Sweet and Sour Pork

Sweet and sour pork is a classic dish of the Han people in China. It’s a regular main course prepared in Cantonese, Sichuan, Shandong and Zhejiang cuisine, but the Shandong recipe is probably the most popular of them all.

The most tender cut of pork is the tenderloin, and this is what the Chinese use in this traditional sweet and sour pork recipe. The tenderloin is rich with trace elements such as niacin (vitamin B3), iron, thiamin (vitamin B1), phosphorus, and calcium, and contains much fat and protein.

It’s good for anemia because of the hemoglobin contained in it, and it’s effectively absorbed by the human body in case of iron deficiency.

Sweet and Sour Pork

Serves 2
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 1 hours, 15 minutes
Allergy Egg, Soy
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Gourmet, Serve Hot
Occasion Birthday Party, Casual Party, Formal Party, Valentines day
Region Chinese
Here you can see how to prepare one of the classic dishes of the Han people, sweet and sour pork with a delicious tomato sauce.

Ingredients

  • 200g pork tenderloin
  • 1 egg
  • water
  • 2g pink Himalayan salt
  • 5g dark Muscovado sugar
  • 10g light soy sauce
  • 10g starch
  • 30g tomato sauce
  • 10g vinegar
  • coriander

Directions

Step 1 sweet and sour pork - egg yolk and egg white
Crack the egg into a bowl. Separate the egg white and yolk.
Step 2 sweet and sour pork 1
Slice the pork tenderloin into strips.
Step 3 sweet and sour pork 2
Prepare the marinade using a pinch of salt, one teaspoon of starch, two teaspoons of light soy sauce, and an egg white.
Step 4 sweet and sour pork 3
Marinade the pork strips for about 20 minutes.
Step 5 Put the remaining starch in a bowl. Add some water and vinegar to make a starchy sauce.
Step 6 Pour the cooking oil into a wok and heat to 190°C (375°F).
Step 7 sweet and sour pork - frying
Add the marinated pork strips and fry them until they turn brown.
Step 8 sweet and sour pork - fried
Remove the cooked pork from the wok and place on a plate.
Step 9 Leave some oil in the wok. Put the tomato sauce and white sugar into the wok, and heat until the oil and sauce are fully combined. Add some water to the wok and thoroughly heat the sweet and sour sauce before adding the pork strips to it.
Step 10 sweet and sour pork - tomato
Pour in the starchy sauce. Stir-fry all the ingredients until the pork and sauce are thoroughly mixed together.
Step 11 Serve on a plate and add some coriander for decoration.

The Legend of Sweet and Sour Pork

The legend that surrounds this recipe goes as far as the first Chinese emperor of the Qin Dynasty (221–207 BC) called Qin Shihuang. This ancient emperor was known to love sweet and sour pork or similar dishes that include sweet and sour taste. He even held regular competitions where common cooks would compete to satisfy his taste for food in general.

The emperor actually found out about this recipe when an old woman served him sweet and sour pork dish. He loved it so much that he made her the imperial cook. He offered her a reward for her recipe, but she didn’t want any, except for a promotion for her son who was serving the emperor’s army, which he did.

Ever since then this recipe has been passed down from one generation to other among the Han people.

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