Sweet and Sour Pork

Sweet and sour pork is probably one of A’s favorite dishes.  That being said, I should know how to cook this dish by heart as I’ve always cooked his favorites much to the delight of his ever-growing waistline.  Sadly, I’ve done this more than a couple of times and couldn’t get the sauce quite right it’s either too sweet or too sour.  Worst, lumpy.  I have no problem whatsoever on how to make the pork and vegetables nice and crispy… but the sauce!  I mean… this dish should have the perfect balance of sweet and sour.  If not, then what’s the point?  I should call my dish sour-and-sour.  Or sweet-and-too-sweet-your-teeth-hurt, right?  I’ve even succumbed to using ready-made sauces but still not to our liking.  In fairness, there are times when I hit it right…  but not always.  Even when I do exactly the same thing!  So I put my hands up in the air and surrender.  I should take a break and try again another day.  In the meantime, we enjoy this dish any chance we get when we dine out in Asian restaurants.  One time, the kiddo asked me why I don’t cook it for them.  I told him it’s one recipe I find very challenging.

If I am not mistaken, it was 2 Saturdays ago when I was about to go out for my weekly grocery shopping I asked the boys for any request.  (Yup, I get requests all the time especially from the kiddo.)  The youngling exclaimed… “sweet and sour pork!”  Yeah right.  It was a dare.  “I’ll see what I can do,” I replied.

Anyway, this is not exactly a success story because I didn’t make the sauce from scratch.  I happened to find this packet of sweet and sour sauce made from natural ingredients.  If you’ll notice in my posts I am not particularly dependent on powdered ready mixtures like sinigang mix, kare-kare mix or anything similar (not that I don’t use them, I do on certain occasions) but I do like NZ-packed sauces available in the chilled foods section.

Well what do you think?  Let’s just say the boys were ecstatic with the way the dish turned out that I include it in my list of safe bets for a nice dinner.  However, I haven’t given up on making the sauce myself.  I will still do it. I will still find the best recipe that will suit our tastes.  And of course, I will do it right.  And when I finally do you’ll read it here.

Ingredients:
250g pork tenderloin, cut into 1in cubes
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into bite-size pieces
½ green bell pepper, cut into bite-size pieces
A handful of green beans, cut diagonally
1 small carrot, thinly sliced into pretty florets
Sweet and sour sauce

For the marinade:
1 tsp soy sauce
½ tsp corn flour
½ tsp rice wine vinegar

For the frying batter:
½ cup water
¼ cup flour
1/8 cup corn flour
1 small egg (probably size 6)
1 tsp oil (I used salad oil)
A pinch of salt

Note:
I don’t add pineapple chunks, as I know the boys won’t be touching them anyway. They might… probably a piece or a couple and that’s it.

Marinate pork with soy sauce, corn flour and rice wine vinegar for at least half an hour.

In the meantime, blanch carrots and bell peppers for a minute or two. Arrange on a serving platter.

When ready, heat enough oil in a wok.  While waiting for the oil to heat up, mix all the ingredients for the frying batter.  Stir to mix but not necessary well mixed, don’t be afraid if the thick batter has lumps. Stir in marinated pork into the batter until well coated.

When the oil is hot, deep-fry the pork pieces in batches until golden brown.  Scoop them out and drain on paper towels. Repeat until all pork pieces are fried.  These cutlets won’t have that thick breaded look, but just nice with crispy bubbles.   You may choose to double-fry them (like I did) to make them crispier. Arrange cooked crispy pork together with the blanched vegetables.

Pour a tbsp of oil in a non-stick saucepan. Stir-fry green beans until caramelized but still crisp to the bite. Scoop out and stir in with the cooked pork and vegetables.

Pour sweet and sour sauce into the pan. Heat and cook for a minute or two. Drizzle heated sauce over cooked pork and vegetables.

Mix well to coat pork. It should be crispy despite the sauce. Serve immediately with hot plain rice.

FTFBadge

 

Sweet and Sour Pork
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3-4
 
Ingredients
  • 250g pork tenderloin, cut into 1in cubes
  • ½ red bell pepper, cut into bite-size pieces
  • ½ green bell pepper, cut into bite-size pieces
  • A handful of green beans, cut diagonally
  • 1 small carrot, thinly sliced into pretty florets
  • Sweet and sour sauce (ready-made)
  • For the marinade: 1 tsp soy sauce, ½ tsp corn flour, ½ tsp rice wine vinegar
  • For the frying batter: ½ cup water, ¼ cup flour, ⅛ cup corn flour, 1 small egg (probably size 6), 1 tsp oil (I used salad oil), A pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Marinate pork with soy sauce, corn flour and rice wine vinegar for at least half an hour.
  2. In the meantime, blanch carrots and bell peppers for a minute or two. Arrange on a serving platter.
  3. When ready, heat enough oil in a wok.
  4. While waiting for the oil to heat up, mix all the ingredients for the frying batter. Stir to mix but not necessary well mixed, don’t be afraid if the thick batter has lumps.
  5. Stir in marinated pork into the batter until well coated.
  6. When the oil is hot, deep-fry the pork pieces in batches until golden brown. Scoop them out and drain on paper towels. Repeat until all pork pieces are fried. You may choose to double-fry them (like I did) to make them crispier. Arrange cooked crispy pork together with the blanched vegetables.
  7. Pour a tbsp of oil in a non-stick saucepan. Stir-fry green beans until caramelized but still crisp to the bite. Scoop out and stir in with the cooked pork and vegetables.
  8. Pour sweet and sour sauce into the pan. Heat and cook for a minute or two.
  9. Drizzle heated sauce over cooked pork and vegetables.
  10. Mix well to coat pork. It should be crispy despite the sauce. Serve immediately with hot plain rice.
Notes
- You may add pineapple chunks if desired. - I like my pork to be small, bite-size pieces. Easy to fry and can be really crunchy. - Marinating time not included above.

 

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About The Author: Iska

I am not a professional cook. My only claim to having a culinary background is a short stint as my dad’s teen ‘sous chef’ in his carinderia ages ago. Dad ran small eateries since I was a young kid - serving standard ‘turo-turo’ food ranging from the likes of menudo, adobo, pritong isda, dinuguan, binagoongan, bopis, munggo, pinakbet and giniling to merienda fares like goto, ginataan, pancit bihon, halu-halo and saging con yelo. My father, a farmer in his hometown before working his way to becoming an accountant, definitely influenced my cooking in a lot of ways than I thought. My siblings and I were raised in a backyard full of fruit trees and vegetable garden. We spent weekends and the summer breaks running around with ducks, chickens, goats and pigs. I had wonderful memories of gathering eggs, butchering chickens, selling vegetables and the sweet aroma of preserved fruits. But my love for art led me to a degree in Architecture. Just few months after getting my license, I went abroad and lived independently at age 23. Definitely no maid, no cook, and a totally different food culture. Along the way I met lots of friends and spent what seemed a lifetime learning new tricks and recipes. Now living in Auckland, I am a work-from-home mum who juggles time between work, fun and family - in pursuit of work-life balance. No matter how busy I am, I love the idea of cooking for my family. My blog chronicles home cooking greatly influenced by life outside my home country from Southeast Asia to Beijing and Auckland. And most of the time, being busy also means easy (sometimes quick), affordable meals.

Discuss - 10 Comments

  1. maiylah says:

    oh wow…serious case of drooling here! ang sarap naman nyan!!!! again, bookmarked! :)

    thanks much for sharing over at Food Friday, Iska and Erwin
    maiylah recently posted Food Friday

  2. Tito Eric says:

    Beautifully photographed! Mouth watering, indeed.

  3. imriz says:

    wow, ang galing. i wanna try…seriousness tlg :) my kids love tonkatsu, i might as well add more veggies in them tapos pwede na ung simple fishball sauce (homemade)…we’ll see this lunch…mothers are always stuck in the kitchen trying to think what to cook :)

    thanks for giving me an idea.

    love, love the fotos.

  4. Tetcha says:

    What a crispy- and yummy-looking sweet and sour pork! It’s okay pala to include green beans in this pork dish. I’ll do that next time. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    http://www.delightmyappetite.com/2012/05/late-lunch-at-pepper-lunch/
    Tetcha recently posted Late Lunch at Pepper Lunch!

  5. Luna Miranda says:

    looks soooo good! i seldom eat sweet & sour pork–i wonder why that is.:p
    Luna Miranda recently posted Dusty pink dream/SWF

  6. Cielo says:

    Your version of sweet and sour seems to be appetizing. Thanks for posting the recipe. I love sweet and sour where pork is served crispy.

    Been here from FTF and FF
    Cielo recently posted Sunny Side Up Eggs for My Kids

  7. Iska says:

    Thank you all for your lovely comments :-)

    Imriz, I haven’t tried that… mixing crispy pork with fishball sweet and sour sauce. Let me know when you tried it :-)
    Tetcha, I always have green beans ’cause it’s ‘safe’ choice for the boys haha!
    Cielo, I also like sweet and sour pork served crispy. The crispness just makes a whole lot of difference.

  8. Jessica says:

    this sweet and sour pork looks delish and yummy too Sis :-) Thank you also for the recipe :-) Dropping by from Food Feiday
    Jessica recently posted Father and son caught blue gale fish at the same time

  9. […] I can’t resist pork fat.  I never really like ‘em breaded; I use different meat parts for sweet-and-sour pork and […]

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