I recently married a Chinese-American man. His dad is renowned for his bbq pork buns (cha siu bao), and his grandma makes the absolute best chicken curry. I want our kids to grow up and learn Cantonese, understand the traditions, and eat the delicious homemade cuisines of Hong Kong.
Which is why I have been attempting to create fabulous Chinese dishes at home.
After I stocked my pantry with a few Asian staples, I found that cooking was not as intimidating as I thought. (Keeping soy sauce, chili sauce, fish sauce, ginger, garlic, and oyster sauce on hand helped a lot.)
This recipe for Sweet and Sour Pork came from Easy Chinese Recipes. The pork was restaurant-quality, but it was also very easy to make.
To start, cut the pork into bite-sized pieces and marinade in 1 tsp. soy sauce, 1 tsp. corn starch, and 1/2 tsp. rice wine or sherry.
Then chop up your veggies and set aside. I used onion, bell peppers, green onion, garlic, and pineapple. You could easily add snap peas, carrots, or whatever your little heart desires.
Jonathan’s heart is easily won over by pork, so this recipe was an instant hit!
While your 2 inches of vegetable oil is heating up to 350 degrees in the pan, whip together the fry batter. (Fry batter=1/2 cup flour, 1/4 cup cornstarch, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1 egg white, 1/3 cup water, 1 Tbsp vegetable oil, shake-o-salt)
Make this step look really good.
Everything tastes better deep-fried. Amiright?
Deep fry the pork until golden brown, turning occasionally. Babysit that pork with love. When it’s done, drain off the excess oil on a paper towel, just like you would with bacon.
Grab another pan and heat up 1 Tbsp. of oil. Get to stir-frying those veggies! Once the veggies are slightly softened, add the sweet and sour sauce.
Sweet and Sour Sauce = 2 Tbsp. ketchup, 1 Tbsp. plum sauce, 1/2 Tbsp. Worcestershire, 1 tsp. rice vinegar, 1/2 Tbsp. oyster sauce, 1 tsp. sugar, 4 Tbsp. water, 1/4 tsp. sesame oil, 1 tsp. cornstarch
Once the sauce starts to thicken, add the pork and toss to coat. Serve over rice.
What is your favorite ethnic cuisine? What is the most intimidating cuisine you have attempted to make in your home? Did it work or did you have a kitchen disaster?
p.s. You can substitute a lot of the ingredients for sweet and sour pork if you don’t have a lot of Asian sauces. This website is a great resource for food substitutions: http://www.foodsubs.com/