From when I first started eating Chinese food, I really liked Sweet and Sour Pork. Unfortunately Laura does not share my feelings about this dish. She does not like the sweetness, nor the vinegary tang. But I had not had it in a long time and we had some leftover pork from some pork chops we had made, so I asked her if it was alright if I made some. She, of course, being the loving wife said OK.
Looking for recipes, there are many out there. I finally selected one, which the author claimed was his Chinese granny’s. All the recipes begin with raw pork, which is then breaded and fried. I had already cooked pork, so I skipped the first three steps. I did something different, though. I knew that pineapple juice has a enzyme called bromelain, which is a natural meat tenderizer. So once I cut up the pork into bite-sized pieces, I mixed it with the pineapple along with the juice to tenderize it a bit. I would not attempt this with raw pork unless you discard the juice.
Here is the basic recipe that I used, adjusting the amount of sugar and vinegar to taste. Go easy on both and add more if needed.
1 pound pork butt, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 egg white
1 quart vegetable oil, for frying
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 stalk carrot, peeled and sliced thin
3 stalks celery, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 medium green bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium onion, cut into wedges
granulated sugar, to taste
salt, to taste
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar, or to taste
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1 can pineapple chunks (8 ounce) undrained
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup water
1. Place cubed pork in a medium bowl, and season with 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon sugar, and 1 teaspoon soy sauce. Mix in the egg white and green onions. Cover, and place in the refrigerator at least 1 hour.
2. Heat 1 quart oil to 365 degrees F (185 degrees C) in a large, heavy saucepan or deep fryer.
3. Coat the pork with 1/2 cup cornstarch, and fry in the heated oil about 10 minutes, until evenly browned. Drain on paper towels.
4. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok over medium heat. Stir in the celery, green bell pepper, and onion, and cook until tender. Season with salt and sugar. Remove from heat, and set aside.
5. In a large saucepan, mix 1 cup water, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 3/4 cup sugar, apple cider vinegar, ketchup, and 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce. Bring to a boil, and stir in the cooked pork, celery mixture, and the pineapple chunks with juice. Return to boil, and mix in 2 tablespoons cornstarch and 1/4 cup water to thicken. Cook until well blended.