Celebrations, holidays and family dinners have always gone along with good food, and of course, good company. Today is my Yehyeh's (chinese for grandfather) birthday, celebrating his 80th back home with the family with a big chinese banquet.
When I was young our family dinners would always be held at my grandparent's place. It was a get together usually held once a week, a time to catch up with the family over a good home cook meal. But it wasn't just any meal, you see my grandfather was a chef and ran a family restaurant in Sydney for many years. He had an additional mini kitchen set up in the garage with an industrial cooker, and was cooking up dishes of restaurant quality to be served at our family dinners.
Dinner at Yehyeh's place has always been and still is something I always look forward to whenever I'm back home. One of my favourites is his Sweet & Sour Pork, with just the right amount of sweet and sour sauce accompanying crispy strips of deep fried pork. I've watched him make it countless times and I tried to recreate it here.
Sweet & Sour Pork
450 g pork loin, diagonally sliced thinly
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg white
1 medium onion, sliced into thin wedges
3 tomatoes, chopped roughly into large pieces
1/2 capsicum, chopped roughly
1 tbsp Shaoxing wine/ sherry
1 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup of chopped pineapple (optional)
oil for deep frying
1. Combine the flour, pepper, salt, egg white and coat the pork with the batter. The batter should be sticky not runny. Set a side for 5 mins.
2. Heat the oil for deep frying. Fry the pork in batches until it is golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Arrange on a serving dish.
3. Remove the oil from the wok and leave about 1 tbsp of oil.
1. Combine the sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, tomato puree and wine in a bowl.
2. Heat about the oil in a wok. Add the onions, water and sauce mixture in the wok and stir. Add the fresh tomatoes and cover and cook over medium heat for 5 mins.
3. Add the capsicum and pineapple (optional) and cook uncovered for another 3 - 5 mins. Cook the sauce until it has thicken making sure that the tomato and capsicum has still retain most of it's texture. Pour the sauce over the deep fried pork.
**I usually don't add the pork to the sweet & sour sauce while cooking because I find the sauce will eventually absorb and sauce and soften the pork, plus the kids like the pork crispy.
**The sauce doesn't really need any cornflour to thicken the sauce when you use tomato puree because the puree is already thick and you only need to adjust the water added.