Sweet and sour pork is one of the most popular Chinese dishes around, it is of Cantonese origin and I guess it can be found anywhere around the world.
The dish originated from a traditional Jiangsu called Pork in sugar and vinegar sauce which shares nearly the same ingredients and cooking process. It was in the 18th century when this dish was created by the family chefs of the Long Family from the Shunde county, where it was used to test their skills. Then in the 20th century the recipe was introduced in the United States Chinese by migrant gold miners.
The typical sweet and sour dish is made out of deep fried pork pieces then stir fried in a sweet and sour sauce made out of sugar, vinegar, ketchup and soy sauce. Additional ingredients are also commonly added like peppers, onions, tomatoes and pineapple. There are also other types of souring agents used like unripe kiwifruits, HP sauce or acetic acid; sweetening agents like caramel, preserved plums, hawthorn candy are also good substitutes. For the colour the common ones used are ketchup, tomatoes or food colouring. Meats used can differ depending on the region, the traditional ones uses pork loins but in Hong Kong the popular ones are spare-ribs.
For this recipe I will be sharing a trusted traditional recipe, it is so good it won’t let you down.
600g Skinless Pork belly or Marbled pork loin, cut into bite size pieces
1 can pineapple pieces, retain the juice
1 thumb sized ginger, sliced
1 red capsicum, sliced
1 cup pork stock
2 tbsp corn flour, mixed in 3 tbsp water
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tomato ketchup
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 large red onion, sliced
5 cloves, garlic minced
1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup corn flour
4 tbsp water
1 tsp salt
oil for deep frying
1. In a deep bowl mix together batter ingredients, mix thoroughly until free of lumps, texture should be sticky but still runny.
2. Add pork and coat evenly, set aside and place in fridge covered for at least 1 hour.
3. Prepare a wok and add oil for frying pork pieces. Deep fry pork in really high heat of for 3-4 minutes that should be enough to cook the meat and retain the tenderness. Drain then set aside on a plate.
4. On a separate wok, add oil and sauté garlic and ginger.
5. Add capsicum and onions then continue to stir fry for a minute.
6. Add pork stock, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, pineapple, juice from the pineapple, tomato sauce and diluted cornstarch. Bring it to a boil then season with salt and black pepper.
7. If you prefer it to be crispy then turn off heat and pour sauce over deep fried pork and sliced tomatoes. Otherwise add pork and tomatoes to the mixture then simmer for 2 minutes.