Sweet and sour pork is a Chinese dish that is very popular with Westerners. Unfortunately, the dish is often spoiled when too much tomato ketchup is added to the sauce. This is a delicious traditional sweet and sour pork recipe from Canton, where the dish originates.
Ingredients (to serve 4):
For the sauce:
Dice the pork with a sharp knife. Cut it into bite-size cubes. Put the diced pork in a shallow dish. Now add the salt, ground peppercorns and rice wine (or dry sherry). Cover the dish and put it to one side. Leave the pork meat to marinate for between 15 and 20 minutes at room temperature. Alternatively, if you are leaving it for more than around 30 minutes, put it in the refrigerator to marinate.
Drain the fluid from the bamboo shoots (if they are canned). Cut the shoots into cubes (make them around the same size as the cubes of pork). If the bamboo shoots are thinly sliced, simply cut them in half.
Dust the pork cubes with flour. Dip the cubes in the beaten egg, then coat them with more of the flour. Preheat a wok and heat up the vegetable oil to a moderate heat. Deep-fry the pork cubes in the oil for between 3 and 4 minutes. Stir to separate the cubes. When cooked, remove from the wok and drain.
Reheat the vegetable oil until it is hot. Put the pork meat back in the hot oil. Add the bamboo shoots. Fry for 1 minute or so, until the pork meat is golden in color. Remove from the wok and drain well.
To make the sweet and sour sauce, heat up the vegetable oil in a frying pan (or clean wok). Add the spring onion, green pepper, garlic and red chili. Stir-fry for between 30 and 40 seconds. Next, add the sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, tomato puree and stock (or water). Bring the mixture to the boil while stirring continually. Add the pork meat and bamboo shoot cubes. Heat the sauce through while stirring constantly to mix. Serve straight away.
Serve your home-cooked Cantonese sweet and sour pork recipe with either plain boiled rice or egg-fried rice. Cook this traditional Cantonese dish as dinner for guests, or enjoy it regularly as a family favorite - it is sure to rapidly become one!