This Chinese popular dish of sweet and sour pork is a keeper! Twice-fried, batter-coated pork ensures crispy pork nuggets, and this zesty, tangy, sweet and sour sauce made from scratch tastes just like those served at restaurants and is one of the best you’ll ever make!
No other dish has kept me as intrigued as sweet and sour pork. It’s easy to just go to your favourite fast food tze char stall or Chinese restaurant to order one, but it’s just as easy to create this well-known and popular Chinese dish in your kitchen.
Never mind the nay-sayers who claim that domestic gas hobs just aren’t strong or hot enough to create the characteristic crispy crunch. Here, the process of deep-frying the pork twice can still achieve those crisp edges that we love about this dish.
And so, my search has led by chance to a cookbook that I purchased not too long ago. This recipe comes from one of our own home-grown and internationally renowned chefs, Chef Eric Teo, in his published cookbook, quite simply titled ‘Eric Teo’s Simply Singaporean’. I think I quite literally hit the jackpot with this one! You know you have a winning recipe when friends and guests keep asking for it!
I have found this recipe to be very good for making an excellent sauce and marinade. I also chanced upon a very good recipe post by a fellow food blog author of www.smokywok.com, and adapted the dredging constitution to get that crispy, crunchy coating. In short, this is a winner, and I promise you, EASY! It’s as close as you can get to turning out sweet and sour pork dishes like those at your favourite tze char stalls and dare I say, restaurants, too! Do try it!
Sweet and Sour Pork
FOR THE MAIN DISH
- 400 gm pork belly cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 100 gm red bell peppers cut into 1/2-inch squares
- 100 gm green bell peppers cut into 1/2-inch squares
- 100 gm onion diced
- 50 gm pineapple, fresh or canned diced
- 1 stalk spring onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
FOR THE SAUCE
- 500 gm tomato ketchup
- 250 gm chilli sauce, sweet
- 250 gm plum sauce
- 100 gm white vinegar
- 500 ml water
- 250 gm sugar
- 50 gm lemon with rind, sliced or cut in half
- 50 gm orange with rind, sliced or cut in half
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp corn flour mixed with 3 tbsp water, as thickening solution
FOR THE MARINADE
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp corn flour
- 50 ml Chinese wine
- 1 egg beaten
FOR DREDGING (Adapted from source: www.smokywok.com)
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 3 tbsp corn flour or potato starch
- 2 tbsp rice flour
Preparing the Pork
- Marinade the pork with all marinade ingredients. Set aside for at least 20 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the sweet and sour sauce.
Preparing the Sauce
- Place all sauce ingredients in a pot or saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat, stirring consistently. Simmer for 20 minutes and thicken with cornstarch solution. Set aside to cool.
Deep-frying the Pork
- Mix well the dredging flours. Coat the marinaded pork all over evenly with dredging mixture. Set aside.
- Heat up wok over high heat and fill 1/4 full with cooking oil. When oil has reached 170 deg C, deep fry the pork pieces in batches (6 to 7 pieces at a time), allowing the oil to heat up again to 170 deg C before adding the next batch. When pork pieces are about 60 to 70% cooked and turn golden brown, remove and drain on paper towels. Set aside for 20 mins.
- Re-heat wok and oil used for deep-frying. When oil is very hot, tip in all the fried pork pieces and fry for another 2 to 3 mins, or until pork is crispy.
PREPARING THE MAIN DISH
- Pour out the excess oil, leaving behind 2 tbsp oil in the wok. In the same wok, over high heat, add peppers, onion, pineapple and garlic. Toss for 30 seconds or until you can smell the aroma from the peppers and onion.
- Pour in one full ladle, between 75 to 90 ml (or more, if you like it really saucy!) of sweet and sour sauce and bring to a boil, stirring constantly in the wok. Tip in the deep-fried pork pieces and toss quickly to coat evenly with sauce all over. As soon as the sauce thickens, add the chopped spring onions and give a quick toss. Dish out immediately onto serving plate and serve.