Nate’s favorite dish of all time has gotta be sweet & sour pork. It is his default order whenever we eat at Tien Ma’s and all other Chinese eating places. He can finish one order that is usually good for 2 or 3 persons to share. So, of course, I need to perfect my sweet & sour pork recipe, para naman hindi nakakahiya sa anak ko. Hehe.
The most important ingredient in a good sweet & sour pork recipe is the pork, siyempre. It has to be tender, well seasoned, and not overcooked. I use porkloin and buy it from the meat shop already cut into steaks or chops. I then slice the chops into 3 x 1 inch strips.
I marinate the pork strips for at least an hour in a mixture of pineapple juice, soy sauce, onion powder, ground black pepper, salt, some cornstarch and flour, plus a pinch of baking powder. Baking powder is the secret to crunchy pork breading! I also chill the meat in the ref before frying for that extra crunch.
The next most important part of the dish is the sweet & sour sauce. We like it to be on the sweet side, and not too tangy.
Here’s the recipe –
Sweet & Sour Pork Recipe | Chinese Style
500 grams porkloin, well drained, cut into 3 inch strips
2 cups cooking oil for deep frying
1/3 cup pineapple juice (or the syrup from can of pineapple chunks)
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp onion powder (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
4 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
1 big white onion, chopped
1/2 cup pineapple chunks
1 medium carrot, sliced into strips (or semi circles, hehe)
1 medium bell pepper, sliced into strips
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup vinegar
3 tbsp tomato ketchup
3 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp corn starch
1 tsp salt
- Pat dry the pork slices and place in a bowl. Add the ingredients for “Pork Marinade” and mix well. Chill in the ref for at least one hour.
- In a medium bowl, mix the liquids and powders for the sauce – brown sugar, vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, honey, cornstarch and salt. Mix well until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.
- Take the pork from the ref. Heat oil in a frying pan. I like to use a small pan and deep-fry the pork in batches. Make sure the oil is smoking hot (CAREFUL!) before adding the pork slices. Reduce fire to low and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Don’t overcook. If the pork strips are really thin, it may only take 2 to 3 minutes.
- Fry the pork slices in small batches till golden brown. Remove from pan and drain. Set fried pork slices aside.
- Remove excess oil from pan, and leave just enough for sauteing. Saute garlic, onion, carrots and bell pepper over low to med fire. Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Pour the mixed liquids for sauce into the pan. Let the sauce simmer over low heat till thickened. Stir in the pineapple chunks and the fried pork.
There you go – Chinese style sweet & sour pork. Always best enjoyed with steaming white rice! 😀