Sweet and Sour Pork

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Recipe Originally from GBSfood and category:Fiendish Ghoul's Recipes

People who say sweet and sour pork isn't real Chinese food are full of shit. This, however, is slightly different from the US takeout version and is a lot like what you'd find in a restaurant in Hong Kong, where the recipe I used came from. The main difference is that you can actually taste the sour; all that vinegar gives it a pretty good kick. If you want something more like the westernized version, it should be simple to change the proportions for the sauce. This recipe is really pretty easy, but it will probably impress people who consider Restaurant Food to somehow be unattemptable.

Ingredients

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  • A wok (A frying pan might work, but I wouldn't want to try it) My wok cost $13, just go get one.
  • Ketchup
  • White vinegar
  • Pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 a bell papper (Original recipe called for both green and red, but I was feeling cheap. You might try 1/4 each of both kinds)
  • Pork shoulder- As much as you feel like eating, keep in mind that it always feels like more when it's done than when you're cutting the meat up, so don't overdo it. The sauce in this recipe is enough for probably 1-4 servings.
  • Tabasco sauce
  • 1 egg (maybe more for a large batch)
  • Chicken powder (Ed. Note: looks like powdered chicken stock)
  • Corn starch
  • Sugar
  • Lots of vegetable or other oil
  • Salt
  • Ketchup

Method

Not a short list, but you probably have most of it, and none of the ingredients are too pricy. If you've got everything, it'll cost you about $5 for large meal-sized portion.

Okay, first, cut your meat up into bite-sized pieces. You can cut the fat off, but don't kid yourself that you can make this a healty recipe.

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Next, get a container that you can marinate with. Beat the egg in it and mix in-

  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. Chicken powder

Dump the meat in and make sure it all gets coated. This stuff doesn't add a lot of flavor, so don't worry if the meat isn't exactly submerged, the main point is to get it all wet.

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Throw it in the fridge for 20 minutes or so. You can do more if you like, but I don't think it'll add much.

While you wait, you might as well go ahead and mix up the sauce-

  • 4 Tbs. white vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. water
  • 2 Tbs. ketchup
  • 5 Tbs. sugar (yeah, I know)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 TEASPOON or so of corn starch. You can change this to adjust the consistency of the sauce, but I wouldn't recommend it unless you really know what you're doing since you won't be able to tell what the final product will look like until you heat it. The first time I made this I think I accidentally used a tablespoon, and when the sauce cooled off a bit it got kind of congealed and nasty


Really, don't worry that it doesn't look anything like a decent sauce, I was somewhat suspicious the first time I tried it too. Don't worry if it has what looks like "chunks" of ketchup, that will be taken care of. Get all the cornstarch lumps out, though.

Around the time the meat is finished marinating, go ahead and set your stove on the highest heat, and maybe put your wok on there.

Dump a bunch of cornstarch in something and roll the meat in it. You don't have to do it until you can't see any pink, but just try to make sure you get every side fairly well coated.

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Put the meat in the oil; you should use enough to more or less submerge all the meat. You don't really need to do anything at this point but keep an eye on it. It'll take maybe 10 minutes, I'm a terrible judge of time.

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Keep an eye on it and take the meat out when it looks something like this-

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Note- I found this batch a little less crispy than it could've been. You might try frying it a little longer, not sure.

The next step doesn't have a picture since it would be redundant. Let the meat chunks sit for about five minutes, and take your wok off the burner, but keep the oil. Then, fry the meat AGAIN for about three minutes. Supposedly this is for extra crispiness. Don't ask me, I just follow orders. When your done, get rid of some of the oil if it makes you feel better.

Somewhere in there (probably during the first frying) you can cut up your pepper into bite-sized chunks. I use about a half a pepper for a large serving. T Also pictured is garlic, which the original recipe called for, but I couldn't detect the taste at all. Try it if you want.

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At this point, you probably want to get everything ready by the wok as you will have your hands full. Have the sauce, meat, pepper, pineapple, and whatever you're going to serve it on ready to go.

First, get rid of the oil you used to fry the meat, and be careful about it. Add one tablespoon of oil to the wok and swish it around a bit. Dump in your peppers and stir-fry them on high heat, shouldn't take more than a minute or two-

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You can put the pineapple in at the same time if you want, but the oil doesn't take too well to the moisute, so I'd recommend adding the sauce and then the pineapple. I use maybe 6-8 chunks, it just depends on how much you want. Keep stirring, don't let the sauce burn. Should take less than a minute or so.

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You can see some of the stuff is slightly scorched, that's what happens when you stop stirring to take pictures.

Then dump the meat in, and stir it for maybe 30 second or so until it's well-coated with sauce. It's very important that you keep stirring and do it pretty fast, I managed to burn the meat pretty good on my first attempt. The good news is that even if you burn things a bit, the taste of the sauce is strong enought to largely mask the taste.

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After 30-40 seconds, go ahead and dump it into whatever you're eating or serving from. I tried it over rice first, but honestly, you really don't need rice when you've got all that fried meat. You can see there's quite a bit of excess sauce, so fortunately that means you're not actually eating all 5 tablespoons of sugar. You could probably make 2-3 times and much without making more sauce.

Looks pretty good, I think-

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Anyway, please leave any questions or further tips. This was only the third time I've ever made it and the first thing I've ever cooked in a wok, but it was so simple I thought I'd share. Let me know if you see something that could be done better. Also, be warned that this meal it pretty heavy, don't eat this shit for lunch if you were planning to work out later.

Fiendish Ghoul fucked around with this message at May 24, 2005 around 02:03