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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Sweet and Sour Pork




From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This dish is a staple on the menus of American Chinese restaurants. It's one of those dishes that is more popular in the United States than it is in China where you will find the sauce more commonly served with fish. Most of you are familiar with this twice-fried and highly caloric treat. Interestingly, it is not universally enjoyed by diners and it has as many detractors as fans. My own family illustrates the point. The Silver Fox loves it, me, not so much. We eat a lot of Chinese food, so it ends up on our table, by default, several times a year. The version I make retains the yin and yang of the sweet and sour combination, but I've completely changed the way the pork is prepared. The pork in my version is stir-fried in a minimal amount of oil and never sees the deep-fryer. I also use more vegetables and keep the sauce slightly thinner than what you would find on a restaurant plate. People are often flummoxed by the quantities in Chinese recipes. Dishes that looks like they will feed two people are meant to feed four. That's because a typical Chinese meal consists of several courses and smaller portions are more appropriate when you have many dishes on the table. The recipe I'm featuring today looks long and complicated. It's not. Most of the ingredients used here go into sauce components that come together in minutes. Better still, all of those ingredients can be found in any grocery store. If sweet and sour combinations appeal to you, I suspect you'll like this lighter version of the real thing. The dish has great eye appeal and will add wonderful color to your table. I hope you will give it a try. Here's the recipe.

Sweet and Sour Pork...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

Ingredients:
Sweet and Sour Sauce
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3/4 cup chicken stock
3 tablespoons white vinegar
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
3 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon pineapple juice from canned pineapple chunks
Sherry-Soy Mixture
3 tablespoons dry sherry or Shaoxing rice wine
5 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
Pork
2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 cup coarsely chopped red and green bell peppers
3/4 cup coarsely chopped onion
3/4 cup canned pineapple chunks
1 (12-oz.) pork tenderloin thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped green onion

Directions:

1) To make sweet and sour sauce: In a small bowl combine water and cornstarch, and stir to mix them well. Set aside. Combine chicken stock, vinegar, sugar, ketchup, and pineapple juice in a small saucepan. Stir with a fork or a whisk to combine everything well. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat and cook 1 minute. Stir in cornstarch mixture and cook just until sauce becomes shiny and thickened. Remove from heat and keep warm.
2) To make sherry-soy mixture: Combine sherry, soy sauce, and salt in a small bowl and stir well.
3) Heat a wok or a large, deep skillet over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil and swirl to coat pan. Add ginger and garlic, toss well and cook until fragrant about 15 seconds. Add bell peppers and onions and cook, tossing often, until fragrant and beginning to wilt. Add pineapple and cook 1 minute more. Transfer mixture to a platter, leaving as much cooking liquid in pan as possible.
4) Heat pan again. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil if needed. Add pork and stir-fry just until no longer pink, about 1 minute. Quickly add sherry-soy sauce mixture and toss well. Return bell pepper mixture to pan and toss to mix everything together well. Add sweet-and-sour sauce and cook, tossing often, until all ingredients are evenly seasoned. Add green onion and toss again. Transfer to a serving platter and serve hot or warm. Yield 3 to 4 servings.









One Year Ago Today: Pork Meatballs in Chipotle Sauce














Two Years Ago Today: Roasted Yellow Pepper Soup


36 comments:

Pondside said...

This looks like a treat for when the kids are here - they all like sweet and sour anything!

Ola said...

This is very true, Chinese food abroad is always a bit different. This dish is exactly the way I like it, we also often have Chinese dishes home. Thanks for the recipe!

Life and travelling
Cooking

Rumana Rawat said...

Very colorful post...

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

I make this every year when the snow peas are fresh! It's one of the prettiest, most colorful meals we have:@)

tigerfish said...

I like sweet and sour pork...yes, the flavors combination is just so appetizing!

The Café Sucré Farine said...

Mary, I'd take your version any day over the traditional Chinese restaurant fare - it looks fresh and delicious!

safire said...

I love Sweet and Sour Fish back in Taiwan. This looks very authentic and delicious. My brother loves sweet and sour anything.

Duncan D. Horne - the Kuantan blogger said...

Hi Mary, this is one of our very favourite dishes to have when going to eat out in Malaysia!

What's Baking?? said...

This is my children fav dish. I could not have done any better, Mary. You nailed it. Well done.

Jenn said...

I too like to take traditionally deep fried dishes like this and make them more healthy by doing a stir fry instead. I don't even miss those extra calories!

The plate looks amazing! Better than a lot of dishes I've seen at restaurants!

Susan Lindquist said...

This is such a retro Asian dish for our household ... I remember getting it in the Chinese restaurant in my hometown as a kid ... not so much as an adult. When our kids were younger, they loved it, though, the first time I made it for them! I had to be careful that they each got the same amount of pineapple chunks and pork bits!

Valerie said...

I love that you lightened up such a delicious dish. This looks amazing!

Selene said...

Mary thank you for the adorable comment!
i have to cook your recipes cause look delicious...and even if i've not much time i'm sure i'll find it!
selene

Suzie said...

Love sweet and sour pork or shrimp too :) Your lighter version sounds very tempting and the colors are beautiful.

easyfoodsmith said...

This looks delicious. Although we don't eat pork but I love the preparation of this dish. I will certainly try it with chicken.

Carrie said...

You've read my mind! I was just thinking the other day how I would love a recipe for home made sweet and sour sauce. Bookmarking. :)

From the Kitchen said...

This is one of my favorite dishes but The Baker doesn't want it. He finds red and green (and any color) peppers undesirable. I used to do a lot of Chinese dishes until I discovered Thai. Even now, we have a favorite Thai restaurant that feeds us most of those delicious foods. The Baker also eschews white rice!! Limiting to say the least.

Best,
Bonnie

Adam said...

Sweet and Sour pork in all it's fried unhealthy glory is my favourite American-Chinese dish, which is acceptable only because I don't eat Chinese food frequently. Having a healthier and not as rich version for home sounds so good (I love pork) and your image is making me exceptionally hungry :)

Ginny said...

I have heard that the food in Chinese restaurants is so Americanized that it bears little resemblance to what they really eat in China. But then again, so many of the places around here are owned and run by Chinese people, so it makes me wonder...

Big Dude said...

In my younger, thinner days I often ordered sweet and sour something at the only Asian restaurant I knew of in this area. But now I never do so I know I'd enjoy your version.

Dining Alone said...

This is one of my favorites to make at home for sure. I will give your recipe a try next time I make it.

flying eagle woman said...

I've been looking for a good sweet and sour sauce recipe! This looks delicious AND colorful:-) my favorite!
SMILES
Shawna

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

Mary, your lightened version of sweet and sour sounds wonderful. The sauce in Chinese restaurants are always too thick and sweet for my tastes.

Geni said...

Your sweet and sour dish looks to die for. I would love to sit down to a meal with this and some brown rice!

Jersey Girl Cooks said...

I have to say I like your version that is not deep fried. It's much healthier that way.

ImSoVintage said...

I love sweet and sour pork. Another one to add to my pinterest board :)

SomethingDifferentForDinner said...

Beautiful recipe. Thanks for sharing.

Vicki Bensinger said...

I've always loved Sweet and Sour Chicken so I know I'll love this. I haven't made it since college which is...well a long, long, time ago. I'm going to try this with chicken since some of my family doesn't like pork.

Beautiful photos!

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

This is something I've always wanted to make, but have never gotten around to. The Mister is not fond of fruit in his dinner (hot). Although salsa sides are fine. But hey! After 24 years, I finally got him to eat blue cheese, so you never know!

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

I'm not usually a sweet and sour fan, but you make this sound very tempting, Mary. That and the fact that nothing I've prepared from your blog has been anything short of delicious... so maybe... blessings ~ Tanna

BeetleBuggy said...

Ooooo this is one of my favorite dishes when it comes to Chinese. It's actually how amazing stir-fry's come together. If you have everything laid out, it can be a matter of minutes, except when you're cooking meat. Just the way I like it :)

Jeannie Tay said...

That sure had me salivating especially so now that it's nearing lunchtime...beautifully done as with all your dishes and bakes.

Jeff @ Cheeseburger said...

This is always one of my favorite food when eating on a Chinese restaurant. It's very delicious.

kitty said...

I love sweet and sour pork and this is great because it's made with pork tenderloin. Your photo looks exceptionally colorful, Mary! Happy Easter.

Jane said...

I love your pictures! I will have to try your version. I hope you have a great Easter!

sjd247 said...

I just made this for supper tonight and really enjoyed it!

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