Adventures in homemade, budget aware cooking.

Sweet and Sour Pork

Lately, Orem has found itself in the midst of a week-long thunder storm.  One night, the storm got so loud and the lightening got so near, I confess I fell asleep to visions of our apartment burning down.  In addition to this electrical storm, it felt like we were living inside a waterfall.  It rained sheets.  I think it was this sudden down-pour that got me craving Chinese food.

Let me explain, in Victoria, we ate authentic Chinese food all the time.  It also rained all the time.  So there you go.  I decided to attempt Sweet and Sour Pork.  The last recipe I used for sweet and sour chicken was very disappointing.  It wasn’t really sweet, it wasn’t really sour, and it wasn’t red.  It was a letdown.  This recipe however, from a cookbook I got second hand for fifty cents, is deliciously sweet, sour and red.  It was a success.

Sweet and Sour Pork (adapted from “Chinese Home Cooking”)

  • 1 lb pork tenderloin (cut into 1 inch pieces)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp five-flavor spice (optional, this gave the meat a kind of cinnamon-flavor)
  • 4 tbsp cornstarch
  • Oil for deep frying
  • 3 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 med onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 green bell peppers, cut into 1 inch pieces (you can use red peppers too, I just don’t like them!)
  • 5 tbsp sugar
  • 5 tbsp ketchup
  • 5 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch mixed with 1/2 cup water
  • 3 slices pineapple, cut into 1 inch pieces

Put the pork in boiling water for 2 minutes.  Remove and pat dry.  Mix the egg yolk, salt, soy sauce and five-flavor spice.  Marinate the meat in this mixture for at least 15 minutes.  Coat the pork in cornstarch.  Heat oil to med-high in a skillet.  Deep fry pork until light brown.  Remove and drain on paper towel.  Heat 3 tbsp oil and stir-fry garlic, onion, and green peppers, on high heat for a few minutes.  Add sugar, ketchup and vinegar.  When just boiling, add the cornstarch mixture and stir until thickened.  Add pork and pineapple.  Stir.  Serve with white rice.

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