This sweet and tangy sauce is best made with Chinese rice vinegar, but distilled cider vinegar will work as well. This recipe makes sweet and sour sauce the traditional way, where the sauce is translucent and thin. Modern versions of this recipe often include a thick sauce and a variety of other vegetables as well. You can add carrots, onions, or any other of your vegetable favorites. If canned pineapple is used, the syrup may be substituned for the sugar and water called for in the Sauce below.
- 1 lb (500 g) boneless pork, cut into bite-sized cubes
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch oil for deep-frying
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 green or red bell pepper, diced
- 2 green onions (scallions), sliced into lenghts
- 1 cup (100 g) fresh or canned pineapple chunks
- 3/4 cup (100 g) flour
- 3/4 cup (100 g) cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (250 ml) water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons oil
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) Chinese white vinegar or cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/2 cup (125 g) sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch, blended with 3/4 cup (175 ml) water
To make the Batter, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Gradually pour in the water, mixing with a fork until smooth. Add the oil and mix well. Set aside
Whisk together all the sauce ingredients and set aside.
Combine the pork with cornstarch. Heat the oil in a wok until it just starts to smoke. Working in a small batches, use tongs to dip the pork in the Batter, then into the wok. Deepfry the pork for a few seconds until it is a light brown, then remove from the wok and drain on paper towels. Use a slotted spoon to discard any batter from the wok. Repeat until all the pork has been battered and fried.
Return all the pork to the wok and deep-fry a second time, this time for about 3 minutes, or until golden brown. This step is optional, but it removes the remaining moisture from the pork and makes it crispy and chewy-similar to what you get in a Chinese restaurant. Discard the oil and return the wok to the stove over high heat.
Stir-fry the garlic and ginger for 30 seconds, add the bell pepper, and continue to stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the green onion, pineapple chunks, and sauce, mix well and bring to a boil. Pour over the pork and serve with rice.
A splatter screen for covering the wok comes in handy when the pork is returned to the pan for additional frying.