Chinese New Year: A sumptuous Sweet and Sour Pork
Sweet and Sour Pork, also known as "Gu Lao Rou" in Mandarin, has deep roots in Chinese culinary history. Its origins can be traced back to the Cantonese region of China, where it was created as a method to preserve the flavour and texture of pork during the cooking process. The dish was traditionally prepared by marinating pork in a mixture of vinegar, sugar, and various spices, which helped to tenderise the meat and give it a distinct sweet and tangy taste.
Over time, the recipe evolved, and the dish became more elaborate, incorporating a crispy coating for the pork. This evolution brought forth the familiar dish we know today—crispy chunks of pork coated in a glossy, tangy, and slightly sweet sauce.
Sweet and Sour Pork has become a symbol of culinary balance in Chinese cuisine. Its combination of sweet and sour flavours represents the harmonious blending of opposing tastes—a concept deeply ingrained in traditional Chinese culinary philosophy. This balance is not only appealing to the palate but also reflects the broader Chinese cultural belief in achieving harmony in all aspects of life, including food.
At Sing Kee, we know the Chinese New Year is a time of great joy and celebration. As with any party or gathering, there is a need for food, but you want something simple to make while being traditional. For many people, sweet and sour dishes are the staple of Chinese cuisine, and pork is a long-standing favourite in this area.
We ensure you have everything you need, and then take you from start to end to ensure you have everything you need to celebrate Chinese New Year with a smile on your face and a full stomach.
1 pound boneless pork loin, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup bell peppers (red and green), cut into chunks
1 cup pineapple chunks
1/2 cup onion, cut into chunks
1/2 cup carrot, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup cornstarch
Vegetable oil for frying
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup pineapple juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
Now that you have everything you need to make the dish, including the stunning sauce that will make this dish come alive, it’s time to follow the simple instructions that will delight your guests and leave you looking like a Chinese cooking connoisseur.
1. In a mixing bowl, coat the pork pieces with cornstarch, salt, and pepper. Shake off excess cornstarch.
2. Heat vegetable oil in a deep pan over medium-high heat. Fry the pork pieces until they are golden brown and crispy. Remove and drain on paper towels.
3. In a separate pan, sauté the garlic until fragrant. Add the bell peppers, onion, and carrot. Stir-fry for a few minutes until they start to soften.
4. Add the pineapple chunks and the fried pork to the pan with vegetables.
5. In a small bowl, mix the ketchup, rice vinegar, sugar, pineapple juice, soy sauce, and grated ginger. Pour the sauce over the pork and vegetables.
6. Stir in the cornstarch-water mixture to thicken the sauce. Cook until the sauce becomes glossy and coats the pork and vegetables evenly.
7. Serve hot with steamed rice.
Whether your Chinese New Year celebrations revolve around family members or a wider group, Sing Kee wishes you the best of the season, and we are sure the Sweet and Sour Pork will be a huge hit.