Here is my ‘recipe’ for something that I guess could be called sweet-sour pork. Little disclaimer for the justice warriors out there, this is by no means a traditional recipe, not it is trying to be one. I read once, many years ago, how to make “traditional” sweet-sour pork and I just kept making changes to it until it turn into something I liked. So yeah, this me saying “F*ck you FoodNetwork, your recipes are not good enough for me”.
…or anything else you’d like to add. I beg you not to copy paste this recipe. Add whatever you like, take out anything you don’t like. Recipes are stupid anyways… you should see this as a simple baseline and try to customize it as much as possible to suit your taste.
Cut the pork into cubes and throw it into a zip bag, and add a beaten egg, some pepper, cayenne and soy milk (cow milk probably works too, but I would try to avoid milks with too much flavor such as almond milk or sweetened nuts/rice/coconut milks) and marinate. If I have the time I like to leave it overnight, but leaving it for an hour does the trick too.
Once that’s done, mix some cornmeal with some salt, pepper and cayenne (I love cayenne but I guess you can leave that out if you don’t like it), put the pork in a strainer to get rid of the excess liquid, and then coat the pork with the cornmeal mix.
Then get a pot with some hot oil (I don’t use a thermometer but it should probably be around 170-180ºC or…. 350F?) and cook the pork until the outside starts to get some very light golden color. The point of this step is to seal the outside of the pork quickly so that the inside can remain super moist and slightly under cooked. But it is important not to cook it all the way through since that means having over cooked and dry pork at the end.
If you have some sweet-sour sauce you like, get that ready. Otherwise, time to make some. I usually buy a really spicy chili-mango sauce from the Asian market but literally anything will work at this point. Just go for the one you like.
If you want to do it home style just throw some ingredients in a pot and call it sauce 😉
I don’t have measurements for it since I was just “going with the flow” but for the one in the picture I made a quick sauce using some water, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, chili flakes, chili paste, sriracha, sesame oil, strawberries and raspberries.
Now you need to get your veggies chopped and ready. I usually go with onions, garlic and ginger, but you can add anything you want (in Spain, Chinese restaurants usually add pineapple and carrots). Then get a pan ready with a bit of oil, throw the pork in, throw the veggies, cook them slightly (I think it works best with crunchy veggies), and then add the sauce and cook for a bit until it reduces a bit and coats all the pork pieces and veggies.
I like to serve this with tons of rice (sticky rice if I have the time to make it), and garnish with some fresh green onions or chives.
P.S. You can also skip the “deep-frying” step and do the searing in a regular pan with little oil, but its important to have a very hot pan to seal the outside of the pork and keep the inside moist.
Hope you like it!