Sunday, 26 April 2015

An Oldie but a goodie: Sweet and sour pork – using fresh pineapple

Carole's Chatter:  Sweet and sour pork – using fresh pineapple

I originally posted this recipe in November 2012.  Sorry for the retread but life has meant very little original or interesting cooking lately!

 I decided to do a simple sweet and sour pork.  I was lucky enough to be able to get a half pineapple that was just perfectly ripe and altogether yummy.

My first thought was to do pork ribs but the butcher didn't have any that weren't already marinated so he cut up some pork belly into strips for me.

I cut them into pieces which were uneven in size because some had bones in them.  But I don't think that mattered too much in the end.

I marinaded the pork pieces in a mixture of salt, sugar (actually I used Stevia for the first time as a sugar substitute), soy sauce, wine vinegar (should have been Chinese cooking wine but I didn't have any), a heaped teaspoonful of cornflour (cornstarch) and a spoonful of a five-spice type powder I made up myself because I didn't have any store bought.

Five spice powder is normally a mix of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan pepper and fennel seeds.  I ground up a tiny bit of star anise (watch it, it is a really strong flavour), cassia bark (instead of cinnamon), Sichuan pepper corns (I like a bit of heat) and some chopped fresh ginger.  So it wasn't authentic five spice but it smelled good and did the job.

I left the meat in the fridge – covered of course while I prepped the other ingredients:

Pineapple – had to be peeled, the core taken out and cut into chunks.
Onion – ½ a red onion roughly chopped
Capsicum – ½ a red bell pepper chopped roughly
Garlic and chilli – finely chopped
2 spring onions – finely chopped
Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved

When the pork had been marinating for an hour or so, I then deep fried it – twice.  This is the first time I have deep fried anything for years and years – so I was a bit nervous about how it would go.  I don't have a deep frier so just used a deep pot.

I did the pork pieces in small batches.  And then when they had all had their first cook, I put them back in and gave them another fry up.  I tasted a corner of one of the pieces to see what it was like and it was so crispy and yet tender inside, I was very excited about it.

If only, I had just served it like that.  As you will see once the pork was put into the vegetables and sauce, it lost that crispiness.  Next time I will serve it on top rather than mixed through.

Setting the pork aside, I gently shallow fried the onioin, garlic and chilli.  When a bit soft I added the capsicum and then after a minute or 2 the pineapple.  I then put in a store bought sweet and sour sauce – I know, I know – lazy – but it was recommended to me – and it was ok but I think I should have made my own.

Then add back the pork and put in the tomatoes.  They only need 30 seconds or so in the pan so you need to figure out your timing.  Serve with the spring onions sprinkled on top.

It tasted nice but … it would have been much better if I had kept that pork as it was coming out of the second deep fry!

1 comment:

  1. This looks like a great Sweet and Sour Pork, yum! Hope you are having a great week and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen


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