Sweet and sour pork chops

This recipe isn’t mine. I found it on an excellent website, The Woks of Life. I hope that they don’t mind me sharing it here. It is their original recipe and I really can recommend it. So, here goes;

For marinating the pork chops:

1 1/2 lb. thinly sliced pork chops, cut in half (I used boneless pork loin steaks)
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
1 tablespoon soy sauce
pinch of five spice powder (optional)

For the sweet and sour sauce:

2 tablespoons ketchup
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar (can substitute balsamic vinegar)
2 teaspoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 cup water

To finish the pork chops:

Oil, for frying, plus 1 tablespoon
3 tablespoons ice water
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons cornflour, divided
toasted sesame seeds and chopped scallion

Marinate the pork chops in a mixture of shaoxing wine, soy sauce, and five spice powder (if using). Set aside for at least an hour or overnight. Make the sauce by combining ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, hoisin, maple syrup, sesame oil, and 1/2 cup water. Set aside.

When you’re ready to cook, fill a medium deep pot about halfway with oil. Heat the oil to 375 degrees. In a separate bowl, combine 3 tablespoons ice water, 2 tablespoons flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1 tablespoon cornflour. Pour over the marinated pork chops and mix until coated.

Carefully drop a few pork chops at a time into the heated oil and fry in batches for about 3 minutes each batch. Drain on paper towels.

Add a tablespoon of oil to your wok (you can take some from the frying oil), placed over medium heat. Swirl the oil around so it coats the wok.

(Here is where I changed it a bit. I sautéed a chopped onion and a chopped green pepper in the wok before making the sauce. I did this because sweet and sour pork always seems to have onion and green pepper in it in the UK.)

Pour in your sauce mixture and bring it to a simmer.

Mix your last tablespoon of cornflour with a tablespoon of water to form a slurry. Pour the slurry into the simmering sauce and stir until thickened. Add the cooked pork chops and toss them in the sauce. Plate up, and garnish with toasted sesame seeds and chopped scallions.

I served mine with some plain jasmine rice and some steamed pak choi. It was absolutely delicious.


Sweet and sour seafood with soba noodles

This was based on the Sweet and Sour Fish Tiles recipe that I blogged recently.

I used small queen scallops and raw king prawns which I marinated in a batter made from cornflour, Shaoxing rice wine, salt, egg and oil.

This was then put to one side while I mixed up the ingredients for the sauce, exactly the same as for the previous sweet and sour recipe – caster sugar, light soy sauce, Chinkiang vinegar, salt,cornflour, and water.

The seafood was fried in hot oil in the wok but instead of setting it aside I added chopped ginger, spring onion greens and garlic before adding the sauce mixture and cooking it until thickened. The sauce was lighter in colour that last time, but i think that this worked OK, and I added the shredded red chilli and white parts of the spring onion to the sauce while it was cooking.

The only accompaniment was some plain soba noodles, dressed with a little sesame oil.

Fuchsia Dunlop’s sweet and sour fish

Another delicious recipe from her latest book, “Every Grain Of Rice”.

I used cod fillet, from a sustainable source naturally, which I sliced into nice pieces and marinated in a batter made from cornflour (she uses potato flour, I must buy some), Shaoxing rice wine, salt, egg and oil. Continue reading

Sweet and sour pork

This was my attempt to cook a Chinese takeaway staple at home.

Yes, I know that sweet and sour pork isn’t really proper Chinese cuisine, but it does have something about it that is enjoyable.

The sauce is easy to make. you fry off some onions and peppers in oil (I used an orange pepper, but green works too) and then add soy sauce, some sugar, Chinese rice vinegar, a lot of tomato ketchup and stir it all together, adding some chicken stock. Then you add cornflour paste and cook the sauce until it becomes thick and glossy. That is it.

The pork is any cut, cubed and precooked with water with aromatics like ginger, chilli, garlic, dried chillies, salt and star anise with some rice wine and soy sauce added.

When the meat is done, you drain it and let it cool and then coat it in a batter and deep fry.

I made a simple egg, flour and water batter which coated the pork but didn’t have that Chinese takeaway shiny shell once deep-fried. It tasted right though.

To go with this, I did plain white rice and stir-fried some beansprouts in soy sauce and sesame oil.