sweet & sour porkrating:
This recipe is taken from the wonderful Reader's Digest Cookery Year, but my edition dates back to the early 1970s, when genuine Chinese ingredients were hard to find. I've changed some of the substitute ingredients for genuine Chinese ones.
Serves four as main course.
1 kilo lean pork
2 level tablespoons cornflour
8 tablespoons vegetable oil (real Chinese peanut oil – not groundnut oil - has a delicious but subtle taste)
2 and a half tablespoons light soy sauce
1 green pepper, cut into 2” chunks rather than little slices.
1 level tablespoon cornflour
1 level tablespoon caster sugar
2 tablespoons Chinese rice vinegar
2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed orange juice
1½ tablespoons tomato purée
1½ tablespoons soy sauce
1½ tablespoons Shaohsing wine (or pale dry sherry)
In a bowl, mix all sauce ingredients with 6 tablespoons of water, blending thoroughly until smooth.
Cut pork into small cubes and toss them in the cornflour. I do this by putting the cornflour into a plastic bag and dumping the cubed meat in there, then shaking the lot until the meat is thoroughly covered.
Heat 6 tablespoons of oil in a wok and fry the pork cubes over high heat for 4-5 minutes, turning them often until nearly brown. Pour off all oil, add the soy sauce and mix with the pork over low heat for 1 minute. Draw the pan off the heat.
Heat the remaining oil in a separate pan, and add the green pepper, cut into strips, 1 inch long by half an inch wide. Stir fry in the oil for 1½ minutes over moderate heat. Reduce heat, stir the sauce to mix thoroughly, then pour it over the peppers. Stir continuously until the sauce thickens and becomes translucent.
Add the pork cubes and turn them in the sauce for 1 minute. Serve with fragrant rice and Chinese-style green vegetables (qv).