Sweet N Sour Chicken Cantonese Style
Cantonese Sweet And Sour Pork ( Gou Lao Yuk 咕嚕肉 )
This is one of the world most misunderstood Cantonese dish. Why misunderstood? Well, I can't remember the number of times I have to tell someone that this is not just some fried pork cooked in a pool of ketchup. This, I blame it on all the Chinese takeaways who have taken a delicious classic dish and turn it into something that is sickly syrupy, overly sweet and gloopy dish. Not a true representation of it at all.
In it's true form, this dish consist of beautifully tender pork in crispy batter, enveloped by a light and well-balanced sauce of equally sweet and sharpness. It is this harmonious combination that gave this the most exciting and appetising flavour that will thrill the taste buds.
Ever since I've moved to Britain, I have yet to taste a good version of this favourite dish of mine. Over the years, I have stop ordering it whenever I do go to a Chinese restaurant for fear of having to endure another disastrous helping of more chewy pork fully drown in artificial flavoured ketchup sauce. I'll stick to my homemade version indeed, thank you very much. At least this, to me, tasted just like how I remember it. I remember how my nan used to fried the pork twice; first in a lower temperature to make sure the pork is cook through and then turn up the heat and return the pork back into the scorching oil to crispen up the batter. I have done the same here to ensure that the crunchiness of the batter is there. I have also used dark brown sugar here which not only provide the sweetness but it also gave the finished sauce a beautiful rich and dark colour.
If you really want to taste a proper Cantonese sweet and sour pork, I will urge you to give the horrible takeaway a miss and give this a go instead.
450g pork belly, skinned and trimmed off any excess fat, or use fillet if you want a healthier option
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp shaoxing rice wine
1/2 medium egg, lightly beaten
sunflower oil for deep-frying
2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 red onion, skinned and diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
100g prepared pineapple chunks
sea salt and black pepper
For the sauce:
3 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp soft dark brown sugar
2 tsp concentrate tomato paste
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp cornflour
Cut the pork into bite-sized pierces and mix with the soy sauce, rice wine and some salt and pepper in a bowl. Set aside to marinade for a minimum of 30 minutes or overnight if possible.Add the lightly beaten egg to the pork and mix to coat thoroughly. Dredge the pork in cornflour to evenly coat them.Heat the oil for deep-frying in a wok or deep fryer to 170ºC over medium heat, until a breadcrumb dropped in sizzled and turns golden-brown in 30 seconds. Add the pork in batches and fry for 2 minutes, until the coating is slightly crisp. Lift the pork out of the hot oil using a frying sieve and turn the heat up and heat the oil back up to temperate, about 2 minute. Return the pork back to the oil and continue to fry for another 3 minutes until golden brown and cook through. Remove and drain on kitchen paper. Repeat with the rest of the pork.Heat the 2 tablespoon of sunflower oil in a wok over medium heat until smoking. Add the garlic and onion, cook for 30 seconds and then add the green and red peppers and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the pineapple chunks and then the well-stirred sauce. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly.Return the pork to the wok and stir to coat thoroughly with the sauce and heat through. Transfer to a plate and serve immediately with a bowl of steam rice.
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