Sunday, September 15, 2019

Filipino Sweet And Sour Pork

So here's the good old Sweet and Sour Pork. Eat while still warm, its crunchy yet sticky. Life, birthdays and friends are somehow spices of our journey towards age and attitude. They are our old treasures, irreplaceable. They make us happy and they makes us human.The sweet and sour of life!

Sweet and sour is a generic term that encompasses many styles of sauce, cuisine and cooking methods. It has long been popular in North America and Europe, where it is stereo typically considered a component of standard Chinese cuisine. It does in fact originate from China, and is now also used in some American (also American Chinese) and European cuisines.

Chinese Cuisine: Some authors say that the original sweet and sour came from the Chinese province of Hunan, but the sauce in this area is a weak vinegar and sugar mixture not resembling what most people, including the Chinese, would call sweet and sour. Many places in China use a sweet and sour sauce as a dipping sauce for fish and meat, rather than in cooking as is commonly found in westernized Chinese cuisine. This style of using sauces is popular amongst Chinese who tie certain sauces to particular meats such as chili and soy for shrimp and vinegar and garlic for goose. There are, however, some dishes, such as the Cantonese sweet and sour pork or Loong har kow (sweet and sour lobster balls), in which the meat is cooked and a sauce added to the wok before serving.

Not all dishes are cooked; some, such as "sweet and sour fruit and vegetable" salad from the eastern regions of China, also find their way in Chinese cuisine. This dish combines salad vegetables such as cucumber, tomato, bell pepper, and onion with a mixture of pineapple (or pear), vinegar, and sugar to make a cold served dish. In China traditionally the sauces are made from mixing sugar or honey with a sour liquid such as rice vinegar, soy sauce, and spices such as ginger and cloves. Sometimes a paste made from tomatoes is used but this is rare and normally restricted to western cooking.

Cantonese sweet and sour sauce is the direct ancestor of sauce of the same name in the West, and originally developed for sweet and sour pork. The late renowned chef from Hong Kong, Leung King, included the following as his sweet and sour source sauce recipe: white rice vinegar, salt, Chinese brown candy, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and dark soy sauce. Hong Kong's gourmet Willie Mak, himself a long time friend of Leung, suggests contemporary eateries not to resort to cheap bulk manufactured versions of vinegar, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce, or the sauce will risk being too sharp in taste and breaking the balance of flavours. He suggests the more acidic white rice vinegar could be replaced with apple cider vinegar, and ketchup and Worcestershire sauce should be of renowned gourmet brands.

Western Cuisine: Western cultures use sweet and sour sauce in two different ways. Dishes can either include the sauce as an ingredient in cooking or use the sauce as a pour-over or dipping sauce for the meal. Chinese restaurants in Western countries commonly serve chicken, pork, or shrimp that has been battered and deep-fried, then served with a sweet and sour sauce poured over the meat. It is also common to find the sweet and sour sauce cooked with sliced green peppers, onions and pineapple before it is poured over the meat. Many western dishes involve cooking the meat with a variety of ingredients to make a complete sweet and sour dish in the manner of the Gu lo yuk. The most popular dishes are those of pork and shrimp. In French cuisine, it has been developed contrary to traditional French cooking practices and preparation of sweet and sour sauce (Aigre-douce) often involves immersing the food in a plentiful amount of sauce.

Common in Western sweet and sour sauce is the addition of fruits such as pineapple and vegetables such as sweet pepper and green onions. Traditional rice vinegar is becoming more readily available due to the increase in Asian food stores but a mixture of vinegar and dry sherry is often still used in sweet and sour dishes. Also common is the use of corn starch as thickener for the sauce and tomato ketchup to give a stronger red colour to the dish and to add a Western taste. Most supermarkets across Europe and America carry a range of prepared sweet and sour sauces either for adding to a stir-fry or for use as a dipping sauce.

Filipino Fusion Food: How did Sweet and Sour come to the Philippines? I made readings and research but there was nothing I could find to answer this question. I am actually so curious about it just like Adobo or Caldereta that if we try to dig in deeper, at least we will be able to find something.The earliest memory of Sweet and Sour was when I was a little child. My mother would fry some fish and then later on saute garlic, onion and ginger slices. She will add water, vinegar, sugar, pepper and salt. When the water mixture starts to boil, she will put back the fried fish and then let it simmer and after more minutes, the dish is to be served and I later learned that it was Escabeche, it was sweet, sour, and peppery hot. As I grow older, my palate widens too and I learned another type which is now we call Sweet and Sour. My Sweet and Sour is a product of my exploration. After much readings and try outs, I was able to create my own which is a combination of Chinese Western European Cuisines. I dislike Sweet and Sour at first. It was actually a great courage whenever we eat out and we order Sweet and Sour because I cant find the right balance of sweet and sour. Sometimes the mixture was so sour and you could almost taste the vinegar..other times it was so sweet. I ended up frustrated and upset at the same time.These occasions led me to go on a quest and developed a better sweet and sour sauce..well, at least for me.

1 kg to 1 1/2 kg of pork lean meat (lomo) and pork belly cut into cubes or strips 
1/3 cup flour dissolve in 
1/3 cup water
2 tbsp soy sauce 
2 tbsp rice wine 
1 1/2 tbsp sesame oil 
4 egg yolk ( keep the egg white for future use )
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cornstarch

For the sauce:
6 tbsp rice wine 
1 cup beer(carlsberg or heineken)
1 cup juice from pineapple cubes in can that you used
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp salt 
12 cloves crushed garlic
1 1/2 tbsp ginger juice
1/2 cup pineapple cubes in can 
1/2 cup carrot, cut the way you like it
1/2 cucumber, cut the way you like it
1/2 cup both red and yellow bell pepper cut the way you like it
3 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 4 tbsp water

Put the pork slices in a bowl or container for marinating.
In a separate bowl mix the following ingredients: 1/3 cup flour dissolved in 1/3 cup water, soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil, egg yolks, and salt. Pour the mixture over meat and mix well.
Marinate for 6 hours to overnight. Set aside in the fridge.
Frying time: Add 1/2 cup flour and 1 /2 cup cup corn starch to the pork mixtute. 
Combine them well and add the egg white if the mixture is very sticky or dry.
Make sure the oil is hot, then start frying them by batches. Set aside 
Proceed on making the sauce:
Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan except veggies and 3 tbsp cornstarch dissolve in water.
Cook by simmering for 10 minutes then slowly add the cornstarch water mixture.
Stir the mixture and bring to your desired consistency and turn off the heat.
Combine the meat, veggies and sauce. Enjoy!
Fry them by batches but I know you cant help yourself, you will grab a bite, one or or eight..just go ahead..enjoy! Actually theyre good even at this stage
I say the sauce is is the sauce, it will bind the ingredients all together. The perfect sauce should be not so sour, not so sweet and not so thick. 
Oh look at that, the combination of veggies in a sweet and sour is heavenly, dont cook..I like it just the way it is..proceed on adding to the pork and sauce.
Oh my Sweet and Sour are the reason for my quest.Now that I made you..I know that you will be forever and down the memory lane.I hope my children will treasure you just like me, their mom..the sweet and sour of their!  

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  1. This dish looks and sounds so delicious. Thank you for the recipe! Enjoy the week. :)

  2. Another great recipe!! Thanks for sharing at the What's for Dinner Party!

  3. This looks delicious! Thank you for sharing your recipe on Farm Fresh Tuesdays!

  4. Thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with us at Full Plate Thursday,450. Hope you are having a great week and come back to see us soon!
    Miz Helen


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