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
|Prep time||30 minutes|
|Cook time||45 minutes|
|Total time||1 hours, 15 minutes|
|Meal type||Main Dish|
|Misc||Gourmet, Serve Hot|
|Occasion||Birthday Party, Casual Party, Formal Party, Valentines day|
- 200g pork tenderloin
- 1 egg
- 2g pink Himalayan salt
- 5g dark Muscovado sugar
- 10g light soy sauce
- 10g starch
- 30g tomato sauce
- 10g vinegar
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.