onion, quartered
- 1 slice canned pineapple ring, cut into pieces
- 2 green onions (scallions), white parts only, cut into 2 in (5 cm) lengths
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) Sweet-and-Sour Sauce
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon Chinese rice wine or sherry
- 1/2 cup (65 g) all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1/4 cup (35 g) cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 egg white
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) water
- 1 tablespoon oil
- A pinch of salt
- Cut the pork into bite-sized pieces and marinate with the Marinade ingredients for 15 minutes.
- Mix all the ingredients in the Frying Batter until well combined. Add the marinated pork into the Frying Batter, stir to evenly coat with the batter.
- Heat 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 cm) of the oil in a wok or stockpot to 350°F (175°C) for deep-frying. Gently drop the pork into the oil and loosen them up immediately with the spatula to prevent the pork from clumping together.
- Deep-fry them to a light golden brown or until the batter becomes crispy. Dish out with a strainer or slotted spoon, draining the excess oil by laying the pork on a dish lined with paper towels. Discard or reserve the oil for use in another recipe.
- To stir-fry, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a wok or skillet over high heat. Add the garlic and stir- fry to a light brown before adding the peppers, onion, pineapple, and green onion. Stir the ingredients a few times and then add the Sweet-and-Sour Sauce.
- As soon as the Sweet-and-Sour Sauce thickens, add the fried pork into the wok or skillet. Stir continuously until all the ingredients are well coated with the sauce. Dish out and serve immediately with steamed rice.
COOK’S NOTE: If you feel that the frying batter is too thick, add a little more water to it. To make the pork extra crispy, increase the temperature of the oil and deep-fry a second time. If you like more sauce, double the portion of the Sweet-and-Sour Sauce.
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